Stay-at-Home Moms – I have a question: Do you wake up each morning with tons of energy that carries you through the day? Are you the parent that wakes up with ease because her children are calm, cool, and collected in the morning? No? Yeah, me neither. I genuinely don't think that's possible in our current season of life. I do; however, believe there are steps you can take to enable you to Conquer the Day.
Conquer, by definition, means to overcome a problem or weakness successfully. If your day starts hectic and with zero control, you've got to change it up. If chaos is your weakness and routine is your problem, then this is for you! Implementing the following four steps into your day will set you up for success. You are capable of setting the tone for your day. You are capable of conquering the day!
Step 1: Change Your Perspective
Once I was out of the toddler stage with my boys, I started noticing that I was struggling to keep up with the day-to-day tasks of being a SAHM. Even with the boys being easier to handle and our routine pretty set, I fell behind on the housework. It just didn't compute. I started asking myself, “why?”.
The answer? It was my perspective. I didn't WANT to do the laundry again. The dishes in the sink did NOT look fun. I had a bad attitude about my job, which showed in my results. That's when I decided to implement a new perspective: Pride.
We must have pride in what we do. That means when you are doing the dishes, folding the laundry, picking up toys, cooking another meal, and scrubbing toilets. It includes good days, bad days, pajama days, busy days, and sick days.
Your perspective matters! It matters to you, your kids, your spouse, and everyone around you. These jobs will not be fun and glamorous all the time, but you have to do them regardless, so have some pride and do them well!
Step 2: Set Your Alarm
Yes – I said it, set your alarm and wake up early. Alone time in the morning is crucial to get your head in the game for the rest of what the day will throw at you. Think about it as if you were still employed at a business. Would you roll out of bed at the last minute to get there? No, you would have woken up early to prepare yourself for the responsibilities of your job. Just because you are at home doesn't mean you shouldn't take those same steps to prepare for the day.
I set an alarm seven days a week. My quiet time in the mornings is valued. When my boys were younger, I can remember how exhausting it was to start the day off already being needed. Once I implemented a little “me” time in the morning, I allowed myself the opportunity to conquer the day.
Set Your Child's Alarm, Too
I highly recommend you use an OK-to-Wake clock with your children. I can't imagine a worse start to the day than when you wake up early for the benefits of quiet time, and your child walks out of their room because they woke up early. No, thank you.
This tool can provide your kids with the knowledge and security to know when to get up. Even if they wake before it turns green, your child can quietly play while you finish your cup of coffee. We still use an OK-to-Wake clock even with the boys being 4 and 6.
Implementing a little “me” time in the morning, and knowing exactly when my day starts with the kiddos, has relieved me of a lot of stress. Give it a try!
Step 3: Get Dressed
I highly recommend having more days where you get dressed than not. Everyone's interpretation of getting dressed may be different, but the principle itself remains the same. A good morning routine should include at least the following steps:
Wake Early for Quiet Time
Studies show that even an additional 15 minutes can significantly improve your mood going into the day. I prefer to wake up at least an hour early. However, that's likely because I know and enjoy the added benefits of quiet time.
Wash Your Face
You do not need a 24-step beauty routine each morning and night. You should, however, wash your face. Removing the dirt and grime for the day is extremely refreshing. It is an instant spa moment that can be completed quickly, and it's entirely within your control.
Brush Your Teeth
Yeah – I know, this is a known step. However, I didn't want anyone to come at me that I didn't list it! Brush your teeth. Freshen your breath. Don't forget to brush your tongue!
Style Your Hair
Notice that I didn't state to “do your hair”; instead, you need to style your hair. Curl it, blow dry it, or straighten it – but get it styled! If you are the mom constantly throwing your hair into a bun or a ponytail, I challenge you to change it. If you have too much hair to deal with on the daily, I suggest a new haircut! Think, “mom hair, don't care.”
I am all for having a pajama day here and there with the kiddos. However, to conquer the day, I recommend getting out of your pajamas regularly. Be ready for the day. It can be highly stressful for an unexpected errand to pop up, and then you have to change clothes beforehand. Take that extra step out of the unknown duties of the day and change your clothes first thing!
Make Your Bed
My mother has always told me that no matter how organized and put together my house is, it is still a mess if my bed's not made. The benefits of making your bed are three-fold. First, your room looks complete when the bed is all put together. Second, you've already accomplished something for the day by making your bed! Lastly, making your bed ensures that it will be ready for you at bedtime. Add this step to your daily routine!
Prep for Child Wake Time
Once you are ready for the day, start preparing for the kiddos to wake up. If you are going to cook breakfast, get the oven heated up and your supplies ready to go. Start a load of laundry. If you have time, unload and load the dishwasher. Whatever it is – be prepared when they wake up, so you're not scrambling to get things done.
Reasons to Get Dressed
Your morning routine may have more items, but when you include these specific steps, you enable yourself with the best possible start to your day. Research shows that your mood improves when you get dressed for the day. When you think you look good, you feel good, and you will do good. I want to push you to put on an outfit that feels good and get your mind in a space where it operates well.
I rock athleisure most days – but they are outfits that I feel look good on me. Do you feel confident in your clothes? If not, change them! I feel better when I am more confident in how I look. This might sound vain, but I promise it's not. If you are constantly throwing your hair in a bun, cut it. Are you showering every other day? You should be. If you are continually wearing oversized shirts and sweatpants, stop it.
Step 4: Time to Work
The SAHM job description is constantly changing. Some days we might be a chauffeur, others a soccer coach, a teacher, and everything in between. However, there are everyday household responsibilities that we all share. You know the ones I'm talking about – dishes, laundry, cleaning, pickup, cooking, etc.
In Step 1, I challenged you to change your perspective and have some pride in your job. Now I am pushing you to do your job. Do your job. I understand that doing the dishes every day for the rest of your life can seem daunting. There is zero beauty in scrubbing a toilet. But the job still has to get done, right?
At home, the breadwinner of the family should be actively involved. However, we cannot expect them to work their jobs all day and come home to a disaster of a house and want to help. Let's be realistic – if you were the breadwinner and your partner was at home, would you like to come home to loads of undone laundry and piles of dishes and toys? You wouldn't, so don't expect them to.
Ask yourself this – if you don't do it, who will? I talk more about doling out responsibilities in other posts, but honestly, who makes the most sense to do the job, if not you? Who in the house should clean out the fridge? Is there someone else to do the laundry? What about the toys that are overflowing? Who could organize them? You will likely have a hard time finding anyone who can do the job as well as yourself, and that is ok! It's ok to be the homemaker! (Need help getting your home in shape? Try the Declutter Boot Camp!)http://www.bootcampmom.com/Declutter
If you are starting your days as a SAHM by chasing your tail from the get-go, I highly recommend you implement these four steps to set you up to conquer the day. Allow yourself time to properly prepare yourself for the job by setting aside quiet time, waking up early, and getting dressed. Being a SAHM is not a glamorous position, but it is our job. Our place. It is our calling. Have pride in the job responsibilities you have! There is no one better for the job position than you, SAHM!