I get asked a lot by fellow mamas how my family and house seems to always stay tidy. My secret?… It doesn’t!! I can literally be the worst at having my life together. When I shoot photos in my home to post on Instagram I love the artistic challenge of styling that space. As part of that I make sure the area where I’m styling my shot is beautiful and clean. I clear the clutter, I arrange the furniture and fluff the pillows. You guys, this is SO fun for my creative brain! It’s similar to those who love to frost & decorate a beautiful cake or design a detailed scrapbook page.
PLEASE don’t mistake my love for styling shoots to equate a perfect home. None of us on Instagram have perfect homes, kids, or lives. We know this, right? It may be easy to forget when you’re neck-deep in laundry and dirty dishes. My house certainly isn’t picture-perfect sparkly all, or even most of the time!
BUT I’ve learned a few tips over the years to help make my life feel more organized and in order.
- AVOID MULTI-TASKING. YES! I’ve found that the more I multi-task by beginning lots of projects then the less likely I am to finish them. Once I begin a project I do my best to see it through to the end. Same goes for the running a household and keeping the kitchen clean. I try to teach the kids that we aren’t done getting dressed in the morning until all of their dirty clothes are put away. We aren’t done with dinner until the dishes are put in to the dishwater. See what I mean? Finish what you start, and that might mean multi-tasking a whole lot less.
- ORDER GROCERIES & DIAPERS ONLINE.Walmart’s Online Grocery Pickup: There’s no price mark-up. I save time & money with free pickup. Walmart’s lowest price – If prices in store decrease between the time an order is placed and when it’s picked up, customers will pay the lower amount on the day of pickup.
- MY DIET TIPS: I really don’t follow any particular diet. My best advice is that if you don’t enjoy the foods in your healthy diet, it will never last. So don’t waste your time. I’ve found healthy foods that I legitimately love to eat. I never do any fad diets, sugarless months, etc. If I’m feeling too deprived then I’ll totally binge eat. I don’t count calories since I have a decent understanding of portion sizes and the caloric content of most foods. EAT PROTEIN IN EVERY MEAL. Add it to your soups and salads. Swap out regular yogurt for greek. Add protein powder to your smoothies and shakes. DON’T DRINK YOUR CALORIES. Considering how much I LOVE to eat food, I have a really hard time drinking sugar-laden beverages. I also don’t drink alcohol. I usually opt for a protein shake over a fruit smoothie. Smoothies have SO much sugar and so little of the awesome fiber or protein. I mean, just give me an ice cream shake instead 😉 EAT EVERY FEW HOURS. From the moment I wake until right before I head to bed I’m eating every 2-3 hours. If I wait too long then I feel ravenous and tend to grab the most convenient junk food. Prep your purse and fridge with easy to eat snacks in-between your meals. MINIMIZE EATING OUT. Usually I only eat out at a restaurant for a date night with my hubs once a week. And if I do hit up McD’s or Chic-fil-A for lunch with the kids, then I’ll try to have a regular meal at home so I’m less inclined to splurge too hard on a large fry…I’ll keep it to a small fry 🙂. 80/20 RULE. I try to eat healthy at least 80% of the time so I can splurge 20% of the time. This has proven to be the best “diet” for me since the balance is easily maintainable.
- BABY ROUTINE. There are 2 main things that I focused on for the first 2 months with having a newborn. The first and most important thing is to keep the baby up for a full feeding. The second is to have a consistent schedule of WAKE/EAT/PLAY/SLEEP. SO, sleep training. I hate it. I don’t enjoy this part of rearing children. But looking back, reading On Becoming Babywise (a HUGE thanks to my sister-in-law Brittany) during my first pregnancy was the best thing I could have done. I also read through many, many articles on scheduling and I took everything I learned and adapted it to best fit each child and our family situation at the time. Some of my babies have been easier to adjust to a routine than others but the schedule has helped all of them become more predictable and happier while awake and eventually sleeping through the night. (I haven’t met a mom who’s read and fully implemented a schedule that has not had the exact same success! So no, I didn’t just get lucky with 4 great sleepers. Wouldn’t that have been dreamy 😉 ). For my family, the sacrifice of sleep training and having a consistent routine created a much happier and predictable lifestyle for everyone. I overshare on this post of How To Get Your Babycakes Sleeping 8 hours By 8 Weeks . It’s still my #1 most read blog post!
