When you’re a mum to young children, it’s very easy for time to get away from you and to end the day feeling like you haven’t achieved very much. That’s when setting yourself a minimum set of goals every day can come in really handy - especially on those days when you feel like life’s all a bit too much.
Write a To-Do List
Being organised is a lot easier if you write things down. Then you can tick them off as you go along. Maybe you’ve got to fill in a tax return, or make the family dental appointments. Some things will take hours, others just a quick phone call. Don’t be over-ambitious and aim to do more than you can manage; just use a to-do list as a way of prioritising what’s most important to get completed each day.
"tuesday to-do list" (CC BY 2.0) by Stacy Spensley
If all you’re doing in public is running the kids to school and back, it can be tempting to just throw anything on. And you’re not alone if you feel like that - remember the hoo-hah last year about the head teacher in Darlington telling parents it was unacceptable to wear PJs on the school run? Nonetheless, your mindset will be so much better if you feel good in what you’re wearing, so take a moment to decide on an outfit before you leave the house. If making wardrobe decisions in the morning feels too time-consuming, lay out your clothes the night before.
Put a Wash On
As soon as you’re more than a couple in a household, doing the laundry becomes a priority in life. One day missed will mean an overflowing linen basket before you know it. Make it a part of your routine to put a wash on first thing in the morning so it has enough time to dry during the day. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you not to leave it sitting in the machine all day, too! If you’re feeling super-efficient, you might even iron that load when the kids have gone to bed.
Find Some “Me Time”
Take a break from being mum and do something that’s all about you. It doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t have to take long. Just make sure it’s not about anyone else but yourself. For example, you could try something you’ve never done before - like having a tarot reading. You don’t even need to leave the house to do this - you can organise tarot readings online at sites like TheCircle. The great thing about a tarot reading is that you can ask the reader about anything - and you never quite know what the cards will reveal.
"Time to Dance" (CC BY 2.0) by j.sutt
Of course, there are plenty of other ways to get your slice of “me time”, even if it’s sitting down to polish your nails or indulging in a guilty pleasure like watching some trashy daytime soap for half an hour.
Do the Basic Minimum in Housekeeping
Doing a proper clean can be time-consuming, but never go the whole day without making your bed - it’s so much nicer to climb into a nicely made bed at the end of the day rather than having to untangle the duvet just before you get under it. And as soon as they’re old enough, get the kids to make their beds before they head off for school. It’s a little thing, but it’ll make bedtime so much nicer for everyone!
Similarly, keep the kitchen looking reasonably clean throughout the day - there’s nothing worse than trying to cook in a messy kitchen or having to do three lots of washing up all in one go. While you’re wiping the counters and stacking the dishwasher, you can listen to the radio or chat to the kids. Again, as soon as they’re old enough to help, get the kids involved in a little kitchen clean-up too - a task shared takes half the time.
While your world won't fall apart if you don't do these things each day, doing them will make you feel so much more productive and probably enable you to achieve much more on an ongoing basis. There’s also the added bonus of having a cleaner, tidier home to spend time in!