This is a post I’ve been excited about for weeks and can’t wait to share with you guys! Like most people out there, March and April have been a struggle. While I’m beyond grateful for our health, our jobs, and our family, it’s a trying time for everyone in the world. Working while caring for George has been comical and quite honestly, I’m just trying to survive one day at a time.
Through it all, I’ve been leaning on connecting with others, especially other women and mothers who are trying to *balance* everything. With that, I thought it would be fun to share some tips from women I really respect. From women I work with every day to others in the industry who make it look easy, I’ve asked each woman below to share tips on how they’re handling daily life right now.
Whether you’re a mother or a woman trying to get through this time, I hope this article makes you feel connected and a little more sane.
Oh and before we get to the 5 featured ladies, here are a few things I’m currently doing:
1. Scheduling baby shifts: Since we don’t have childcare right now and are both trying to work full time, we have designated “on call” shifts. For example, I am on “Morning Duty” Mondays, Wednesday and Friday. That means I get George when he wakes up at 7:30a , I make breakfast and do playtime until his first nap around 10:30/11:00a. This allows Austin (or me, if he’s on Morning Duty) to get in 4 solid hours of interrupted work time. And then we swap for the afternoon. It’s not the perfect solution, but it’s fair and allows each of us to plan accordingly. Of course if a meeting pops up, we try to be flexible to the other person, but for the most part, we stick to this schedule.
2. Accepting change: Honestly, I’ve had a really hard time with navigating everything that is going on. And for someone who likes to have everything planned out and “in control”, this is tough. I think what keeps me sane is knowing I am not alone in feeling this way. And change is just part of this process. Literally, everyone is trying to “figure it out”, and at the end of the day, we are all just trying to do our best. It’s easy to get down, but just know everyone is going through this together. Cheesy, but it’s true.
3. Waking up before everyone else: This isn’t always easy, but I try to wake up at least 30 minutes before Austin and George so I can have a few minutes to myself. If I make time for this I notice an immediate change in my mood. I’ll make coffee, read emails, check my phone, write out a list…it makes me feel like I know what to expect that day and allows me to connect with others.
P.S. Please share your own tips in the comments as I definitely would like to learn more!
Blogger behind Brooklyn Blonde and mama to two.
1. Daily laundry: Before quarantine, I used to be a laundry 1-2x a week type of person. Now, with the current life situation, I’ve realized how much easier it is to do 1 wash a day rather than 5-6 at the end of the week. Rather than dreading “laundry day,” staying on top of it keeps me from feeling completely overwhelmed and kind of like I have my sh*t together.
2. Batching tasks: Since my husband and I are both working from home while simultaneously watching/stimulating/entertaining our 4-year-old and 5-month-old, it takes some strategic planning. I try to do as much as I can the day before. If I’m in their room putting the laundry away, I’ll take that opportunity to lay out clothes for the next day. Or, if the kitchen is already messy from breakfast, I’ll try to plan lunch in advance so there’s one less thing to think about later. It’s always a bunch of little things, but they add up.
3. Teaching life skills: Rather than always feeling like we have to teach Nate (our 4-year-old), “school stuff”, we’ve been taking the opportunity to teach him more “life stuff”. Little tasks like making the bed, watering the plants, helping with laundry, baking, etc. He loves helping and it makes us feel like he’s getting some major life lessons during this crazy time.
My manager and co-founder at Estate Five and mother to two.
1. Use kind words: Although it takes some serious focus and is by no means easy, we are forcing ourselves to avoid taking our frustrations and exhaustion out on our children and each other. Even when we are sharing frustration, we put a policy in place to exclusively use kind language with our family. It has worked WONDERS.
2. Have an escape word: Because if you read the first bullet point and went “Cute. That is impossible all the time”, you are right. And in those instances when we are literally about to let loose on the world and all those around us, we have an escape word to let the other one know that it is time to tap in and give our partner a few minutes to collect themselves and calm down, no questions asked. Sounds cheesy, but has made a real difference in our communication with each other.
If emotional intelligence and communication are something you are also struggling with in this season, I would highly recommend this podcast, which has some more great tidbits.
