5 Steps to be a Perfect Mom

5 Magical Steps to be a Perfect Mom

© Kakigori Studio - Fotolia.com
© Kakigori Studio – Fotolia.com

I want to be a TV mom.

Growing up I used to watch reruns of Bewitched and The Brady Bunch and fantasized about having a family like theirs. Sure, catastrophes would happen, but in the end the stories would get tied up in a neat little bow and everyone would be happy again. Life just seemed to have a flow.

In my reality, life is more like a series of hurricanes that pop up in random places and then die down leaving debris in it’s wake. I have three kids and I work more than one job so I feel like I can never quite catch up. So how can a single working mom keep it together and not check herself into the mental health floor at the local hospital?

1. Keep a calendar. Whether you like a digital calendar on your phone or a paper one on the wall, a calendar is necessary to be on top of everyone’s schedules. Some apps, like Cozi will connect to your children’s phones (if they are old enough to have one) and send a text to inform them of an appointment or event coming up.

Then there are planners available specifically for moms with different portions of the daily schedule sectioned off for each child or member of the family. Calendars are definitely an invaluable tool.

2. Get enough sleep. This can be a challenge if you use the time when everyone is in bed to catch up on tasks. Whether it be laundry, blogging or enjoying your favorite book the night hours can dwindle away quickly if you aren’t careful. While you may think you are accomplishing more and therefore able to stress less, the continual lack of sleep is wearing on your body.

Lack of sleep can lead to impaired memory, loss of concentration and an increase in appetite. And if you are a blogger or artist trying to take advantage of the night hours, sleep deprivation impairs creativity and innovation. Set a timer of alarm and stick to it.

3. Limit extracurriculars. This may seem obvious, but if you are constantly running from one activity to the next on a daily basis, you are not only wearing yourself out, but also your child. We all need down time. Yes, the opportunity to learn and be a part of a group is amazing, but chances are that if you are constantly over-scheduled then you are probably not eating healthy and adding further stress to your life.

By limiting to one or two activities per child, you can put more effort in to those limited extracurriculars rather than spread yourself too thin. Also, the imposed down time gives your family the opportunity to connect, even if it’s in mundane everyday activities.

4. Take time for yourself. Find at least some time every day that is just for you. Take a yoga class, learn to knit, read a book, cook a new dish, or do whatever it is that feeds your soul. If you don’t set aside a portion of your schedule for yourself, you will burn out.

When all is set and done, a happy mom makes happier children. Pursuing interests that you find fulfilling will create   space for you to be open to issues that may come up with your children. You need “me” time.

5. Forgive yourself. So maybe you didn’t create that back-to-school kit painted in chalkboard paint that you saw on Pinterest. Maybe you are a little behind on laundry, or worse, you forgot the parent meeting at school. You are going to mess up from time to time. Treat yourself how you would treat a good friend. We are human and have the capacity to make mistakes. When you do, you get back up, apologize and move on. What better lesson in self-love for your kids than showing them how to forgive themselves by watching you.

So, I may not be an authority on parenting, but I’ve made it this far. There are days and nights when I wish I could twitch my nose like Samantha on Bewitched and fix all the mishaps that occur. Oh, to be a TV mom.

Now if you will excuse me, I’m off to get my sleep.

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