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3/20/19 — Hey Mama! Before you keep reading, I wanted to pop in and tell you that I have a new FREEBIE that is pretty incredible. If you are struggling to keep up, if you want to be more productive, or if you are feeling stuck in a rut, grab my SAHM schedule! This is the exact schedule that I follow to enjoy my life rather than cleaning up after it-all preloaded into a Trello board for your convenience! Grab it here!

“I just can’t keep up.”

This is a phrase that I am all too familiar with. I spent years living this phrase, and scrambling to escape it! Luckily for you, I have managed the impossible. I am finally in a place where, although it’s not perfect, I CAN keep up with my life.

If you want to make your life easier with kids, then keep reading.

1. Focus on the Needle-Movers

I know how difficult it can be to keep a clean house with kids. It is a never-ending cycle! If you let it, cleaning will be your full-time job. I don’t know about you, but there are a million other things I’d rather be doing.

Instead of scrubbing and following my kids with a broom all day, I have accepted the fact that I will probably NOT have a perfectly clean home in the next 5 years or so. Maybe longer. I’m okay with that.

Instead of striving for perfection, my goal is to hit the “needle-movers” every day. You know, the chores that actually keep things running smoothly.

In my house, I call these the big 4, and they take me about an hour a day to complete. Dishes, laundry, paper, food.

To be fair, when I first started all of this, I did an intensive decluttering to pare down our belongings. I kept what felt manageable to me. Because I really do want a clean house, and less stuff is easier to take care of.

But regardless of your goals, if you just want to keep up, these really are the only chores that affect your day-to-day. Everything else is a bonus.

My, oh my. Freedom feels GOOD!

2. Freezer Cooking

Meal planning is essential if you want to make life easier with kids! I am not exaggerating when I say that my entire house falls apart if I skip meal planning and my freezer stockpile runs out.

Freezer cooking saves me a MASSIVE amount of time on dishes. It also offers variety, saves money because I buy in bulk/from sales, AND it makes it so that my family can pitch in. Sometimes my seven year old “makes” dinner. It’s amazing.

I not only freezer cook our dinners, but I also freeze snacks, adult-sized meals, and mini meals for my kids. I spend one day, two tops per month making easy to grab food for my family.

If you do ONE THING to make life easier with kids, freezer cooking should be it.

3. Batch Work

Any time you can double your output in less time, do it! Batching is one of the most efficient ways to work, and it can be applied to so many parts of life.

For example, when I make snacks for my kids, I do it all at once. Instead of making three recipes throughout the week(my typical number), I strategically plan recipes that are similar and make them all at once. This saves time because:

  • I only need to get recipes out once instead of three times
  • I only need to put the ingredients AWAY once
  • The dishes used for baking only need to be washed once
  • I’m already “in the zone” by the time I get to the second recipe

I batch my work tasks, shopping (once a month now!), cleaning, all cooking, budgeting, and I even batch my planning each week.

Batching can relieve a massive amount of stress if you can’t keep up. Depending on which category we are talking about, batching tasks can take a bit of extra work to get started. You might have to work ahead and carry a full load.

I recommend getting started with one part of life at a time so that you don’t get overwhelmed. Set aside a few extra hours and work ahead where you can. Trust me, it is SO worth the extra effort that it takes to get started.

4. Schedule EVERYTHING

Did you catch where I said that I batch my planning sessions up there? Do you use a planner? If you don’t, you are using way more brain power than you need to on basic parts of your life.

I used to not plan anything. I would wake up every morning, and think “What do I feel like doing today…?”.

Then, more often then not, I would drag myself from my bed to my couch, put on cartoons, and possibly force myself to fold the mountain of laundry that lived next to me.

Before I knew it, it was lunchtime and my kids were starving, so I would grab a box of mac and cheese and gag it down for the 12th time that month.

We would go outside and play, or if I was lucky, we’d all get a nap in. Then my husband would get home and I would frantically figure out which meat I could defrost fast enough for dinner. This cycle lasted for much longer than I’d like to admit.

When I started blogging, the real struggle began. Balancing everything was a nightmare! I knew that I had to do something.