1. Cleaning / Organizing: Might sound weird and like a chore, but it’s therapeutic for me and also a necessity. Rather than letting things build up to a point where it’s unmanageable, I’m tackling small things daily – laundry, dishes, putting toys away, cleaning out the pantry, etc.
2. NOT working out: There, I said it! I have zero discipline when it comes to exercise at home, so I’m letting my body rest and relax and hopefully, my muscle memory won’t let me down when it’s time to return to pilates. Sweatpant life is the life for me!
3. Walking outside: I’m lucky to live in California with beautiful weather, so my family takes an hour walk around the neighborhood every day. We blast the Moana soundtrack, bring snacks, and just enjoy some fresh air.
4. Online browsing + shopping: Spending a lot of time on Pinterest getting inspired for home projects, outfits that I’ll hopefully one day wear, and recipes to try at home. I’m also doing a fair share of online shopping now that I have the time to really look through sites and I’d like to think my little extracurricular activity is also helping the economy.
5. Replying to DMs: Since we can’t really socialize, I’m fully depending on my social media channels to give me that human “interaction”. I’m connecting with my audience, venting, getting advice, discussing feedback on my product lines, etc. I don’t always have the time to respond to DMs but now I’m carving out a couple hours per night to really get into discussions and it’s been a nice change of pace.
Blogger at Chronicles of Frivolity and mama to one (with another on the way!).
1. A schedule: While it is true adults thrive on a schedule, I was very relaxed with my toddler those first few days. When she started to tell me how much she missed school, I set up a schedule that resembled her regular life. We do outdoor play when she would normally be at the playground during preschool, etc. This helped her feel a sense of normalcy!
2. Projects: I’m normally the one to tackle organizational projects at home, but being 33 weeks pregnant, I get tired more easily. My husband and I have been tackling home projects together, and it’s been so much fun! Yesterday, we lined shelves in the nursery and really enjoyed time together doing a task that I would have normally just set aside for myself. I’ve taken an interest in some yard projects he loves, and sharing those mutual interests has made this time go by quickly.
3. Acknowledging this isn’t normal: I read something about toxic positivity online a week or so ago, and it really resonated. We don’t have to view this time as normal and we don’t have to view this time as a Martha Stewart Staycation tackling 18 organization projects a day. On days that I don’t feel as productive or miss my family terribly, I allow myself to acknowledge this isn’t normal. We are made to live in community, and we are having to not do that to protect our community. I’ve let myself eat some bowls of ice cream in bed, miss my mom, and watch junky reality TV – and sometimes that is JUST what you need to feel better!
My team member, founder of becker editorial and mom to one.
1. Prepping + screentime: I prep the coffee pot the night before and run the dishwasher at night. Then letting my son watch 20 minutes of Super Simple Songs while I get my life together in the a.m.
2. Melissa Wood Health workouts at 5:45 a.m.: Pre-quarantine I would workout during the day while my son was at daycare. Nowadays, trying to work out with a one-year-old crawling on me is a joke, so a 5:45 alarm it is. It was hard the first few days but now I’m used to it and the 30 minutes of movement and quiet time before the house is up is necessary.
3. Swapping in/out toys: Now that my son is home all day, he’s getting over his toys more than ever. A couple weeks ago, I split his toys up into three groups and started hiding two of the groups at a time. Every few days I swap in/out a new group. He now plays with each toy for longer since there are less and he’s excited all over again when he sees a “new” toy.
4. Eating well: The first couple weeks of quarantine were a sugary sh*tshow and it was affecting my mood and patience. I got back into eating balanced meals (I follow Kelly LeVeque’s Fab Four lifestyle) and now feel much nicer, calmer, and energized. I do a quick prep of meals for the week and get it delivered via Amazon Fresh. And you better believe I have something sweet to end most nights because #balance.
5. Watching our wedding video: Not gonna lie, my husband and I have struggled with our relationship with all this stress and time together. Anyone else?! I watched our wedding video and ceremony last week and it brought me back to the reasons I love him most. Sounds cheesy but I was in need of that sweet reminder.