I think we all have those days. By the end of the day, we have no idea what we did. The kitchen sink is still full, the laundry is still in multiple different states, and the floor needs to see a mop. You know you were busy all day but you just feel overwhelmed and behind. You tell yourself that tomorrow will be better but tomorrow comes and it’s the same. Somehow the next day you manage to get caught up…but the day after you are right back to being behind again.
It’s so infuriating. I know I am there more often than I care to admit. However, I have found a few tricks that help me not feel behind all day. There are still seasons where it happens, especially right after we’ve gone through a sickness. That’s just life. But on average, with these tips, you will be able to stay on top of your household chores and anything else you have to do.
Do the dinner dishes
I hate doing the dishes after dinner. By then, I’m tired and there are kids to get ready for bed. The last thing I want to do is stand at a sink and do dishes. I always felt like it was okay. I’d get the dishwasher loaded and everything else stacked up next to the sink for the next day. Then I washed the dishes after dinner for a week. The difference was amazing. The next day I no longer had the need to do dishes hanging over my head. It was especially easier on grocery shopping day or a baking day. I no longer had to clear space to bake or put the grocery bags (I have a small kitchen).
The way I have found the easiest is to fill the sink up while I’m cooking dinner. While I’m cooking, I’ll wash a few things here or there that are from the day. Then after dinner, the sink is already filled with soapy water and ready. It might technically take longer as I’m washing a few things in between stirring dinner but it makes the time after dinner shorter. So much easier!
Make a to-do list
It sounds simple but it’s such a big deal! Choose 2-3 things that absolutely have to get done that day, then add 2-3 things you want to get done. The biggest thing I have found with this to be successful is to create the list the night before. Before I sit down to relax with a glass of wine and Netflix or Amazon Prime (loving Justified right now!), I make up the list of things to do the next day. It is so much easier to get up the next morning and know what I need to do. It stops the morning floundering as I prepare breakfast, get everyone dressed, etc.
Have a timeline
This is not the same as a hard and fast schedule. One of the joys of being a stay at home mom is having a flexible schedule. What this is, is know when you want certain things to be done. Have a time you want everyone dressed by, what time you want breakfast done, when you want dinner on the table, etc. For us, I want homeschooling started by 9/9:30am so I know that breakfast, hair, getting dressed, etc. all need to happen before then. Lunch is at 12noon so the toys need to start getting picked up by 11:45. If I need to vacuum, that gets bumped to 11:30. Be sure to include your kids in the timeline. If they know the expectations, they are more likely to be willing to help.
Put on jeans
There seems to be a big divide out there among stay at home moms and what to wear on at home days. I’m certainly not anti-yoga pants and do enjoy a PJ day once in awhile. However, if you are struggling to get things done during the day, try putting on jeans. There’s just something about wearing “real” clothes that just makes it easier to get things done. This may not be true for you but if you’re struggling to not feel behind all the time, give it a shot.
Find your motivation
Maybe it’s a cup of coffee. Maybe it’s En-R-Gee essential oil blend in the diffuser. Or maybe it’s a certain playlist or Pandora station. Whatever you find for motivation, make use of it. It may even be a combination of things some days. The important thing is that you find whatever helps keep you on task and from getting behind. It’s amazing to me how 80’s rock or the oldies station can really kick up my motivation and help me get things done.
Give yourself grace
Some days are just hard. Some days you are busy with lots of errands or illnesses. There will even be days where you ignore chores and tasks to just have fun with the kids. Those things are all okay! Don’t expect every day to be perfect. Don’t get down on yourself when you do get behind. It’s not the end of the world. Try again the next day and move on. Not a big deal. I’ll say it again. Not. A. Big. Deal.
As stay at home moms, it can be so easy to feel like we are behind all the time. There is always laundry and dishes today. I’m pretty sure we just do dishes and laundry over and over again and then we die. 😉 Following these tips will help you to not feel behind all day. Yes, you will still have days where you are running in circles and can’t get out of your own way. That’s just life. But these tips can help get you on the right track to staying on top of errands and maybe even have time to do things you enjoy!
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