One of many changes that I made was to figure out how to incorporate a planner into my life. After many failed attemtps, I FINALLY found a system that works for me, and I’m telling you, having a plan laid out is incredible.

Every Sunday I sit down and have a planning session with my trusty Trello board. I figure out our meals, what needs to be done on the blog, and what my work focus will be each day.

I also add any extra events, errands, or activities for the week. After Sunday, all I have to do is follow the plan that I laid out for myself.

My brain power is limited. I literally tick off hundreds of small tasks per day. There is no way that I would have the capacity to do ANY of the “extra” stuff if I didn’t take all that crap out of my head to make room.

You should try it. Grab my SAHM Schedule Trello Board. It’s the perfect tool to help you transition from overwhelmed mom to empowered Supermom!

5. Involve Your Kids

I hate to break it to you, but if you can’t keep up, you are probably doing too much. I understand not having much help. My husband works all the time, my family lives far away, and my friends have their own problems.

If this sounds familiar, then one of the best ways to help yourself relieve a bit of pressure is to get your kids involved! Even if they are tiny.

I am a huge believer in my Team Power Clean Method. I do my big 4 every morning, and other than special focus days, we do a 10-15 minute clean-up each night. The psychology behind this works!

Beyond that, I have worked to teach my kids little habits that help keep things nice. It’s not easy! But I have no doubt that starting young makes it easier later on, when it WILL move the needle!

Now, my house isn’t perfect. We usually have handprints on the fridge, and sometimes my kids have messy rooms. But it’s good enough for me, and frankly, I refuse to waste my life focusing on things that don’t get me anywhere. Are you with me?


6. Create Clear Boundaries

Creating clear boundaries is such an important way to simplify your life!

You need to be clear about your expectations of yourself. You and your husband need to be clear about each others expectations and responsibilities, and your kids need to be in the loop as well!

If you are feeling like you can’t keep up, and you need to make life easier, it is likely that you are trying to do it alone, and you are trying to do too much.

Now, I understand that there are ALWAYS outside circumstances. In my house, I do a large portion of the work…like almost all of it 98% of the time. When Chris is home, it is our time together as a family, which means that I accept this burden.

But, Chris has also accepted that I am the one the gets to prioritize what get done, and if he has a problem with my schedule, he needs to step in and help.

For example, if he thinks that our floors need to be mopped, he doesn’t get to tell me so. He can either step up, or get over accept it.

This has been such a HUGE mindset shift for both of us. It wasn’t always this way, and I catch myself reverting every once in a while.

I used to basically kill myself trying to make everything perfect because I’m a stay at home mom and that’s my “job”. Keep a perfectly clean house, raise perfect kids, cook-from-scratch meals every night, only spend money on essentials, never go to bed with dishes in the sink, always greet my husband at the door. And fail miserably almost every night.

It was this internal pressure making me feel like I needed to do MORE to contribute. Like I wasn’t sacrificing enough. I wasn’t good enough where I was.

Since this was a pressure that I had put on myself, I never got the outward approval from Chris that I needed to adapt to the housewife mentality. Instead, it led to burnout and depression.

Of course, adapting to having an IDGAF wife has been different for Chris. But, although I can see the disappointment and frustration in his face sometimes, I can also see the difference that feeling ALIVE has made for our relationship.

Communicating our needs ahead of time has been critical to make this work. When I fill out my plan for the week, I ask Chris what he needs from me that week. We plan our time together, errands, everything.

By setting clear boundaries for myself and for Chris, we have managed to get on the same page and make life easier, together.

Make Life Easier With Kids

When you can’t keep up with life, and you feel like you are drowning, it’s time to make a change. Nothing is going to make life easier unless you take action!

You are in control of your days. Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, and months turn into years. If you aren’t careful, you’ll miss out on a whole lot of life.

Grab the SAHM Schedule Trello Template and start shifting into a more organized and easier to manage lifestyle.

Would you do me a favor and share this post? It’s my goal to help every mama that I can, but I need your help!

Save it to your favorite motherhood board on Pinterest here. Thank you!

Are you constantly looking for ways to make life easier with kids? Does it feel like you just can't keep up with housework, working from home, and your family? Try these 6 tips to go from an overwhelmed mom to Supermom in no time! #sahm #wahm #simplify

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