Saturday, August 30, 2008

Make Life Easier

I love the magazine Parenting, it has so many great articles that (if you actually do it) can make a parents life a little easier. When kids come along life gets a little (a lot) crazier.

Julius and I used to go surfing all the time. We would get home from work, stick our boards on the car and go. We would get to the beach take our boards and surf for hours then go home. Now we have to get toys, bathing suits, snacks, tent, umbrella, lots of towels, extra snacks, sippy cups, diaper bag (and make sure it actually has diapers in it) clothes to put on after we shower them off, usually someone screams and pitches a fit before we go, and....well, you get the picture. And that is before we even get to the beach! But we have gotten it down to a science and enjoy going, but there are some things we can do to make our lives easier.

1. SAY "NO". Do you really have to volunteer for everything. People already like you, don't make yourself crazier that you already are! "Yes" is simpler to say, but is it really?

Even simple things like letting your daughter/son choose from their entire closet full of clothes, say NO and only let them choose between two of them. Or alternate foods at dinner time.....say NO and if they don't eat what you've given them....too bad. I have a friend who makes different meals for each of her children (and husband)......I don't think so!

2. ASK FOR HELP. Pretty simple, but so hard. I have kind of forced a friendship at church (Hi Nicole)...I know, I'm pushy what can I say, but I wanted to have someone close that I can go to for help and that I can help as well (it goes both ways, so if you ask for help be ready to give it). We are there if someone needs to drop off kids to go somewhere or just talk. It's kinda nice. Asking for help takes you out of your comfort zone a little, but it is so worth it in the long run.

3. PLAN AHEAD. My ward starts at 8am (I know!). We used to get up and force everything....baths, breakfast, clothes, hair etc. I usually went to church without the spirit, with crying babies and usually missing something from the diaper bag. Now I get everything ready the night before. Church really is so much more pleasant...I am sooooo much more pleasant! My children like me so much better and I don't have feel guilty anymore. Just a little planning is all is takes.

4. LET YOURSELF OFF THE HOOK. Don't compare yourself to all of your friends and try to keep up with whatever they are doing. The grass always seems greener on the other side! Don't be so hard on yourself when your kids are screaming in the store and you have to drag them out kicking and screaming or when you spend all of church out in the hall because you kid is being bad. It's okay, we all have to go through it! You're a good parent....I promise!

5. DO ONE THING AT ONCE. How many of us drive, shop, play with our kids, talk to our friends while thinking of all the hundreds of things we have to do for church, school, work, kids, house, etc. STOP! Just do whatever it is your doing, all the other stuff will be there later. I find writing stuff down helps me to get it out of my head, then I don't have to think about it again until I have to do it. Be in the moment. If you are playing with your kids, just enjoy playing with them. I am not a great mutitasker, so this one is really good for me. I think multitasking is bad for your health!

Taken from the May 2008 Parenting magazine, "I'll try anything!" pg 103-106 (with my added 2 cents!)

What have you done to make your life easier? I want to know!!!!


jen said...

These are good tips. I remember talking to a mom in our ward and she mentioned the saying no thing. There was another woman who came up to talk to her and offered to helpe her out because she noticed that she had "told her little boy no" and "wondered if there was something she could do to fix that".

She told the lady that she was going to be telling her kids "no drugs, no sex, no alcohol, etc." so she wanted them to get used to the word. :)

Life is easier if you laugh about it all. Plus keeping an eternal perspective always works magic.

Love all those videos and pics you keep sending. love you too!

HeatherM said...

Great post! Good ideas. Makenzie & I go rounds almost every day about clothes. I've tried the two choices she cries & cries.But, I don't give in you'd think she learn. I've also tried ever other day. She picks one day I pick the next day. That kind works.
Heres my tip. We moved into a three story donwhouse & added another child to our family this year. Cleaning was taking all my time. So, now I do one thing a day. Today is the up stairs bathrooms. The down side you are cleaning something everyday. Up side you're only cleaning for 30min. a day.

Nicole said...

I'm still coming to grips with the fact that every room in my house isn't going to be clean at the same time. And I need to be forced into things sometimes, my mom says thanks for forcing the friendship, I'm grateful too.

Jenn said...

I really like the "no" thing. I'm not the best at is, "yes' just seems to tumble out of my mouth so easily. But a friend told me to say, " I would so love to help you, but unfortunately it would be absolutely impossible."
I've tried it a few times, and it works! They really can't pry for a 'why.'
Another solution when someone asks for a last minute favor or whatever, is to say "sure, as long as you're willing to watch my kids for an hour so I can work on it in peace." I actually haven't tried this one out, but I wish I had when I got asked to accompany someone last minute.

Jenn said...

P.S. Two things I try to live by:
1. A Nap a Day--even if it's only 15 min. I am so much more pleasant when I'm not tired.

2. A walk with my children--when my kids get cranky, I throw them in the stroller and head outside. That always seems to calm them down, and it's good for me to breathe some fresh air, too.