Let’s take a moment to be honest. The arrival of a new baby, particularly number 2, 3, 4 or even 5 is not the blissful, relaxing naps, coffee dates and leisurely strolls we imagine.
Some days can be complete chaos, I’m talking washing, dishes everywhere, filthy floors and don’t get me started on the basic necessities such as showering, shaving and nutritious food.
These days are usually paired with the constant cries of Mum, Mum, Muuuummmmmm, I need you, look at me, he hit me, he’s looking at me…..or is that just my house?!
Yes, it is true, tiny children and time thieves – your 24 hour day will never feel the same again.
I know, this one is only for the REALLY organised people. BUT, for the hour spent on a weekend with a cup of coffee you will save yourself so much time during the week. Just think about the amount of time you spend looking into the fridge or cupboard thinking about what to cook for dinner.
Instead, just look at your list you have put on the fridge and get cooking.
For those that are super organised you could also do your meal prep on a Sunday afternoon too.
Make use of technology
Now that you know what you will be cooking each night, jump online and do your grocery shopping. Not only will this save you so much time but also money as there is not the temptation to buy the extra blocks of chocolate and packets of chips. While you are there, pay any outstanding bills.
Get the kids involved in the housework
Now, this was one I NEVER thought would happen and yet I do use this one quite a bit. At the end of the day I like to get all the toys back in their place so I don’t step on dreaded lego in the middle of the night.
We make a game of cleaning up, one goes the Trolls soundtrack and we sing and dance while putting the toys back into their baskets. This not only cleans the toys up with minimal whining but also gets rid of a little of my Mum guilt by having quality time with them.
They also love dusting, using the dyson and wiping walls – now to wait till they are old enough to empty the dishwasher and make me coffee!
Prepare the night before
If you know you have to be up and about in the morning, try getting the clothes out the night before and having the nappy bag all packed and waiting at the front door. This will limit the rushing and frustration in the morning and will make sure you don’t forget something important in the chaos.
If someone sleeps in (this never happens in my house but hopefuly yours!) you have everything ready to go.
Use an app such as Todoist
The free app Todoist is great for creating lists and priorities to free up your brain space. Baby brain really is a thing so the more you can automate reminders the better you will feel! I have always been a pen and paper girl but now I love using the app as I always have my phone on hand (yes, another habit that needs to be broken!)
Learn to say no
Sometimes you just have to say no. As awful as it can sound, you need to always put yourself first when it comes to time management otherwise you are writing yourself a ticket for stress and anxiety. It’s ok to say no to anything that is hurting you or your family, to people who drain you, either mentally, physically or creatively and if it is something that is not true to the real you. By doing this you can start saying YES to the things that make you feel good about yourself and lose the guilt.
Take time out for yourself
How many times do you hear someone say “you can’t fill from an empty cup”. I used to always think those people didn’t know what it was like to be under so many deadlines and pressure. I now know they were oh so right. So many times I have been overwhelmed with all the tasks ahead only to be forced to take an hour break and come back twice as productive and so much more refreshed. So in those moments of overwhelm when you feel like you have no idea how you will get everything done – go for a walk, take a bath, have a massage, visit a friend. Just do what ever it takes to reset your mindset so you can start your day again, this time with a more positive outlook and more productivity.
And lastly, ask for help! Most people would love to help out, particularly if they know you are struggling. Maybe that help is something as simple as meeting up for a quick coffee or park date so you can reset your mindset and get stuck into the tasks at hand on your return home.
What are your top tips when you are feeling under pressure?