I’d like to think I’m not the only one who, at the beginning of their day, has grand plans of all the creative + productive things I’m going to get done; only to become so overwhelmed, crammed with great (at least in my opinion) ideas that I end up thinking “I’ll just make one more cuppa, check ALL social media platforms just one more time + then I’ll crack on”. On an average day I may have repeated this action 4-5 times, then it’s 3pm, time to make the transition from mum of baby on maternity leave to dinner lady/taxi/referee/washer-woman, at which point, needless to say, NOTHING-NADA is achieved!
In my time I’ve read many a book, blog, mag article on how to manage my time more effectively – some offering, for want of better words, bloody obvious or just plain ridiculous advice. I’m not professing (in light of the above) to be an enlightened individual who has each minute of the day planned (regardless of the amount of stationary/day planners I’ve accumulated), never once stopping to just do, well, nothing other than go through my amazon wish list with another cup of tea – AGAIN! But I’m pretty sure I’ve come up with a few tips which, hopefully, might make another creative mum’s head a little clearer – if I save just one of you, I’ve done a good job!
- You are not Superwoman! Don’t get me wrong, you’re pretty darn great, but even you can’t get everything done within 24 hours. Give yourself 1 main thing to achieve in your day (for example, mine, today is write this blog), with 2-3 satellite to-dos i.e. the ironing, a bit of social media planning + responding to a couple of emails.
- Others expectations really don’t matter! This was one I found really difficult to let go of. I was convinced that when my partner returned home from work, + I’d been at home with the baby etc all day with nothing to really show for it, I’d somehow be caught out! I worried that if the house wasn’t looking fab, the washing all done, the ironing in the wardrobe, kids all fed + clean (I wish!), a blog post live, social media ticking away in the background + all emails replied to – that I’d somehow failed. The truth is, if you’ve got through the day with all kids intact, in the right house, fed + happy (clean is maybe a step too far), you’ve achieved a miracle!
- Take a day off. No, I don’t mean abandon all motherly duties + skip off the spa. At least once a week, take yourself + little one to do something fun, it will undoubtedly restore your faith in good times +, an interesting side effect I’ve found to be true, it will make your following day a lot more productive – probably like those endorphin thingies you apparently get from exercise!
- Always have a notepad + pen. If you’re anything like me it’s hard to shut your brain up, quite often brimming with too many ideas that they stop all productivity in its tracks. I’ve found the best thing to do is jot down the idea, get it out of my head + then carry on with what I’m supposed to be doing – only going back to the notepad when you genuinely have time.
- Get a house fairy! If finances permit, get a cleaner! We started having the lovely “lady that does” when I was 7 months pregnant + a bit too round to be cleaning up after 4 boys, a man + two dogs. Now baby’s two months + I’m not so round, I’m not prepared to let her go. Every week it gives me back 5-6 hours I can spend with the kids, I would otherwise be sticking them in front of the TV whilst I scrubbed the third toilet + cursed the dusty Venetian blinds.
So there you have it, it’s not rocket science + you’ve probably heard of these hundreds of times, but this condensed version of tips is what I’ve found to be most useful! It’s just time to worry when every one of the aforementioned cups of tea turns into a double G&T!
Oh, one last thing to remember mama – you’re doing a great job!!