When you are a parent, your life revolves around the schedule of your children. From getting them to school in the morning to picking them up from their travel team soccer game an hour away, driving your children from place to place ends up eating away at the hours of your day. Suddenly it is night, you are exhausted, and you barely have time to cook, clean and protect your wood cutting board, do the laundry, and all the other chores that just seem to pile up every day.
If you are holding down a job while moving your kids from point A to point B, you have even less time than many. You can barely eke out a few minutes to make a gastroenterology appointment or schedule a touchless Lasik appointment to improve your vision. Any waking moment that you have that is not going towards your children is geared towards bringing money into the house. With this other job, aside from being a full-time mother, having time to yourself seems like even less of a reality.
While it may seem impossible to fit a wedge of your own sanity into the filled schedules of your children, it is possible, and it is important. You have things that you need to get done too. Many people have been where you are now. It is entirely possible to be there for your kids while being your most productive, and here are a few easy tips for you to get there!
- Keep Snackin’
Food is one of the most natural ways to keep up your energy, and eating small snacks throughout the day is an easy way to beat fatigue. By keeping a small package of almonds or dried berries in your car for the long rides from rehearsals to games, you can have a quick snack to keep your energy up, so you can excitedly cheer for a new goal.
For many, the thought of constantly eating throughout the day may make your internal health-nut shudder. However, that internal health-nut should be celebrating. If you keep healthy snacks with you, you will be less likely to indulge in a loaf of bread and a block of cheese when the day is done.
Studies have shown that having several small meals or snacks throughout the day will actually promote health and weight loss more than having three large meals.
- Stay Active—And Rested
Staying active may seem like an impossible feat within the busy schedule of your day. However, if you take a good, honest look at your schedule, all you need to do is find a section or two of five to ten minutes of time. Dedicate this time to doing something physical like squats, running in place, or anything else you can do quickly but efficiently.
You can also work exercise into the time you spend with your family by planning family excursions like hiking and camping on the weekends. With the right outdoor daypack and hiking gear already packed and ready to go in the car, you and your family can jump in the car and hit the trails whenever the desire hits.
If you are really pressed for time, you can work some physical activity into some of the regular activities of your day. Maybe you can do lunges as you bring the laundry upstairs or crab walks as you pack your kid’s lunches. As absurd as it may sound, this pointed dedication will help to increase your productivity.
Added physical activity may sound as if it will only add to your exhaustion. It is, however, entirely the opposite. Physical activity has been shown to increase energy levels. This way, you can better your body while actually beating the fatigue. The result? You’re energized and motivated to keep going through your crazy schedule.
On the flip side of staying active, you also want to ensure you are doing everything you can to promote a solid night’s rest. Sure, you might crash from exhaustion onto your bed every night, but are you getting the undisturbed sleep you need to let your body and mind recover? If not, it might be time to consider investing in a sleep-supporting mattress. You need to take advantage of every little thing that will help you combat fatigue.
With everything you have going on, one of the most important jobs you have every day is simply remembering it all. The ambitious attempt to remember every small and important detail in your brain will stress you out, disorganize you, and ultimately slow you down. There is a better way.
The best way to get all these clogging details organized and out of your head is to write them down. By writing these things down, be it a reminder to buy milk or to pick up your child from recorder practice, a great weight will be taken off of your mind. It is an unrealistic pressure to place on yourself to remember everything—writing it down will help to alleviate this.
Without the minute details of everyday tasks clouding your mind, you will no longer be responsible for remembering everything. In this way, all you will have to focus on is quite literally completing the tasks. By knowing confidently that you are completing everything that you need to do without worry of forgetting, you will accomplish it all more quickly.
To even further take pressure off your brain, write down the things you need to get done on sticky notes and put them in different areas of your house. If you do it this way, you will only have to keep in mind the relevant task and complete that relevant task with full focus.
- Take a Break or Enlist Help So You Can
You might be thinking you barely have time to take a break, but you would be amazed to discover that throughout the day or in the evening after the kids are asleep, you do have ten to 20 minutes to spare. It’s not much, but it’s absolutely necessary that you take this time to do something that will let you take your mind off everything. Whether it’s playing a few quick rounds of an online game or listening to an audio book, just do something to let yourself reset your mind and your energy levels.
If you really don’t have time to break whatsoever, then you may want to consider hiring help for home chores. Whether it’s calling a home floor cleaning service or hiring someone to walk your dog, there are any number of resources out there to help you manage your household duties without pushing you to the point of burning out.