Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you make a purchase. You can read our full disclosure here.
Motherhood… so often we find ourselves overwhelmed. We may even feel like underpaid, under-appreciated, indentured servants at times.
Motherhood is messy and full of busy seasons that keep us on our toes. It can be stressful, isolating, and so overwhelming.
Raising small humans to grow up and be bright, happy, and successful members of society is no small feat. And it’s a feat that we often feel rests solely on our own shoulders.
Between the business of raising littles coupled with the demands of everyday life we often find ourselves lost. And procrastinating. Scrolling through the perfect social media feeds, just mindlessly scrolling instead of doing whatever task currently calls our attention.
I know I am guilty of it. And I’m guilty of putting things on my plate that don’t truly matter. The kids aren’t going to remember the time mom did the dishes after lunch. Or moved the laundry to the dryer after school. They’re going to remember the moments we spent together.
As a society, we’ve become so detached. Despite social media and the promise of connection at our fingertips, we’ve found less socialization, less attachment to the people in our lives and more comparison of the people outside of it.
And then we wind up just going through the motions of day to day motherhood. It’s monotonous, it’s overwhelming, and it’s downright exhausting.
But, instead of getting caught in the comparison trap and succumbing to martyr syndrome, I’ve found that there’s a better, easier way. I was tired of being downtrodden with guilt that I wasn’t doing enough with my kids. I was exhausted from all the hats I was trying to wear. From the everyday duties of everyday motherhood. It was time for a change.
Instead of feeling like a guilt-ridden indentured servant, I took charge of my time, my life and my motherhood and started living with intentionality.
And it’s been amazing. Perfect? Absolutely not. It’s all about progress, never perfection. Nobody’s perfect, mama. No one.
But, I’ve found ways to be more present and make motherhood less like a chore and more like what I had envisioned it to be.
10 Ways to Be More Present and Make Motherhood Easier
1. Exercise often.
Wait… adding to the list of things to do is going to help?? How?? Yep. It is. I have been intentionally exercising a minimum of 5 days a week for about two and a half months. And the change has been amazing.
There are tons of studies on how exercise impacts us in a positive way. Not only by helping us lose excess weight and become more physically fit, but the mental and emotional effects. Exercise is a self-care must for everyone, but especially mothers.
It doesn’t matter what you do. Something as simple as a walk in the morning to a more involved exercise routine like cardio or strength training. Get that intentional movement into your day. You’ll be so thankful you did.
If I get up and exercise in the morning, I spend my day energized, happy, and with a much more positive attitude. Which is the best thing ever.
2. Wake up before your kids.
I’m not a morning person. But, if I sleep in and my kids wake me wondering where breakfast is, our day starts off harried and I’m generally in a bad mood.
Getting up before your kids is paramount to a simpler motherhood. It gives me time to wake up, get some tasks tackled (exercise, anyone?), and have some intentional quiet time before the demands of being a mom begin.
There are seasons where this is absolutely not a possibility. When my toddler was a baby, my older kids waking me asking for breakfast was the norm. And at the end of that pregnancy, same thing. And when we were recently under a lot of emotional stress? I wasn’t waking up earlier than them, either.
But, if you can and you’re in a season of motherhood where it’s a possibility it’s a total game changer, I promise.
3. Create a daily rhythm.
I’m a pretty laid back mom and I don’t stick to a specific schedule for most things. If our history lesson goes over because the kids are interested in what we were discussing, that’s okay. If our toddler is too engrossed in play to have lunch and go down for a nap at a specific time, that’s okay, too.
But, I do have a rhythm to our days. Things that I just do automatically that help me tackle tasks that used to overwhelm me. For example, the dishwasher is unloaded before breakfast begins. And we put our breakfast dishes into the dishwasher after breakfast, and after lunch. And the floor gets swept. I start a load of laundry first thing in the morning and do one a day.
Instead of allowing these tasks to pile up and become an overwhelming disaster at the end of the day when I’m exhausted, I tackle them as they happen.
Maybe setting an alarm to remind you that it’s snack time will help keep the kids from asking for food every five minutes. Or, making your to-do list. I do this with life and school. School tasks that must be completed (reading, math, writing, etc) go at the top of the list and we tackle those first, then the rest is more loosely scheduled so that we can explore into something further if we are interested.
I list my most pressing tasks at the top of my to-do list and tackle those first thing. All of these rhythms help me stay sane and allow me to know what absolutely has to be accomplished and what can be put off until another time.
4. Involve your kids in your daily routine.
I don’t know about you, but I used to think that dish washing, laundry folding, vacuuming, and other household tasks were mommy jobs. Especially when my older two were younger. But, I’ve found that we get a lot more done and it’s a lot more fun if I involve them, even my toddler.
After all, these children are going to grow up and have homes of their own one day. I don’t want them to view daily household tasks in a poor light, that just makes us all procrastinate.
We do dishes together, or unload/load the dishwasher together. Everyone has a task if we are washing (wash, dry, put away), and unloading/loading is just a grab and go game that involves music. For laundry, even my toddler will help me move things to the dryer or pull them out of the basket to fold. We can all run around the house getting some extra movement in our day to race and see who can put things up the quickest.
Turn the music up and dance with them while you vacuum. Or, get out dusters and allow them to help while you all dance and dust to the beat of the music.
You can even play cleanup drills and make it fun.
Housework can be daunting, especially when you buy into perfectionism and try to do it all yourself. Make it fun and let your kids see you enjoying yourself so that they can learn and enjoy time with you and still get stuff done.
5. Put away your phone.
It’s been less than a decade since smartphones became popular. Hard to believe, isn’t it? My oldest is 9, so when she was born smartphones weren’t a well-known, everyone has one, device. She was 2 before they really hit the ground running. Crazy….
