I’m a busy mum of Joshua who is five and my twins, Oscar and Isla who recently turned two. Life can be crazy as were pretty busy all the time but I love it and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Of course, we have tough days as everyone does.
I wanted to share with you my top tips that have helped me stay sane whilst getting on with day to day life with small children at home. I’m no means an expert, just another mum who hopes her tips may help other mums.
For our family, routine definitely helped keep my sanity in the early days of the twins being born. It was hard to prepare for having twins, we had no idea what it was going to be like. Once they arrived, I needed to know when they would want their next bottle, when they would nap next and that my change bag was fully stocked.
From an early age, all of my children have followed quite a strict and early bedtime routine. Before 6pm, we would have bathed them and taken them into their room. My eldest son now has a slightly different routine now. We would dress them in a calmed environment rather than back downstairs. After a story or song and some milk, we would have cuddles and settle them into their cots. Most nights all three children will settle usually with no fuss.
I am quite strict with this routine, it’s the same at weekend, I don’t let my children say up late as I don’t see the need at such a young age and it works well for us. Sleep is so important to our health and I truly believe that having my children sleep well from an early age has helped me with my day to day routine. I can think clearer with a good night’s sleep and enjoy the day with my children more. My husband and I also get to enjoy our evenings together whether it’s watching a film or doing housework. Having a routine has definitely helped keep this mummy sane. Find a routine that fits with your family life and make it work for you.
Preparation is key, I always try to plan ahead and get as organized as I can. Each night I make sure the change bag is restocked, swimming bags are ready and Joshua’s school bag is good to go. I put out all the clothes for the kids in the morning so I’m not running around like a headless chicken for my son’s school tie at the last minute. A couple of times a week I put the slow cooker on before I go to bed to help with hectic tea times, anything to make my life a little easier. I have done this since my twins were born and just adapt it as they get older.
This really has kept me sane, it gives me more time to enjoy motherhood as I’ve taken unnecessary pressures away. I like that I can go to bed in an evening knowing that all the kid’s clothes are ready, bags are packed and food prepared. It makes it so much easier to head out in the mornings for the school run and for days out.
Give yourself a break
I know it’s easier said than done, but even Mum’s need a break sometimes. Whether it’s a relaxing bath, a trip out to the cinema or even a weekend away without the kids, once in a while look after yourself and just relax. I find taking some time out for myself, makes me appreciate what I have and gives me the much-needed energy on tougher days! Finding even just 5 minutes has definitely helped keep this mummy sane, I’m calmer and more in control on difficult days. In the early days of the twins being born, a relaxing bubble bath whilst daddy was in charge was a great feeling.
Don’t compare yourself to other mums
This is definitely a top tip, don’t compare yourself with other mums. Chances are they are losing it too when you’re not looking! So what if your kids are screaming in the cereal aisle of the supermarket whilst hers are sitting there all lovely and calmly.
Don’t forget that all kids laugh, cry, scream, have tantrums! Just remember that we have all been there and keep calm, the tantrum will pass. Try not to compare yourself to the image of a ‘perfect mum’ as it doesn’t exist. Be the best mum you can be, that’s all anyone can ask of you. Reminding myself of this from time to time does help and has helped me keep my sanity. It’s all too easy to compare yourself with the ‘perfect mum’, there is so much pressure to be a good mum. There’s pressure from society to be the best mum, a fun mum, a strict mum, a healthy & fit mum, to have a good work-life balance etc etc etc, blah blah blah. Then there’s all the pressure that a mum puts on herself. Come on, hands up, mums are their own worst enemy!
So ease the pressure and the expectations and be the best mum you can be, whatever that looks like! Check out an old post of mine I wrote about how being a mum is bloody hard!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
From my experience, you are more likely to get help if you ask for it! People aren’t mind readers, they may not think you need help or don’t want to intrude. Don’t be scared to ask for help if you need it. When the twins were first born we asked grandparents to help us with our eldest. He slept over at there houses a couple of times and they even helped out with picking him up from the nursery. This helped us find our routine and took some of the day to day stress away.