Whether you have little ones running rampant, or teenagers getting social all on their own—most moms will tell you that their household is running a busy schedule. Between carpooling and household duties, combined with working outside the home, or the never-ending battle that is being a stay-at-home-mom—coordinating a family’s activities is something that many women are balancing very, very carefully. It’s easy to forget to enjoy the journey, there’s often not enough time, but there are some easy ways to avoid succumbing to the ongoing state of ‘being busy’ and find your inner calm. Here are five simple ways to help bring the joy back to the chaos.
Change Your Perception of Busy
Being ‘busy’ is often just another label for ‘overtired’, ‘disorganized’, or ‘being a mom’. Talking to other moms, it seems like regular ‘busy’ also seems to come in levels of ‘super-busy’ or ‘super-crazy-busy’. Given that everyone is busy, I have started to instead refer to my schedule and life as ‘full’. Because it’s a more positive way to look at it, I feel like it also expresses my gratitude for all the things I have and gives me a sense of control. I would rather have a ‘full’ life and one I am incredibly thankful for.
Create Good Systems
Knowing that schedules can interfere with the flow of mealtimes and tasks being completed, creating some sort of family system can help to take the burden off of everything falling onto mom’s shoulders. We have assigned some family chores to our 2 kids, and each one does it on a different day, depending on whether it is an even or odd day on the calendar. Knowing ahead who is doing what and when, can keep me feeling calm when I have other things to take care of. And the ‘even-odd schedule’ also applies to other things, like who gets to ride in the front seat of the car, which helps to avoid bickering when we are in a rush to get out the door.
Take a Breather
A brisk walk or a few moments on a bench outdoors can help you to find your inner calm in the midst of a heavily scheduled day. While I don’t consider myself an outdoorsy type, I find that getting outside every day—even for something as simple as watering the plants—helps me to find my inner calm.
Connect with Friends
Most of us text our friends on the regular, but don’t have a real life connection with them. Taking time out from our tasks and errands to truly connect with friends—even on the phone—can help put our own lives into perspective. I’ve missed important things that have happened in my friends’ lives when I was too wrapped up in my own world, so taking the time to nurture friendships is just as important as your home checklist.
Get Your Heart Rate Up
It is widely known that exercise is a stress reducer, but I have found that the biggest benefit is that it takes me outside of my own thoughts for a while. When I am swinging those kettleballs or balancing in a yoga pose, I’ve momentarily forgotten about the piles of laundry at home or who needs to be picked up when. And the exhilaration I feel after my workout is finished makes all my unfinished tasks seem less daunting to tackle.
There is really no magic answer to smoothly run a family when you have a fully-scheduled life, but these are go-to tactics that help create a sense of zen about the whole process. And while, at times, it can be overwhelming, finding beauty and gratitude within the chaos will always get you through another day.