Two skills that can be used successfully as life hacks to save a busy mom’s life, when utilized well.
Guest Post by Pat Fenner of Mom’s Morning Coffee
Ugh. You know the feeling. The alarm clock rings at Oh:TooEarly and immediately your mind is flooded with the day’s “ToDo” list:
- Household chores
- Childcare (double this if you have preschoolers or babies!)
- Get the kids to day care or school
- Get to the office
- Keep track of afterschool activities for the kids
- Make supper (and maybe shop for it?) and clean up
- Prepare for tomorrow
Even if you work from home, we all know the “lure” of the immediate:
- Throw in a load of laundry, which leads to …
- Straighten out the laundry room, which leads to …
- Hang up just a few shirts, which leads to …
- Straighten out the bedroom, which leads to …
Are you starting to see a pattern?
And all of a sudden, “Holy smokes! It’s almost lunchtime and I haven’t even checked my email!”
Don’t get smug if you’re not gainfully employed, either. Being a SAHM does not exempt you from this situation. You may be someone’s room mother, or a regular “assistant” to the youth pastor or scout leader.
Or maybe you homeschool. If that’s the case, do I really need to describe your day?!
But there are two skills I’ve discovered over the years that can be used successfully as life hacks, when utilized well. They’re not beyond anyone’s ability to learn, but using them really well may take years of practice, at least in my experience. So you’d be doing yourself a favor to get started using them ASAP!
I believe the word “networking” gets a bad rap sometimes. Lots of my friends are women who are not employed outside the home and when I use this term in conversation with them I get snickers. Or blank stares. Or a yawn or two. Because certainly, networking doesn’t relate to their lives, right? Wrong!
Networking is simply defined as “a group or system of interconnected people or things.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t see anything there that implies it’s only a business term!
Healthy moms network all the time. Frazzled moms would do well to learn the skill.
I’ve been on both sides of the fence, and I tell you there’s nothing more freeing than knowing that you have someone reliable and competent whom you can call on in a pinch.
When I first started applying the concept to my life as a mom, I admit I felt a bit inadequate. To me I was saying to the world “Sorry, I just can’t cut it. I need help to carry out whatever it is I’m supposed to be doing…” I felt incompetent; I didn’t feel comfortable; it didn’t feel good at all.
Until I realized that the network of women I had built up over the years had become a network of friends. Friends who all encouraged and built each other up!
Networking, both inside and outside your home, will enable you to develop the next vital skill.
Image by Pat Fenner
There are as many ways to delegate as there are activities to delegate! One thing that any mother will agree on is just how many activities around the home she must manage. And an essential characteristic of a good manager is to be able to delegate varied activities on many different levels.
While in most cases there may be a bit of time involved in parceling out your job responsibilities, it’s worth it down the road. Keep in mind what skills or abilities are required, and take the time to complete whatever training or teaching may be necessary.
Most times your children can do much more than you give them credit for. And working together fosters not only their skills but a family team spirit. My daughter has even considered time we work together as quality time!
It may require a change in your standards, but consider this: Which is more important: getting the job done to your satisfaction, or developing both your child’s skill level and his or her relationship with you?
Outside the home
If delegating outside your home, however, make sure you’re being fair and reasonable. There’s a big difference between say, asking your Sunday School co-teacher to present the lesson this week or asking her to pick up the kids after soccer practice. Make sure the person is appropriate for the job.
And when using the delegation technique in these instances, also remember it is not only appropriate but recommended that you return the assistance at some point!
So there you have it! Working on strengthening these two skills in your life will not only help you find a healthy balance in life, but also improve the quality of life for those you live with.