September 29, 2014

11 Things Every Mom Needs to Start Doing

As a mom, it seems that on some days my to-do list is bigger than I am. Don't worry, this "to-do" list is designed to be a blessing rather than a burden. Here are some practical ways to improve your day! 
  1. Focus on the positive: Practice gratitude. It’s easy to highlight the negative, but be intentional about counting your blessings. You’ll discover it brightens both your outlook and your day.
  2. Plan ahead: A little advance preparation can save you a lot of stress. Take a few minutes to create a meal plan or a housekeeping schedule. Planning ahead is a sanity and time saver. I use the Motivated Moms App to plan for Housekeeping. Fly Lady also has some excellent resources. I've used E-meals in the past, and currently use Build a Menu for meal planning. (I really like that BAM donates a portion of their profits to orphan care).  
  3. Eat Well: Feed your body what it needs. Proper nutrition boosts your mood and improves your health.
  4. Stress Relief: Stress is a natural part of parenting. It can take a toll on you both mentally and physically. Be intentional about finding healthy ways to deal with stress. Take a walk outdoors, pour a cup of hot tea, or take a bath. Discover what restores your soul, then do it.
  5. Sleep: Don’t throw things at me. In some seasons of motherhood, sleep is more of a fantasy than a reality, but if you are able to get sufficient sleep, please do. Pinterest can wait. If you’re anything like me, my level of patience with my children is directly connected to how well-rested I am. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
  6. Unplug: Technology is amazing, but it can also be all-consuming. Be intentional about having time away from electronic devices as a family. Spend time connecting with the people who live in your home. Model for them the behavior you hope to see.
  7. Date: Children are a temporary assignment. Eventually, your kids leave the nest and you will be alone together again. Take the time now to nurture that relationship. Have fun together. Invest in one another.
  8. Stop Comparisons: Stop it. Just stop. It’s always tempting to compare yourself to someone else who seems to have it all together. I’ll let you in on a secret: they don’t. Nothing healthy comes from the negative self-talk that accompanies the comparison game.
  9. Community: We were made for relationships with one another. Isolation often leads to discouragement. Connect with others through groups in your community and church. If you're the mom of young children, I highly recommend finding a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. The friendships I've made through MOPS have been a lifesaver (and sanity saver) to me. 
  10. Pursue Passions: We are each gifted with unique talents, passions, and abilities. Motherhood does not mean dreams need to be put on a shelf. Seek out ways to do the things you love. It’s good for your soul, and it’s good for your children to see you pursue your dreams.
  11. Show yourself grace: Motherhood is a series of mistakes and victories. You will mess up, but don’t be too hard on yourself. Kids do not come with instruction manuals. We learn through trial and error. There is no such thing as a perfect mom. Do your best. It’s more than enough.

    Challenge: If you could pick three things to focus on this week, which would you choose? 

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