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When the kids are driving you crazy around the house it can feel like the rest of the world is a blur.
You lose track of time and your sanity slowly starts to slip away from you. As a mom, you want to bring your kids up in a healthy, happy and fun environment, but you can’t allow them to take control of every aspect of your household.
Having a chaotic household is just bad.
It’s bad for your sanity levels. It’s bad for your marriage. It’s bad for your kids...their grades, their health, their happiness, their overall wellbeing. It’s bad for your ability to function and relate as a family. It’s just bad.
Unfortunately, it is your unhappy (or happy, if you’re one of those freaky, glass-half-full kind of folks) job as the mom to make sure everyone’s state of mind and your household atmosphere in general are as peaceful and un-chaotic as possible.
While I can’t give you a boardgame-like roadmap to yoga guru levels of peace in your house, I can give you some solid tips for some things that are guaranteed to at least make a noticeable difference in the levels of chaos in your home.
Keeping a clean house was easy when it was just you and your husband. (Okay, maybe not easy...easier…)
Nobody left their toys on the floor, the laundry was (more) manageable, and there was a general sense of calm in the house...at least compared to now that you have mini-me maniacs sprinting around everywhere.
Now that you have little ones running around you need to find a way to reduce the chaos and instill calm into your family home once again.
They say that a clear home equals a clear mind and this couldn’t be more true.
If your home is filled with an overwhelming amount of clutter and junk, you will start to feel claustrophobic in your own space. For those of you who have taken my 14 Days to a Spotless Home course or read anything about how to keep a clean house long term, you know I’m a huge fan of chucking the clutter.
The short answer here is if you haven’t used it in the last six months you should probably pitch it. Seriously.
With exceptions for sentimental items (like family heirlooms) and seasonal objects (like holiday decorations or season-dependent clothing), this rule is a pretty good rule of thumb for stuff you really don’t need anymore.
If you’re on the fence about some of your “stuff”, put those items in a bag in the garage for a month to see if you actually miss it. If not, schedule a Goodwill pickup to donate anything donatable and call a garbage removal service (like Budget Bin Hire or something through your local garbage collection service) to come get the rest.
You’ll be shocked at the difference it makes. By actively taking control of the mess in your home, you will instantly regain a sense of control.
Once your home is physically clean (and even before it is), you can start to create a structured and stable routine to reflect a less chaotic mindset.
When your child is very little it is difficult to get into the swing of a good routine, but once you manage to set one up you will reap the benefits tenfold. From the age of six months or so, you can start to instill (some) good habits into your baby, and it only gets easier as they age. Whether you give them a bath before bed or play special music around meal times, these are all excellent signals for their routine.
Routine encompasses many things, but here are the main two components:
A set of activities that happen at a specific time or in a specific sequence. If this is something you struggle with, check out this post on how to create a routine your kids will actually follow. There’s definitely an art to creating a routine that works for your kids, so make sure you find something that works for your kiddos and it’ll create far less resistance.
A set of rules your kids can count on. This can include things like easy-to-teach rules for kids to help you keep your house clean or creating a chore chart that allows them to earn predictable money. Having a predictable and consistently-enforced set of rules creates a sense of stability for your kids. Even if they buck against them at first, having a stable set of rules they know won’t bend is actually an incredibly reassuring thing for a kid.
A stable schedule and a predictable set of rules (once established) will give you instant relief as your kids will always know what is happening next.
Even when you are feeling more out of control than ever, you still need to maintain a calm outlook for your children.
I really hate to say this, but I have seen it time and time again with my kiddos. If I don’t make an effort to keep the mood upbeat around the house and make sure I don’t transfer my stresses onto the family, I can always see a measurable difference in my kids...and not in a good way.
I literally made a massive list of ways to have more patience as a mom, because this one is truly a challenge.
If you have had a particularly bad day, try to book time for a venting session with your other half once the kiddos have gone to bed, go for a run, or find some other way to destress. However you handle it, you don’t want them to pick up on negative vibes and start acting out. This will only add to your stress levels even more.
Every child has a trigger that makes them feel instantly soothed and relaxed, from comforters to movies. Whether you’re trying to settle down their bedtime routine or prevent them from going wild in public, you need that special something in your back pocket at all times.
If you have trouble creating activities for the little ones, I feel your pain. I need about a week to plan if you want me to be spontaneous. Due to this disability, I created a master list of how to keep your toddler entertained (all indoor activities and all inexpensive ones) so I could have a menu of options when the littles get spracky.
Every mom admits that their house is overtaken by chaos from time to time. As much as this is normal, you can’t possibly live with this every single day. Take time to consider small ways of instilling calm and you will feel much more relaxed as a busy mom.
Founder | Contributor
Liz is a wife, mom, blogger, coder (and unabashed digital nerd), PhD student (and huge psychology geek), workout masochist, and occasional human being. She founded The Stay Sane Mom after marrying into the role of stepmom to a preteen girl (and Instagram addict) and shortly thereafter having her first bio kid (now a toddlernado supreme). Her goal is to provide tools and support to help other capable, sleep-deprived, soul-hungry moms master their domains so they have the time and energy to be more than just 'mom'.
Stay Sane Mom gives support to the over-worked, under-slept, marker-stained, soul-hungry moms of the world, so they can be more than just "mom".
You just want to keep the house clean, have a happy marriage, raise functional kids, and still have a little left in the tank to be a real person as well.
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