Simplifying life with kids IS possible!
MY life changed drastically after I had kids. It became ANYTHING but simple. I bet you can relate – I’ve been on a “simplify your life” kick for a while, and I (think) am FINALLY on the right track.
Moving a tiny person + a whole pile of tiny person stuff into your home, and stepping out of the working world and it’s routine (or balancing the working world and it’s routine with everyone else’s routine…) keeping track of multiple schedules and more. Yikes. Mom life = not simple.
(Want to stay with your kids and work from home? Learn how I did it here!)
I’ve gone from a generally organized person with a predictable schedule, clean home, and healthy diet to a full on hot mess.
I get up in the morning (exhausted) put on whatever (dirty) clothes I can find on the floor, feed the baby whatever I can find in the fridge, try to answer emails on my phone while we play and then think about attempting to clean the house… but I don’t even know where to start, (because there is so. much. stuff) so I really just move things from room to room.
My husband comes home and I work frantically for a few hours before trying to invent dinner from some of the frozen / not toooo moldy things I can find.
Eventually I get to bed, going over the to-do list I haven’t gotten to from the day.
I feel pretty stressed and disorganized (not to mention guilty) 90% of the time.
It’s time to re-asses and make some major improvements. It’s time to simplify my life.
I’ve put some thought into this, and I hope that by simplifying the following things, I’ll be on the right track for taking back my life.
Related: How to be a happy stay at home mom
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10 ways to simplify your life in 2018 – this is what I’m doing this year!
1 ) I’m Meal Planning.
What did I do on new year’s day? Sat myself down and made a shopping list for everything I need to make over 30 crockpot freezer meals. I’m tackling this on Saturday, and I’ll do it every month from here on out.
There shall be no more staring disheartened into the fridge at 8 pm, wondering what I can invent from an almost spoiled cucumber and some leftover chicken.
(More times than not, what I end up with is something the baby can’t eat… and then I’m left trying to justify making him a bowl of oatmeal.)
Meals will be planned. Food will be simple.
2) I’m purging my closet.
I don’t go to an office anymore, and I always hated those clothes anyway.
I also don’t wear the cute (and not practical) stuff I wore before I had a baby… It either doesn’t look good on my mom body or I know my baby will destroy it in 9.3 seconds.
I don’t have room in my closet for the new basic stuff I DO wear, and the mess is overwhelming.
I’m getting realistic about what I wear now in my day to day life, and everything else will go.
And I’m getting a more realistic purse. A mom purse. One that isn’t as big as the diaper bag, one that doesn’t weigh 4 lbs empty, and one that won’t show sticky little finger prints.
Related: The best purses for moms
3) simplify your life by decluttering and purging household products.
One of the hardest parts of my mom life is clutter, believe it or not. It over whelms me, and sometimes I feel like it’s sucking my energy.
Since I stay at home I don’t wear that much make-up. I have ALOT of it, and it’s just taking up space.
That might not be a big deal if we had a big home – but we have a tiny little home and all the baby’s stuff that SHOULD be put away in the cabinets just sits on the counter / floor / back of the toilet… because there’s no room for it.
The make-up will go.
And not just the make-up. I’m replacing most of my bath products / scrubs / facial cleansers / shampoo with an all purpose natural soap. My shower shall contain all purpose soap and conditioner. That’s it. Then there will be room on the tub shelves for the baby’s bath stuff, and cleaning the shower won’t be such a process of removing ALL THE PRODUCTS before I can clean it.
Speaking of cleaning, I’m getting rid of chemical household cleaning products and going natural.
Since I discovered Norwex products a few years ago, and fell in love with them, I’m MOSTLY already there. But because I still use a few chemical products, I don’t ever want to clean the house while the baby is awake (because as soon as I set something down he gets into it).
Switching to all natural will mean I can clean any time of day and it doesn’t matter if my kiddo licks the edge of the bathtub directly after it’s been cleaned.
It’ll also mean I reclaim about 3 shelves for storage.
