3 Resources to Help You Simplify and Organize Your Life
As we have worked our way through the Parenting with Gentleness series, I've asked what some of your hindrances to parenting with gentleness are. One common problem I've seen is that you feel irritable because you're constantly running late or you're overwhelmed with all that you have to do.
I can definitely relate!
There was a period of time where I hated it when we had to go somewhere because I felt so stressed with trying to get everyone ready on time. I was barking orders at my kids and huffing impatiently at them.
We would finally all get into the car and I would feel like the world's worst parent because I had been…well…not very gentle as I helped them get ready to go.
I knew we needed a change, and it didn't take much to make it. I just needed to SIMPLIFY and ORGANIZE our life.
We really didn't have all that much in our schedule, so I didn't have to worry about cutting out a ton of stuff, but our routines were not very organized.
I was not allotting enough time for the various activities in our day, and it made me feel rushed – which translated into stress – which translated into gruffness with my kids.
Simplifying required cutting out some things from our schedule.
I had to come to terms with the fact that I am not supermom. Actually I had to realize that I am not even remotely close to being able to pretend to be supermom.
I'm not talking about reducing from 3 extracurricular activities to 1. I'm talking about making my daily schedule something like:
1. Feed family breakfast.
2. Feed family lunch.
3. Feed family supper.
4. Possibly do laundry.
That might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but not much. I had to cut things down to the bare minimum because stuff just takes me forever. Dealing with chronic illness that makes just getting dressed and brushing my hair a chore sometimes. Having a baby that I have to stop to feed and change, homeschooling which we can't exactly skip, and trying to keep the house decently tidy, are just about all that I can handle.
I don't like it, and there is so much more I'd like to fit into my day, but I had to be honest with myself and admit that I just can't do it.
(Which is why I've been MIA for several days out of this 31 day series, by the way. 🙂 ) Plans don't always go as I'd hoped, and I'm learning not to cram stuff into my day just because I want to. It makes me grouchy, and that's not what my family needs! )
Along with SIMPLIFYING, I needed to be better ORGANIZED.
Trying to get somewhere on time was stressful partially because I was not prepared.
Instead of waiting until the last minute to get everyone dressed and ready, I needed to have clothing laid out, diaper bag packed, etc. well in advance. The more that I have prepared ahead, the more my stress level goes down. With a lowered stress level it's much easier to be the type of parent I ought to be, smiling and gladly helping a child buckle their seat belt instead of grumping at them (I think I just made that phrase up) for not getting buckled faster.
There are a few different tools that have helped me over the years to be better organized, and I highly recommend them to any parent who is constantly stressed out from feeling like life is chaotic.
(Disclosure: affiliate links are included.)
Flylady is fantastic! You will hear her ask often “Are you grouchy at your babies?”
She knows all too well that chaos makes you a not-so-gentle mama.
This book is short and sweet, but it packs a punch in terms of helping disorganized moms get their act together! It really helped me think through what all I could reasonably expect to include in a day. You can read more about it in this post.)
3. Make Over Your Morning
This is a fantastic course that will teach you how to start your days smoothly – which will make the entire rest of your day go better!
It's quick and easy (because you're already overwhelmed!) but yet the help it will give you will make a huge impact on your days!
Read more about it in this post.
Friend, if you're struggling with being too gruff with your kids simply because you feel behind all the time, you can remedy that!
You don't have to keep trying harder to be calm with your kids; you can remove the source of the stress that's making it so difficult in the first place!
This post is part of the Parenting with Gentleness series.