As I sit in my car at the beach today I notice a flock of seagulls passing by.
If you ever watch birds flying in a flock you will notice the beautiful synchronicity they have, kind of like synchronized swimmers. Everything just flows at exactly the right time and watching it for a few seconds I actually get a sense of peace wash over me.
(Ok, so you are probably wondering where this story is going … hang in there!)
As you observe this beautiful flock you notice in the distance one of the birds has lost it’s way and is flying all over the place darting from one direction to the next and in a panic!
Throughout my journey of growing up or life as we call it, I believe at times I have been that panicked bird; lost, looking unbalanced and out of synchrony.
Which brings me to the question; “how as a busy working mum do I manage to keep all in check?”
I would like to share with you a few tips on what I do that helps me and my family to have Synchroncity in our home. (By the way we are human and this does not always go to plan, but these are the things I start doing if the wheels start falling of this Mumma’s wagon! )
1.Understand house work will always be there day in and day out.
You are not a bad mother, wife or partner if you cant get all this shit sorted! (Sorry for the language but lets face it that’s what we are thinking). Sometimes it just has to be left so more important things can be completed- I am Giving YOU (YES YOU!) permission to stop feeling guilty! Go and have a cup of tea and a five second breather. Please!!
2. Slow down!!
This is typically something I struggle with. I am full-speed-ahead and, as my best friend and I call it, driving in 5th gear (you get the picture). I now try and put myself first and give myself time.
I find if I have something on with the kids early in the morning then I try and get up before they do. Yup that means getting my butt out of bed between 5-6am so I can shower before my little love bugs start calling me. I then pack the snacks, car etc., either that morning or the night before.
3. Have a diary to write all your to do’s in and cross them off when they are complete.
I use a Franklin Covey Diary which goes hand in hand with reading the book “The 7 Steps to Highly Effective People” and if you have multiple employees, freelancers ect working for you, I find a good way to communicate is using Asana ( a great tip from my VA).
This is an area I have had to teach myself a lot in. This does not come easily or natural to me like it does with some of you.
Don’t put too much on your list or it becomes overwhelming. Start slowly and start somewhere – it is amazing at how much you start getting done just by actually starting!
4. Be sure to have clear communication within your family by using a Family calendar or Whiteboard so you can write all the events you have on for the month.
Check this every few weeks and update when necessary.
Also don’t be afraid to say No! Sometimes we over extend ourselves and plan too much in one week- this leads to exhaustion.
Cross check with your partner or husband and write what he also has on so you can plan ahead. Be sure to have mum and dad time scheduled in there and get a babysitter or family member to look after little ones once a month so you can have Date night. Connection between you and your partner is so important and if that starts breaking down so does the synchronicity within the family unit, I find.
Also be sure to have YOU time! Mums are so bad at this and I am guilty of this too. I have started having me time and Wow! It really does change your world. It doesn’t have to be hours on end but even if you allow yourself to go and have a coffee/smoothie on your own while dad or a family member helps out so you can have a break. It is so important for a mum’s emotional well being.
5. Sticking to routine with Kids.
Ok, sometimes this rule can be broken for us, but generally we try and stick to it. Most days I try and get dinner on at 4.30pm so it is well and truly ready by 5.30pm. Do before or after dinner depending on how tired they seem. I aim to do this between 5-5.30pm. Kids bedtime routine is between 6.30-7.30pm.
We switch off from mobile phone interaction and or emails, phone calls between these times and make it all about the kids. It’s their wind down time and the more I am fully present with them the less chaos we have around this time of night. I have also noticed they don’t play up as much and seem to be more cooperative when we make this a practice in the home.
Bedtime routines are a combined effort most of the time in our house. I find having 4 hands works better than 2 and things go much more smoothly and kids go to bed on time. I find if dad is watching the tv whilst I am putting our 3.5yr old to bed he doesn’t settle and wants to get up a million times.
This brings me to another point – No 6pm News on for the kids to watch. You may ask why since they are so small but I have a number of reasons why. We all know they are little sponges so why let them soak in all the negative violence we hear constantly on the news? They have their whole lives ahead for managing that and the effects it can have on them psychologically. I will be talking with some experts in this area and sharing with you some valuable information regarding this and much more.
6. Mum and dad Time
If we haven’t eaten dinner with the kids we usually eat now then we both spend 1-2hrs on our businesses most nights (but not every night).
7. Then it’s pretty much bed time.
I try and make it a rule of my own that I get to bed before 11pm. Even this is too late when you have little kids and I find if I do a week of late nights and I am up until 12.30 it always bites me in the bum! I would not recommend it and you end up getting run down. Try and work out how you can manage time better in other parts of the day.
I also notice that when I am tired the kids are whiney & grissley and drive me nuts. I really do believe kids are a reflection of exactly how we are feeling and often this keeps me in check.
When I notice this I ask myself “what is it that’s going on for me?” Usually it will be something like frustration with work, or frustration at feeling like I don’t have enough time in the day to achieve what I had in mind and the list could go on.
It is always easy to blame someone else but sometimes looking within is where the answer lies. Which is great news because we can fix that with the right resources or friends.
8. Eating well.
I have read a fair few books on this topic and it interests me so much!
I am reading a book at the moment called “The Great Life Diet”. It’s a bit of a different read but Dr Waxman explains how the packaged foods we eat can greatly impact our Ying and Yang and throw it out of balance, therefore feeling unbalanced, be more inclined to have feelings of depression. I will write another blog about this in more detail and share with you some of the things I have found since I was forced to change my diet two years ago.
Just remember: add green to everything if you can and if you can have access to organic foods then try your best. Even though it may feel like it isn’t doing anything, research shows it actually plays a huge role on our health and well being. We also want a healthy future for our little ones and that means keeping them healthy too.
9. Meditation or what I like to call it is “ME TIME”!
Find a place within your home (mine is the bathroom or bedroom). This is what I call my meditation.
To be honest the more I think about the word meditation the more I find reasons on how I have not enough time to do it. I also find if I say I am meditating then the whole time through my meditation I think about how I should be doing it and “oh its not working,” “oh great I’m thinking about something again”, “shit I forgot to put that load of washing out”, “write back to an email” and the list goes on.
So for my brain to be ok with it I now just have 15-20mins ME TIME! I lock myself in the bathroom when the kids have gone to bed and put my earphones in and will listen to guided meditaions that are available from Oprah & Deepak. Keep an eye out as they often do a 21 day free meditation experience and it is well worth giving it a go!
If I am not in the mood to listen to anything I will just sit and focus on my breathing (this helps keep me focused on not thinking about a million things).
If meditation is not your thing then try the next best thing and that is a nice walk on your own and just take in all your surroundings; trees, birds, the sky, anything that is to do with nature. I find this just as good sometimes.
Get your self a journal, write in it daily and get everything you are thinking about out in this journal. Be mindful of what thoughts keep popping up. Are these thoughts supporting you or disempowering you?
Journalling is a great way to stay in check with how you are feeling and I believe if you start your day journaling and reminding yourself what you are grateful or happy or what it is you love then your day can only get better.
You can get great journals or notebooks from Office works, Kmart, David Jones and I am sure if you google it you will find some beautiful ones available. Two of my favourite stores on the Mornington Peninsula that have beautiful journals are page 8 and Zen Living.
It’s been lovely to be able to share with you some of my tips and thoughts on this topic. Feel free to pop over to our facebook page and comment. We would love to hear your feedback. If there is anything you would love me talk about let me know.
Thank you beautiful ladies, I hope you all have a wonderful day!
Much love Jess xxx