Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, work-from-home mom, or working mom, you are an awesome mom. You know what it’s like to give 100% while running on two cups of coffee and three hours of sleep. If you’re like many other moms, you do most—if not all—of the household chores: shopping, cleaning, cooking, laundry, and more.
With all the love you give your children, the time you commit to sustaining your family, and the hard-work you put into your job, you’re already successful. However, there are twelve simple steps you can practice in 2017 to become the best, most successful version of yourself as a parent:
Step 1: Buy a Planner
Oftentimes, stress is a direct result of not being organized. As moms, we have a million things to do every day: doctor’s appointments, recitals, parent-teacher conferences, and the list goes on. Planners are a cheap and easy way to jot down when you need to do certain tasks so that you can ultimately feel more prepared and less stressed!
Step 2: Streamline Shopping
Think about how many times a week you run to the grocery store. If it’s more than once, it’s too many times. Set a date once a week to buy what you need for your family, and see how much more time you’ll have! Free, printable grocery planners with detailed lists can be found on Pintrest.
Step 3: Manage Your Time
There is a time for everything from sleeping to waking and everything in between. Set yourself up for success by managing your time better. Simple actions include setting your clothes out for the next day so that you’re not tearing through your closet at 6 am; setting specific days that you complete household tasks like laundry; leaving your phone in the kitchen at night so you’re not tempted to browse the internet for 30 minutes before bed.
Step 4: Get Some Rest
Speaking of bed, it is important that you get adequate rest if you want to be a successful parent. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night to perform at their best. Given that you don’t have a newborn who needs feeding every two hours or so, make sure that you’re getting to bed early enough, even if that means recording your favorite t.v. show to watch at a later time.
Step 5: Consider your Environment
As a mom, it’s hard to keep your house totally clean all the time. And, believe it or not, you will miss all the toys scattered across the living-room when your kiddos grow up. However, one habit of highly successful people is having a clean and clear environment in which to live. Try to wake up to a clean house everyday by involving your kiddos in “pick-up time” before they go to bed. Enlist your hubby in cleaning the kitchen if you cooked, or vice-versa. And if your in a position to do so, hire some help once or twice a month. It will save you piece of mind.
Step 6: Ask for Help
There is no shame in asking for help. Whether you stay at home with the kids or you work a 9-5, at some point in your mommy career you will need help, especially when your kids are little. Ask grandma to come over for a few days a week to entertain the kiddos while you get some chores done. See if your neighbor wouldn’t mind taking your kids for a few hours and you could take theirs for a few hours. Or, if your hubby isn’t helping out as much as you’d like, be specific and say so! Bottom line, don’t let the stress put you in the hospital.
Step 7: Learn to Say “No”
There is also no shame in saying “no.” Simply put, if someone gets offended when you say “no,” they probably aren’t a very good person to have in your life. Put your family and yourself first and learn to say that simple word; when you do, you’ll be amazed at the freedom it offers.
Step 8: Laugh out Loud
A large part of being a successful parent is learning to laugh. It’s okay if your little one wants to dress themselves in rubber-boots and a tutu. It’s okay when your toddler makes a mess and has a face-full of spaghetti sauce. It’s even okay if your teenager accidentally runs into the mailbox when learning to drive. These are memories in the making, and they will be fonder if you can laugh about it in the moment.
Step 9: Take Time for You
This could be the most important step. If you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re not going to be very good at taking care of others. Do the things that you do for your kids for yourself, too: get a haircut, buy a new outfit, eat healthfully, go out with friends. It’s okay! People will survive if you are not available for an hour or two. Sit back and enjoy that glass of wine you e been missing.
Step 10: Don’t Forget Your Spouse
Your kids are more attuned than you know to your relationship with your spouse. If you don’t make time for the things you did before kids—date night, mini-vacations, cuddling—your relationship is going to slowly but surely fall apart. Set a once-a-month date night, and see how good it is for your love life—and your sanity!
Step 11: Love your Kiddos
Don’t get so busy that you forget to love on your kids. Take in those sweet moments when your little one wants to cuddle on the couch and watch Frozen for the millionth time. Spend five minutes before bed reading to your kids. Ask them how their day was during dinner. Put your phone down and play with them.
Step 12: Eliminate the Guilt
Last, but not least, don’t be so hard on yourself. Celebrate the small victories of success and don’t think your progress is derailed from one bad day. Remind yourself that you are a successful person and mother, and don’t let that negative voice in your head tell you otherwise!
Feel free to share these steps for success with others; your mommy-friends will thank you for it!