I found this image on Pinterest, and I laughed!
Do you want a clean house and your sanity? Then forget having happy kids. Happy kids and a clean house? There goes your sanity. Your sanity and happy kids? No clean house for you (because, obviously, happy kids play and throw things all over the place).
Of course, we need to have all of these things at some point or another, but achieving them all at the same time can seem like an impossible task.
Here are some of the things I’ve found that help me:
1. Write it down- I think you’ll feel much more likely to do something if you’ve written it down. Even at work, I like having to-do lists and I like checking things off my list. It makes you more accountable.
This helps because it gives you something you can actually see. And then when you accomplish the things on your list, whether it is one thing or five things, you feel good, which is positive reinforcement and you are more likely to keep doing it.
2. Take advantage of nap time- Sometimes, when your kids fall asleep, you want to quickly catch up on things you couldn’t do when they were awake. Sometimes, you feel like checking your Instagram/Facebook feed to see posts you’ve missed, and the next thing you know, your kids are waking up and you’re feeling stressed out again. However, if you set a limit for yourself, like a certain amount of time browsing or watching movies, and then get up and do some of the pressing things you need to do (e.g cleaning), you’d likely get them done a little faster because you have regained a little piece of your sanity.
3. Make a Play Area for the children- If your living room is big enough, you can create a play area and ensure your children don’t play beyond their area. This will allow you to:
- Focus on other things while they are playing.
When they are done playing, you have a smaller space to clean (compared to if you what you would face if you allowed them turn the whole house upside down).
4. Accept offers for help This one is really hard for some of us. I don’t like admitting that I can’t do it all myself. But let’s stop and think for a minute. How many times has someone offered to help you, and you could really use it, but you brush it off and tell them you’ll be fine? I would guess that everyone has done this at some point and regretted not letting someone, who is truly willing, help out. So the next time someone offers to help you, whether it’s by watching your kids for an hour while you run to the market or get busy, accept the offer!
5. Ask for help Sometimes we can’t wait for someone to offer help, so instead, we need to ask for it. Just like accepting offers for help, it might be a little uncomfortable to ask someone for the help you need. A couple of options to consider:
- You can get a nanny to take care of the kids, or a help to take care of the house. With this, you can get out of the house and run errands without your ‘little people’ tagging along.
- You can work out a system with friends/family who stay around your neighborhood. ”You watch my kids for an hour, I’ll watch yours for an hour on another day.” Win, win!
6. Find what motivates you- Ask yourself: What will motivate you? What will help you move forward through the day? Your motivating factor might be different from day to day. It could be music, cold water, anything. Think about what motivates you and use it to your advantage.
While I am far from perfect at doing these things all the time, I’ve found that when I do, my sanity is intact, and I try to keep my kids happy, while the house looks less messy (at least for a little while!).
What do you do to help keep balance in your life?