On Monday, I spent the morning homeschooling my daughter. After lunch, I headed into my office to work. I had some phone calls to make, a blog post to finalize, and a few other tasks on my to-do list.
As soon as I sat down, the interruptions began. The dog barked to go out. My daughter had a crisis with Netflix. My husband needed to ask me questions. Each time I began to get back into a task, it seemed another interruption popped up. When I decided to close the door, so as not to be interrupted as much, the cat would scratch to come in. Then, once she was in, about 5 minutes later, she would scratch to go out.
I know you’ve been there. As a mom, interruptions are inevitable. And let’s face it: if you are a stay at home mom, you’re working all day long. If you add to that any work that you are being paid to do, whether by an employer, or your own business, then you have even more responsibilities you are juggling.
I have to admit that I really do not enjoy interruptions. I’m still learning how to manage these day to day challenges without becoming a crazy person.
I have found a few things that are working for me, so I want to share them with you! They are probably things you already know, but if you’re anything like me, it’s helpful to have a reminder of the obvious every once in a while.
- Get Up Earlier. I know, I know! If you are a night person, like myself, you are probably cringing at this, and you might even stop reading. I don’t blame you. But I have to tell you, a few months ago, I began getting up earlier – about an hour before my daughter typically wakes up. This gave me time to wake up, have my peace and quiet, do my Bible study (which helps me be less of an angry monster in the morning) and of course, COFFEE.
I was amazed at how quickly I grew to love this habit of getting up early. Being up before everyone else in the house allowed me to gather my thoughts for the day and make a plan. I began noticing that I was getting more done on the days that I got up early – even if I was still tired.
I want to say this, though – if you are a mom of young ones, especially if they are not sleeping through night – I totally get why this is so hard. As we’ve been dealing with multiple wake-ups again, I have definitely been pushing that snooze button more often than not. I’m a firm believer in sleep, and I don’t want you to sacrifice your health. But if you can, push yourself to get up earlier – maybe just 15 minutes at a time, until you’re able to find the right amount of time that gets you a head start on the day.
- Adjust Your Expectations. I’m the type of person who has huge expectations. I make my to-do list, and it’s usually a full page long. I was finding that I was discouraged each day because I just cannot get all the things I want to accomplish done – it’s impossible!
Recently I was listening to a podcast by Chalene Johnson, and she shared a tip which completely changed my mindset. She said to make your to-do list at the same time each day, but only put 3 things on it. Sure, you can make a master list with everything on it – but for the next day, just put 3 things that you must accomplish.
So simple, right?! We can all do 3 things. It might not make sense to you to put less things on your to-do list, but if you do this, then the interruptions probably won’t derail you as quickly. You probably won’t feel as overwhelmed, and you may actually end up doing much more than those 3 things. But if not, it’s okay – at least you can end the day knowing that you did the 3 most important things that day.
- Schedule Open Time. Okay, this is probably another no-brainer. But for me, it’s really important to remember – don’t fill up your schedule so full that there’s no breathing room! Because there WILL be interruptions. Every. Single. Day.
If you don’t schedule some free time on your schedule, then you may feel completely stressed. For me, I like to schedule my day in blocks of time, and I’m honestly still working on what works best now that we’re homeschooling. But I have to keep in mind that there should be some blocks – at least 1/2 hour or an hour – where there is nothing scheduled. That way I can use that time to catch up on things that might have gotten bumped due to interruptions.
If you deal with constant interruptions each day as a stay at home mom, I hope these simple tips may help you in some way. If so, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! And if you think this might help someone else, please share away.
Also, if you have questions or ideas for topics you’d like to see on future blog posts, feel free to email me at esther AT wellnessmomlife.com. I’d love hear from you!