Dear mommas of littles (or soon-to-be mommas!!),
I see you dreaming your big dreams AND figuring out this parenting gig all at the same time. It’s hard work! Believe me, I’ve been there and I’ve helped tons of other moms on this journey as well. It’s not always pretty, it’s far from perfect, and it’s often messy, but we wouldn’t have it any other way! When we get those sweet snuggles it helps us feel better about life in general.
I’d like to gift you with a few insights around time management. These will, hopefully, help you manage your expectations around productivity at this stage of life and set realistic goals.
Focus on the big rocks.
Imagine your life and limits as fitting in the confines of this jar. The items you have to fit in the jar are large, medium, and small rocks, sand, and water. If you start with the small rocks, sand, and water, your jar will quickly reach capacity with no more room left for the large rocks. However, if you begin with the large rocks, the smaller items will be able to fit into the nooks and crannies.
The big rocks are the most important and significant priorities in your life. The sand and water are the tiny tasks and distractions that seem to be constantly floating around, waiting to steal your attention.
The addition of a child to your family is the addition of a large rock. Smaller, less significant, aspects of your life are going to be displaced. And, that’s ok!! What might those things be? What things will you need to let go of? This will be easiest to determine if you set your priorities ahead of time.
I’d like you to think of this on three levels:
- Big Picture. What are your priorities for this year or this “season of life”? Your littles are only little for so long. Demands on your time will shift significantly in the first year of life.
- Zoom In: What are your priorities for this week? Once a week, take a look at the next week to come. What deadlines or appointments are coming up? What events or projects need your attention?
- Get out your microscope: What are your priorities for this day? You can lay these out before bed the night before or first thing in the morning.
A couple of special considerations:
**You should have NO MORE than 3-5 priorities on each level. The younger the child, the fewer the priorities.
**Make uninterrupted time your PRIME TIME for the most important tasks of the day (BIG ROCKS!!)–work, chores, rest–whatever you determined ahead of time as your priorities.
**Rest is essential!!!! Especially for the mother of a newborn. It’s completely ok for rest to take priority.
Work as a TEAM.
Go ahead and take off the cape. No one expects you to be Super Mom and handle everything yourself! What people and resources do you have around that you can use for support?
Include your spouse and other close family members in your discussions about priorities. When you can get on the same page, your family will be united in the work and the burden of raising a child. Everyone should take part! It takes open communication to get participation. There’s nothing like the fellowship of close friends while you’re bringing up children. Maybe they’re friends that act as mentors to you. They have older children and have walked a similar path to you. Ask their advice and let them pour into you! Or, maybe you have friends with children of similar ages. What fun to get together and share your stories! It’s also wonderful to trade babysitting. And, you may have those friends who haven’t started their own families yet. They can be so helpful at giving you an outside perspective and a fresh point of view. Don’t leave them out of your circle!
If you’re financially able, hiring help to take care of tasks that are not your top priority can be a life changer! Consider hiring a house cleaner, babysitter, grocery shopper, etc. Not only will you be freeing up your own time for other tasks, but you’ll also be helping someone else get the money they need for a living–often it’s another mother!
Again, you don’t have to do everything yourself in order to be considered a “great” mother.
Give yourself grace upon grace.
Be gentle with yourself! You have a new little person depending on you. That’s going to take a lot of time, energy, and resources. Don’t be surprised when it takes you longer to accomplish what used to be “easy” tasks and don’t be too frustrated when it seems that you’re constantly interrupted.
Celebrate small wins!! If you’ll continue to be motivated and excited about the baby steps (pun intended!) you’re able to accomplish and if you make them consistently, you’ll find yourself surprised with the results that can be achieved!
You can do this, momma. You can dream big dreams AND raise a family at the same time. I’m rooting for you!!
My name is Selena Ulasewich. I am a mom of 3 and a life coach.
I would love to connect and encourage you as you find harmony with your faith, family, and career. You are not alone and it can be a struggle, but it can also be a lot of fun!!
If you’d like to join my community of women working to do the same thing, you can follow me on FB @ImpactLifeCoaching and Instagram @coach_selena.
Please grab a copy of my Morning Menu as a free gift to help you get each day started on the right foot!