“Oh my goodness, you have your hands full!”. “How do you keep your sanity when raising a big family!?” is the most common question we get from anyone we encounter while out and about with our rather large brood. Some smile and converse in awe while some, like the woman in passing today, get stuck in an awkward pause of perplexity, almost as if they are silently asking “What the H-E- double hockey sticks was she thinking and how does she do it?”
To those who do muster the courage to ask me, I keep it short and sweet and with the honest answer, “through the grace of God and lots of prayer!” However, if she’d let me, and if my ferrel four year old wasn’t actively trying to jump from the cart to the Oreo’s on the top shelf, they’d probably get my handy dandy list of everything I do at home to keep me of sound mind when juggling my oh so big life.
While it’s nothing short of being one of life’s greatest blessings, being a mom of many or even a mom in general, isn’t a walk in the park either. That doesn’t mean you can’t grab mommyhood by the horns and mom like a boss. Don’t get me wrong, I still wake up to days here and there where running for cover might still be my best option, but, on those days when things ARE actually going smooth, it is all due to THIS list of SUPER helpful tips and practices I take part in on a regular basis.
If you’re a fellow mom who finds yourself feeling overwhelmed and like you just can’t seem to keep up with the craziness we love and know as motherhood, this list is for you! Following these simple steps have helped me to stay sane and find the balance I crave to build a happy and healthy home!
1. Take care of yourself
Taking care of your self should be your number one priority. Yes, I know it’s easier said than done, but you are the queen of the castle momma and you simply cannot take care of your royal bunch without making sure you are fueled and have the stamina to do so first!
1. Stay fueled
Whether you’re lucky enough to grab your meal while it’s still hot, or are only able to grab a power snack, try your best to fuel yourself with balanced meals throughout the day. In addition, don’t forget to hydrate hydrate hydrate! If it becomes tricky to maintain a balanced diet, make sure to at least take a daily multi vitamin to be certain you are getting the nutrients you need.
2. Try Your Best To Rest
Grab all the Zzz’s you can! When we first signed up for this mom gig I’m sure we all heard to age old tip “make sure you sleep when the baby sleeps!” Right? Confession, I am guilty as ever of being that mom who instead tried to cram as many house chore as I could into those precious baby naps. Ladies, and I mean this in the nicest way, don’t be that Mom!
As bad as you may want to get every last one of those chores done, or shamelessly stay up late to indulge in your weekly dose of TGIT (also guilty!), use that DVR you’re paying for and get your beauty sleep. It is super important to get the rest you need to keep yourself, and home life, together.
And of course, when you finally get a free moment, pamper away! When managing such a large family, I know first hand how tricky it can be to carve out some “you time”. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help or a break to treat yourself to a day (or week if your lucky!)out to refresh. Aim to give yourself one or two days out of the month JUST for you.
And If those days seem hard to get by, there’s plenty ways to make yourself feel fabulous at home. Pick out a hot new color and freshen up those nail, ACTUALLY wash and blow dry your hair during your next shower, and put together a complete, show stopping outfit to step out in. Sometimes it’s just the little things that’s just enough!
2. Ask for help
If your anything like me, just the mere thought of walking past the heaping pile of mess as if it doesn’t exist probably gives you a mild anxiety attack. Your to do list is probably growing by the minute! On top of that, perhaps you woke up to every one of your little darlings with their game faces on. It’s safe to say there’s a lot going on!
1. Reach Out To Loved Ones
We may feel this innate nature to try to do it all, but before you go and burn yourself out, reach out to your partner, a friend, family member or anyone near and dear to you for a helping hand. Anyone who knows you knows the work you are truly putting in and are probably more than willing to be of help. You’ll be surprised by the support system you never knew you had.
2. Expand Your Support
Speaking of support systems, be sure to also seek out and take advantage of the various local and web based support systems that are out there now a days. Facebook for example is literally over flowing with a plethora of relevant mom groups that are formed specifically to provide advice and support to fellow moms like you.
