DEFINITIONS

GUILT: Feeling responsible or regretful for a perceived offense, real or imagined.

STRESS: A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.

ASK YOURSELF these questions before we begin.

1. Are you human?

2. Do humans make mistakes?

3. Are do-overs allowed in life?

4. Can you apologize?

5. Can you be pro-active the next time to avoid the mistake or problem?

HERE’S THE REALITY

Moms are faced with a lot of challenges, time constraints, responsibilities, decisions, schedules and let’s not forget that really BIG job of molding a successful adult out of a small child. It seems like Mission Impossible, but truthfully it’s the hardest job you’ll ever love. In addition, the most important job you will ever do.

SO MANY THINGS, SO LITTLE TIME

In your haste to get out the door, you forget your child’s lunch money or forget the diaper bag or forget to brush your child’s teeth or, or, or. Your first thought might have been any one of these. “What kind of Mother am I? How could I have forgotten to do this?” “What am I doing?” “What is wrong with me?” “What ever made me think I could be SuperMom?” “I’m losing my mind!”

YOU’RE NOT ALONE

We have all gone through this at one time or another and probably more often than we would like to remember. Stuff happens, appointments get missed, things get forgotten, that’s life! I know what you’re going to say, “But this is my daily struggle. When I’m not rushing around and stressing out, I’m feeling guilty for rushing around, stressing out my kids and making everyone’s life miserable. What’s a Mother to do?”

START HERE

First off, Calm Down! That’s right, calm it down and relax. Secondly, stop feeling guilty over being human. Is your guilt helping you or helping your stress? Nooooo! So let’s look at this situation calmly and rationally and examine how we can become part of the solution instead of heading up the problem. Becoming pro-active will help you avoid the chaos, reduce the stress and drop the guilt.

JUMP START YOUR DAY THE PRO-ACTIVE WAY

1. WAKE UP at least ½ hour before your kids do to allow some ME time and some calm prep time.

2. WAKE YOUR KIDS UP at least one hour before they have to leave to allow them to wake up, get moving, have a good breakfast and not feel like they are constantly being rushed out the door.

3. The NIGHT BEFORE: Set out YOUR clothes, have your kids set out THEIR clothes if old enough, otherwise you do it. Work together to prepare lunch boxes. Pack diaper bags, backpacks, briefcases, equipment, whatever is heading out the door with you in the morning.

4. Set up a BOX or crate near the door to put all supplies and bags in that you will be taking with you in the morning.

5. Prepare GRAB-N-GO FOOD in your fridge for snacks and meals, such as hard boiled eggs, celery, carrots, grapes, oranges, etc. Make your own trail mix: seeds, nuts, dried fruit and put it in baggies for a healthy, energizing snack that everyone can eat in the car. Prepare foods for the car that won’t go bad with the change of temperature.

6. Set ALARMS in your phone for all of your appointments. (My kids are always laughing at all the alarms that go off in my phone, but I never miss an appointment.)

7. Create a realistic DAILY SCHEDULE that is all-inclusive. Don’t forget meals, drive times from one place to another, appointments, school, family time, church, homework, relaxation, bedtimes. Whatever you do in a day should be on this schedule, this avoids overlapping times and adding stress.

8. Don’t OVER-SCHEDULE you or your kids. This is a huge cause of added stress for all of you. We all need down time.

GET STARTED: THE SOONER, THE BETTER

Put all of this into play for your day and there won’t be time for guilt. Your life will calm down and stress will be at a minimum or gone. If a mistake happens, apologize if needed, be authentic with your kids about why it happened, remind them we are all human and brainstorm together different ways to make it go smoother the next time.

REMEMBER

The family that empowers each other and works together, feels motivated, respected, happy and loved. Where’s the guilt and stress? Well, it may show its face once in a while, but now you have the tools to send it on its way. You’re a MOM, the single most important job in the world, so get out there do your thing and shine! HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!

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