And in that 7-10 year time span they have taken over our everyday lives. Social media in particular really tends to detach us despite the fact that it claims more connection. Be honest… how much time do you spend looking at a screen and comparing yourself to the perfect lives displayed on social media versus connecting with the people right in front of you?
The truth hurts, I know. Because I’ve been completely guilty of this myself. Especially as an online entrepreneur. I often made excuses to be present online when they were just that, excuses.
So, I started putting the phone down. It stays in a central location most of the time. I log less and less time on it on a weekly basis (and I do keep track). I have set work hours where I do almost all of my communication and social media “needs” on the computer during those hours and I spend the rest of my time with the people who matter, because childhood is short.
6. Remind yourself that this season is fleeting.
Childhood is short. The 18 years that your child is under your wing are fleeting and a portion of them probably not the most enjoyable. The time when your baby is just a baby, the time they’re just an imaginative kid… they’re over in the blink of an eye. It’s not something we want to miss as mothers. This is what we live for… these fleeting, everyday moments with our children.
Our children won’t always need us, there will be seasons that they probably won’t even want us. And then, before we know it they’ll be grown, married and having children of their own.
While the days are sometimes incredibly long, the years are so incredibly short. Let’s not miss it by being too busy to enjoy it. You’ll never regret letting the laundry sit in the dryer, the dishes on the counter, or the phone on the table so you can spend more time with your littles.
7. Incorporate play into your day.
So often we forget how to be kids. How a simple box, rock, and stick can be a pirate ship, a parrot, and a sword. Once we grow up and the mounting to-do list keeps getting longer we think that our time is supposed to be spent elsewhere.
So, set an alarm on your phone, shut it off, and promptly put it away and play with your kids. Escape the everyday adult tasks of motherhood and be a kid. Sit down and built a city out of pillows. Make a ship out of a box. Or just build a house with some lego blocks. You’ll think you’ll only spend a few minutes, and you might the first few times, but when you let go, you’ll often find that you’ve immersed in true, imaginative play with your children.
And when you do? They’ll adore you for it. And all of that stuff you thought you needed to do right that moment will still be there, you’ll be calmer, happier, and your kids can help! It won’t seem like such a chore anymore. Plus, playing is part of being a mom (the fun part!).
8. Delegate and prioritize
I’m pretty type A. But, I know a lot of people aren’t. I am a list maker. A planner. And fed up with trying to do everything myself. So? I have learned to delegate and prioritize my daily tasks.
Kids out of underwear? Well, then laundry is an absolute priority, isn’t it? I keep our laundry monster at bay by doing a load daily, but… sh*t happens. If it’s a pressing task, it goes at the top of my to-do.
As far as delegation… we live in an era that is making everything easier and easier to accomplish. I used to insist on hanging my laundry out to dry. It saves on electricity, especially in the summer. But, it’s time consuming and kept raining. So, I use the dryer most of the time.
The grocery is 30 miles away, Costco is over 60. Amazon is a click away. We invest in Amazon Prime and reap the benefits of it routinely. You can autoship diapers or toilet paper. You can find things you need but don’t want to drive all around creation trying to find.
They even have grocery shoppers that will go get your grocery list items and bring it to you. I prefer do it myself, but if you’re in a season where you don’t have time, energy, or even the desire to do it? Find a way to delegate.
Have your kids load or unload the dishwasher. Have them vacuum. Ask your husband to take the trash out. Whatever it is. Find ways to delegate and make your life easier and find ways to prioritize what truly matters and get it done.
9. Put your kids to bed early.
I’m so bad at this. Especially in the summer. It’s daylight until 10PM. They don’t want to go to bed. Or, I get so caught up in the day that I don’t realize it’s 10PM until I look at the clock and see it really is that late.
But, creating a bed time routine and having a firm lights-out rule can make or break the day. There are days, even for the most put-together mom, that you cannot wait for bed time. There are other days that it seems like it came far too quickly (10PM anyone?). But, having an end to your day makes it seem less trying. You can take your mom hat off for a while and be you.
Also, creating a regular bed time and bed time routine helps your kids sleep better and gives you a chance to connect with them once again on a personal level. We read stories, talk about the events of the day, sing songs, and even talk about what is going on tomorrow. It gives me a little snippet of mainly one-on-one time with my littles that they truly enjoy. Then, the hat can come off and I can move on to relaxing before the end of my day.
10. Make time for yourself and your spouse.
Making time for yourself is important. Self-care is important. I have me time in the mornings before everyone else is awake and the day truly begins. Exercise is a part of that self-care routine. Take time for me to do things that I want to do is important for my sanity.
Whether it’s just quiet time, reading a book, journaling, meditating. Or, taking time to do your hair, exercise, whatever it is. Take time out every day for just you. Simple or not, it makes a difference.
And, on the opposite end, if you’re married (or otherwise committed) you should also carve our time for your significant other. It can be just sitting on the couch watching netflix. Playing a game together or getting more intimate and personal in the bedroom. But, you need to make your spouse a priority in your life, too.
I used to think that my most productive days were the days that I could check off the most from my to-do list. The days where the chores were done and I had some sense of accomplishment with measurable tasks. Now? I’m learning that my days are simpler and easier when I use the suggestions I just mentioned. I may not get everything checked off of my to-do list, but my heart is full, I have a smile on my face, and I was a mom that my kids will remember.
At least, most days.
Other Posts You’ll Love:
- Make Your Mornings Awesome With This Nighttime Routine
- 15 Slow Living Tips to Slow Down and Enjoy Life Again
- 10 Self Care Ideas for When You Have No Time