I am always flattered when people ask me, "How do you manage to do everything that you do?". I have never really been able to answer that question, I do it because I have to, really. Working full-time, going to school full-time, and starting a business, all while raising three kids is definitely challenging. Am I managing? Yes. Is it stressful? Most definitely. How do I do it? I have no clue. Can you do it? Of course!
Over time, I've tried different things to make it as easy as possible for myself and I have few tips to balancing family life with school or work.
The first thing is to become a morning person.
Wake up an hour before the kids need to be up. Use this hour however you please. Whether it be to sit and drink a cup of coffee in silence or to read a few chapters in a book. Use the time to have some well-deserved "Me time" and set the tone for your day. For me, I use this hour to get a workout in. It wakes me up and gives me the energy I need for the day. I also love the fact that I get it out of the way first thing because, how many times have you put off working out and then it just didn’t happen? Waking up earlier may sound insane but I promise after two weeks, your body will adjust and you will love that hour all alone.
My next tip is to drop the mom guilt!
Get it out of your head that you are missing out or that you are neglecting them in any way. You may be busy, but what you are doing is making sacrifices to give them a great life in the long run. This is definitely the hardest part for me, so what I have done is block out days just my kids. For example, I spent this week studying and preparing for midterm exams which didn’t leave much time for them. Since midterms are now over I planned a day at the zoo for us to make up for the week. I'll try to squeeze in a walk to the park some evenings, as well, because they really enjoy it. I also suggest starting a nighttime routine with them, a way to spend evenings together and unwind from the day. We take our baths, talk about the day, read a book and say prayers. I believe this helps them and lets them know mommy is here even though I seem very busy.
Third and probably most important is to PLAN
(but with flexibility, with kids NOTHING will ever go exactly as planned)!
I suggest a planner or notebook to get it all out of your head. Getting out of your head really helps to relax your mind, you can see exactly what you have to complete for the day, week, or month. Writing everything down makes me feel one step closer to completing all the tasks I have.
Lastly, it truly does take a village to raise kids.
Utilize the support system you have around you, and do not be scared to ask for help. It doesn't make you less of a mother if you occasionally have to accept help because you're not able to do it all. I am truly blessed to have the help I have, and I appreciate it so much. I understand other moms do not have the luxury of having family close by; why not look into reliable and trustworthy childcare to help you on the days you need help?
It is possible to juggle all of your daily tasks and raise a happy family at the same time. Just remember to take moments to breathe and care for yourself. That is the most important part!
Feisty Jamaican mommy of three who will not hesitate to knock common sense into you when necessary. Chris’s boo thang. Designer of the sickest parties ever! The Queen of Extra! The friend you always want to sit and have a glass of wine with because you know great convos and raucous laughter will happen. Jhanelle provides EXTRA realness, and you can check out even more on her site!
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