I co-own a doula business, and I’m a full-time stay-at-home mom to 2 little cherubs. I spend time creating content and chasing after a 4 1/2-year-old and an 8-month-old daily. I’d be lying if I said it was easy or always structured and planned and that I am able to juggle it all. In fact, sometimes it’s chaos, and sometimes it’s filled with Octonauts. I know you see those other moms on the gram with what appears to be a perfect schedule complete with matching outfits and bows, but that’s not what most of our realities truly are. In fact, as I write this, I’m staring down a mess of kids’ toys and things I need to throw out.
I don’t have it all figured out, but we all find our secret sauce on wrangling the kids and wifehood in addition to business. Here are the things I find that work for me when I am trying to juggle it all:
Sleep in: If you need to, sleep! This may not be feasible for everyone, but I have a 4 1/2-year-old who is fully capable of finding a snack and turning on Kids Netflix to entertain himself for an hour. My 4-year-old has been waking up between 5–6:30 AM, but my 8-month-old will sleep until 7:30 AM, so I try to sleep until she does.
Schedule your life: I don’t mean to wake up before your kids, drink 8 oz of water, write in a journal and repeat affirmations to yourself in the mirror (unless this is your secret sauce, keep on keeping on). I mean, get a MONTH whiteboard calendar because there is just something about writing things down and seeing the visual daily. This helps you know if you have over-scheduled yourself or your kids and allows you and your partner to schedule things throughout the month: appointments, mom’s night out, dad’s night out, parents’ night out, whatever you need!
Meal Plan: This seems daunting, I know. I’ve been struggling with this one, but I finally found my secret sauce! Someone on Instagram suggested scheduling your meals for the month. WHAT?! I used to try to do the weekly meal planning, but it just didn’t work for us. With this monthly meal planning, I did a little arts and crafts on a plain piece of white paper for the month and wrote out meals. I took inventory of what we had and am trying to use the ingredients that we already have and create our shopping list for what we need for the planned meals. With that, we don’t have to scramble weekly to pick what we are going to make. On shopping day, I hit up Costco and Target. Once we are home, I cut up veggies to grab for recipes or snack on and wash the fruit.
Make time for yourself, your kids, and your business: I’m still trying to figure out my sauce here, but I am usually most productive with business-related things in the morning; it must be the coffee. After that, I concentrate on time with the kids as the day goes on. Making time for myself usually falls after the kids go to sleep. However, recently, I’ve joined a health and wellness fall group starting on the 20th of September. So I’m making myself get out of bed at 5:30 AM to workout and be ready before the kids wake, fingers crossed.
For you, figure out what activity you really love to do and make time to do it. Maybe that is waking up before the kids and getting a workout in, perhaps it’s a cup of warm coffee, or maybe it’s watching the latest episode of Real Housewives of Orange County after they have gone to bed.
Use the Screen and Get Outdoors: Yes, you can do both! We all feel better after some fresh air. Do you feel like you’ve been using the screen too much, then balance it with some quality outdoor time. Our family loves to go for walks and check out some new parks or meet up with friends for an outdoor playdate at a fun park. If I have some extra work I have to do or content creation, I let my oldest watch a little extra TV that day.
We can’t have it together 100% of the time, and who wants to? Some days it’s just nice to watch Disney Movies in your jammies and eat snacks all day. Some days you’ll have an Instagram-worthy breakfast, and your kids will be out of their jammies and frolicking outside. Whatever your day looks like, it’s ok.