How to “keep it together”.

I get it. You’re a mum, you’re a wife, you’re a business owner or employee. There is a lot that you’re expected to juggle and do to meet the needs and expectations of everyone.

I truly do get it.

I’m all of those things too. I work full-time, I have two businesses in their early start up stage, I’m a wife to a night shift worker and we have 5 children. Granted, most of our children are old enough to manage themselves now, but there is still a lot that needs to be juggled.

 

So how do I do it?

First, I prioritise myself.  How? I wake early and exercise, and get some high priority tasks completed. Yes, that means getting up early, before everyone else every day, but it also means that my cup is filled before I need to consider anyone else!

 

Second, I plan ahead.  I know everything that is expected of me at work and at home on a regular basis and I have them scheduled into my electronic planner and calendar. It means that I have everything in front of me at a glance and I use it to plan my day the night before. I have very few surprises, and if I do have a surprise (because let’s face it with kids and business, plans are always likely to be thrown out the window at some stage) I can reorganise my time easily and make sure the highest priority items still get done.

 

Third, I delegate.  I don’t need to be everything to everyone. Three of my children and my husband are quite capable of washing their own clothes, cooking meals and helping out around the house. So they all have tasks allocated to them and they are responsible for getting them done. And that doesn’t mean I hover over them while they do them either. I leave them to it. They might need the occasional reminder, but they are quite capable of following through.

 

Forth, I don’t expect perfect & I have routines in place for ensuring everything is done as efficiently as possible. That means things like doing my online grocery shop every Wednesday for delivery Saturday.  Assigning everyone a day that they can do their washing and accepting that sometimes they miss their day.  Meal planning ahead of time and cooking in large batches so that I can freeze meals too.  I also make and freeze sandwiches in a batch for the younger kids lunches because it is not a task that I like to do each day.

 

Last, I end the day with me.  That means that every night I take time out on the couch to crochet before bed, and read before lights out.  It gives me a chance to unwind and re-set.  I also make sure that I plan out my next day so that there are as few surprises as possible!

 

I have found over the past twenty years too that you can’t expect everything to stay the same.  Every now and then the daily and weekly routines need to be reassessed so that they can be adjusted to meet the new demands of ever growing children and my current situation.

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