- CHORES: PLAN AHEAD- The worst part of doing the laundry for me is feeling like there are way too many more important things I could be doing. And all of them must be more fun, too. If I’m rushing to get the laundry done when I have something more exciting to do then I’ll hate the laundry even more. Planning ahead always takes care of this problem. When I choose a day that I know I’ll be home relaxing, especially during the kid’s nap time while I sit and watch some tv, then I don’t feel like I’m wasting time folding laundry. No other tips can make laundry more fun when you’d rather be doing something else on a busy day!
- SQUEEZE IN EXERCISE. Sticking with an exercise routine can be a struggle for anyone. I think most people can relate to feeling that after a day full of appointments, household chores, school and work, maintaining friendships & spouse dates, church responsibilities, and keeping an entire slew of little kids entertained & loved… what possible time is left in the day?! The idea of squeezing in a heart-pumping workout seems nearly impossible. Here’s my favorite motivators that have helped me stay commitment of being healthy with such little time to spare. 1. PLAN THE WEEK OUT ON PAPER 2.MAKE IT A FRIEND MEETUP 3. FIND WORKOUT CLOTHES YOU LOVE AND CAN FEEL CONFIDENT WEARING 4. EAT A HEALTHY BREAKFAST 5. DRINK WATER FIRST 6. TRY GROUP FITNESS 7. CREATE A PLAYLIST YOU CAN JAM TO 8. INCLUDE YOUR KIDS 9. REMEMBER WHY YOU STARTED. Dig deep down and decide what your number 1 reason for committing to stay active really is. It could be to boost your mental clarity and energy, sleep better, build strong bones, look good and feel good, maintain a healthy body fat percentage, or to simply feel strong and push through the goals you set. If you can nail down exactly what your reason is for committing to exercise then you won’t struggle to do it when you ask yourself , “Is exercising really worth it since I ‘m low on time?”. This is an investment into your health and happiness and nothing should consistently drown it out.
- TEETHING BABY. 1. FROZEN WASH RAG.One of my readers on Instagram gave me this suggestion and I use it all the time. When my little one is frustrated with teething I’ll give her a damp frozen wash cloth and she’ll chew it up! You can spice it up by dipping it in apple or white grape juice and then freeze it. A little taste of sweetness will surely make a fussy baby happy. 2. DRAW A BATH.It’s the perfect thing to calm her mood and distract her from the pain. I’ll toss in her favorite bath toys and let the bubbles foam in her bath tub. The warm water sensations always seem to feel nice on her body. 3. SLIP HER IN A CARRIER + GO FOR A WALK. This always wins. Always. The fresh air gives us both exactly what we need. Even when it’s cold outside, I’ll bundle both of us up and she just loves it! My favorite 2 carriers since her birth is THIS WRAP and THIS CARRIER. Hands down, my 2 favorites.
- “10 THINGS” RULE. Every time you walk into the kitchen, find 10 things to put away. Whether that’s putting all the dirty dishes into the sink or unloading half of the dishwasher, leave it more clean than how it was before you came in. It takes maybe 2 minutes to put away 10 things. What a small price for a big payoff. The minimal pick-ups add up throughout the day, trust me! By the end of the night when the kids have gone to bed, I’ll spend 20 minutes finishing the dishes from dinner and doing the final wipe down. This rule also works for getting the kids to keep their play room somewhat put together.
- VALUE YOURSELF. Treat yourself with respect and avoid criticism. What is your inner voice saying? Are you living in the past and recounting your mistakes? Or are you living in the future by surrounding yourself with doubts and fears? Choose to take moments each day to listen to your inner voice and what thoughts you’re choosing to listen to. When you find yourself drowning in fearful + critical thoughts, refuse to indulge. You have full power! Take time each day to remind yourself the things you admire about YOU. Yes, you. No one can take care of you the way you can. No one can notice all of your daily efforts like you do. Take notice and value yourself enough to offer grace and appreciation for everything you are.
Thank you Pampers Pure & Walmart for partnering with me on this post! As always, all opinions are my own. And thank YOU for supporting the brands that help my blog and sweet family.