4) I’m ditching the guilt over disposable diapers and packaged baby food and screen time.
I know screens aren’t awesome, but if the bathroom needs cleaning and the best way to get that done is 15 minutes of the wiggles, well, that’s OK!
As for the diapers and baby food, sure, they might not be the best options. But the very last freaking thing I need is to wash diapers every three days or stop everything I’m doing to steam a squash because babe needs to eat.
They’re not the most frugal option, but this is one place where I can choose to splurge, considering all the money I’ll be saving on point number 5 –
5) I’m giving up shopping, and using my Amazon prime membership more often.
If abandoning bath & beauty products, not needing as many clothes or household products, and having a meal plan all set out for the month doesn’t equal less shopping, I don’t know what will.
Not only will this free up an afternoon every week, it’ll save us a ton of money. I do have an Amazon Prime Membership and I AM going to be putting it to better use. I’m finding shopping with one kid hard, I’m almost sure it’ll be impossible with 2.
(The kids aren’t really the problem, it’s more the chore of in and out of the car seat and having to get a cart every time even for just 5 things, and the TIME is takes… ungh.)
If I need diapers or toothpaste, no longer will I run to the store “just to grab that”.
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6) I’m breaking up with my phone.
Because I work from home and don’t really have any set “work hours” I feel the constant need to be responding to every little ping – allthetime.
It’s SUPER stressful, and it makes me feel guilty, because I hate that my babe is growing up knowing that mom looks at her phone allthetime.
I don’t get anything done on it anyway, really. I TRY, but I never actually get anywhere.
Turning my phone off during the day while I’m alone with my babe will make number 7 much easier:
7) I’m setting dedicated working hours, moving my computer out of the kitchen, and declaring this time uninterrupted working time.
There has been few things as amazing as working from home. (In fact, I could say that just by making my work from home dream come true, I’ve already simplified my life 1000%.)
BUT I’ve been working from the kitchen lately, because I want to be close to my family. What that really means is that I’m interrupted about every 63 seconds and I get a fraction of the work I SHOULD get done, done.
This leaves me feeling stressed and far behind on everything. It’s not working, and I need to change that.
It also means I stay up VERY LATE working after everyone is in bed, trying to get caught up. (It’s 1:10 am right now, and I’m no where near done.)
8) I’m letting go of big business goals.
The whole point of working from home was so I could spend time with my baby. Make mom-life the priority.
My blog is very successful, and it’s hard not to get carried away with the desire to make it MORE successful. Make it earn MORE money.
But, what’s really more important to me? More money? Or less stress and more time with my family?
As long as I can earn enough to help pay the bills, I don’t need to grow.
9) I’ll be getting more sleep.
If this sounds to you like these simple-living changes could have a domino effect – you’d be right.
I’m going to try hard to get more sleep (at least until new baby gets here). If I’m getting more work done in my dedicated work hours and not staying up all night to work and not pushing as hard towards difficult goals, that’ll be a big step towards making sleep happen.
I’m almost sure that if I’m not SO tired all the time, it won’t feel so overwhelming to try to keep the house clean and I’ll have more patience and creativity to share with my kid.
10) I’ll be re-prioritizing my to-do list.
Somehow, in the new stay at home work from home mom thing I have going on, my priorities have gotten skewed.
I spend far more time on email than I do in prayer and far less time with people than with my computer.
I want my babies to grow up with a mom who models a deep relationship with God and values people above all things.
Taking the time to sit down and visit with my grandma should never be something I put on the back burner, just because I feel like my house is too messy to invite her in.
(That said, my house is going to be cleaner in the near future because it will have less clothes + products taking up space, and I won’t fear dousing my kid in chemical cleaners… so that won’t be an issue anymore – right?)
How can you simplify YOUR life as mom?
What are the things that stress you out? What can you let go of this year?
Maybe it’s time to start meal planning or give up a hobby you don’t really have time for. Nothing will ever change unless we change it!