I remember when I was dating Jake, I felt like I had all the time in the world. We would hangout, eat food, watch tv, go wherever we wanted whenever we wanted and that’s how it lasted for quite some time. We planned trips and didn’t pack until last second. We just generally took our time with life, aka procrastinated. Fast forward a couple years and you know what? That doesn’t fly around here anymore. I’d love to say that having children magically cured our bad habits, but it didn’t. Life’s not that simple.
Although I wasn’t magically cured of my bad habits, I have learned a few things I WISH I could have implemented a long long time ago. Some article I read once upon a time said productive people had 10 basic things in common (which honestly is probably not entirely true, but it made for a good title, and a good starting point.) Here are some of the things I can remember off the top of my head.
- They woke up early
- They had breakfast
- They made their bed
- They avoided technological distractions for awhile
- They made a to-do list
- They tackled their hardest chore first
I obviously must have not been paying close enough attention because I can’t remember all 10. I also can’t say that I do everything on the part of the list I do remember. But these have resonated with me and I can say I truly strive to do them, because being a mom unfortunately doesn’t come with an instruction manual.
I love my sleep with a passion. I need it to function, it helps keep me in a good mood, and does various good things to my mental well-being which in turns helps people who come in contact with me. BUT I have found that sacrificing a little sleep is definitely worth it. IF I wake up early, I have a few precious moments to myself. I can usually get ready in 20 minutes, if I’m not interrupted. I can start a load of laundry and start picking up odd end things scattered around the house. I’m also in a happier mood when the kids wake up because I’ve started my day calmly and I’ve already been productive. I don’t wake up early every day, but I do when I want to get things done! One of my favorite quotes from Hitch is by Mary Ann Radmacher..
“Begin each day as if it were on purpose.” – Mary Ann Radmacher
Making my bed is definitely another good one. There’s something about making my bed that makes me want to keep my room clean, which means steering my little ones towards other activities bright and early. I love that it helps jumpstart my day, and I wouldn’t be embarrassed if someone stopped by and wanted a tour of my house. (I have weird what if scenarios like that in my head quite often..) PS This also doesn’t happen every day, and it was actually unmade recently when a friend came over and I survived fyi.
Off topic, but putting on pants makes a difference too haha and it was definitely not on that list. Maybe that’s weird of me to mention, but it’s completely true. I’m going for full disclosure here. If I’m just lounging in sweats, I’m probably going to stay lounging. If I make the conscious decision to put on pants, things are about to get real, stuff is going to get done. At least the intent is there! The way I see it is I’m probably not going to sit on the couch all day in my uncomfortable jeans thus giving me time to be more productive. (But if I’m wearing my jeggings it really could go either way.)
Last but not least, I couldn’t survive being a mom without lists. Whether it’s a mental list, a list on my phone, or a good old fashioned post-it note list. Lists are my jam. Sometimes I add something to the list, just so I can cross it off. I love crossing things off, it gives me a little rush of awesomeness. Once upon a time I thought I didn’t need to write anything down, but now I know mom brain is a thing. Look it up if you don’t believe it.
If you’re reading this thinking I get nothing accomplished in the big scheme of things and my insights are ridiculous in comparison with others, I agree with you somedays. Somedays it feels like nothing I do is enough. But it is, and we just have to keep telling ourselves it is. I may clean the same toys 462317930 times a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and it may seem like a crazy impossible task with two munchkins running around undoing everything I just did. But I’m here to remind you that we are a tad hard on ourselves sometimes, especially as mothers. We set the bar up too high somedays. We mean well but we need to set attainable, realistic goals and be happy with them.
I’m going to let you all in on the real secret on how I get things done and how I’m productive. I was saving the best for last. Somedays I make the smallest simplest list. My house looks like a tornado hit and I look like a hot mess. But I accomplished what I set out to do.
Make Charlotte laugh ✓
Give Hudson your undivided attention during Char’s nap time ✓
Snap a cute picture of your adorable children interacting with each other ✓
Tell them they are your definition of amazing ✓
Teach them something new today ✓
When I take the time to make memories with my kids, when I play with them like I did back when I was a kid myself, that’s when I get the most things done as a mom. That’s when I feel the most productive. Those are the things that matter. And those moments fuel the fire that makes me want to be better in every aspect of my life. That in turn makes me want to be productive, accomplish more, and give them more of my time, love, effort and everything else under the sun. Whatever you’re getting done during the day is enough if you’re really trying. Your kids are safe, loved and warm. That’s what matters in my book.
Special thanks to
Photo Credit: Alyssa Tsuchiya & MUA: Studio Miranda