When out and about, take a peek at any bulletin boards that may have postings for local meet up groups. Taking part in these type of social gatherings are great ways to meet and form lasting relationships with like minded mothers and families. You never know, you may be of help to each other one day!
3. Plan Ahead
One of the biggest things I’ve always found most helpful is planning ahead. Starting with something as simple as setting out clothing for the kiddos the night before makes a world of a difference and really can set the tone for your day.
1. Prep The Night Before
Give yourself an extra 30 minutes before bed to stock the diaper bag, lay out those outfits, and prep those lunch bags. It may seem minuscule, but it will be totally worth it the next morning when you can just get up and get going with ease.
2. Meal Plan
Another thing that tends to leave some of us moms feeling like a hot mess is the great dinner debate. I can’t even tell you how many nights of cereal, freezer nuggets and generic boxed Mac and cheese we’ve had on the fly! Let’s be honest, as much of a life saver these quick meals are most nights, it is pretty nice to be able to execute and deliver a well rounded meal to the table.
Now I know the task of planning doesn’t come as a thrill to some, so to get you started up, I’ve created these fun, colorful and easy to use worksheets to help you on your mommy management journey. My meal planning, grocery, and evening checklist is just a click away via the image below. Just sign up, print and enjoy! Once you’ve gotten the hang of planning, things are sure to start going a lot smoother! Have fun with your printables!
4. Create a routine
1. Start Simple
Establishing a routine for you and your busy family is hands down one of the best ways to keep everyone afloat. Even better, there is no one “correct” way to create a routine. Your main goal at the end of the day is to simply do what works for you and your family.
While you do want to try your best to stay consistent in your routine, it’s also ok if things don’t go entirely according to plan. Remember, children are infamously unpredictable and your bound to have a day where they, or even you, just need to let the day take its own course. Your routine is simply the framework or structure to your day in the form of a super flexible schedule. Here’s an example of the routine we follow:
Start with your basic activities or tasks that happen at the same time each day. Once those are in place, you can then continue to build around it. You can even form mini routines within it! I’ll be going more into and dedicating an entire post to that in the near future! In the meantime, we’ll keep it simple.
2. Break Down Your List
With so much going on everyday, your lucky (and bad a**) if you manage to get everything on your To-Do list completed. Daily household chores for example can be a true pain in the butt to stay on top of. My solution to that? Create a routine that designates a day of the week for a specific set of tasks. Doing so lightens up the load a bit and helps to keep on top of things without becoming so overwhelmed. If you haven’t noticed just yet, I’ve also included both a blank AND pre-filled cleaning routine to your printables for you utilize for this very tip!
5. Lastly, Embrace the chaos
You’ve got a full house momma! You may have ten kids, or you may have two. Whatever the number, things will get crazy from time to time, and you know what? That’s ok! It’s all part of this wonderful journey of being a mom of many. It will be loud, it will get messy, things will break or get lost and forgotten, boo-boo’s will happen, and the most dramatic of them all, somebody will be an unsuspecting victim of a fart attack that WILL cause WWIII.
1. It’s Crazy Beautiful
I know it can be hard, but even during the most chaotic of days, try to see the beauty of it all. Your kids are alive and thriving, and you were blessed enough to wake another day to greet their crazy little selves. Their mess isn’t just any mess, it’s the mess of happy productive children at play building their brains. They’re not melting down solely to drive you crazy, they’re melting down because they love and trust you to help them sort through and deal with their emotions. It may be crazy, but it’s beautiful.
2. Feed Your Soul
But when things STILL seem a little too chaotic or beyond your control, and if you’re a woman of faith, pray and pray some more! I like to take a moment to seek divine guidance to reset my soul and to gain reassurance that I will in fact survive motherhood and that as crazy as it looks and feels, I was built for this! Yes, it seems like more than you can handle, but he believed in you 100% to give you this load, you should too!
With that said, YOU are a mom of many. Many strengths, many trades, many talents and your dang good at it!
You’ve got this!