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There’s no denying that life as a mother can be a lil’ bit chaotic at times. Or you know, bat shit crazy. But still… it’s easy to let it all overwhelm you and at times it can feel like you’re about to lose your mind. Which is why it’s important to do what you can to save your sanity as a mother.
Some things are way beyond our control, but there are also some little tweaks and habits you can create that help you to add a little calm or sanity back into the chaos.
These are some of the simple things I do that save my sanity as a mother, that make me feel like I have things at least a little bit under control, and help me to be a better version of myself. You can do them too!
1 – Prioritise Self Care
I cannot stress enough the importance of self-care. You cannot pour from an empty cup and if you’re not looking after yourself in some way, then your cup is going to be very empty, very quickly.
My big lesson in self care came very early in motherhood for me. My son was in NICU and I was exclusively pumping breastmilk as he wasn’t able to feed at all. I was spending my entire days in the NICU, by my son’s bed, eating whatever I could stomach at the hospital cafe and living on coffee and adrenaline. I’d head back to my accommodation late at night for a few hours sleep (waking to pump of course) and would be back to the hospital the next morning.
By about day 10 I was shattered and my milk supply was dropping rapidly. I had one of the nurses come up to me and literally told me I had to go and have a good meal and a nap. She explained that in order for my body to produce milk for my son, I had to nourish it with good food and good sleep.
I went and had a big meal and went and had a big sleep and the next day my milk supply increased.
You literally have to look after yourself first Mama. Work out what self care you can add in to your day and make it happen. It might be as simple as sitting outside in the sun and drinking your coffee while it’s still hot. Every bit of self care helps.
2 – Ask For Help
This is one of the hardest things to do but is so essential to save your sanity. I’m not going to tell you that you can’t do it alone, because whenever anyone says that to me I feel this urge to prove them wrong. Instead, I’m going to tell you that you don’t have to do it alone.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it’s a smart move! Ask if your kids can carpool to school with one of their friends and you all take turns, ask if your parents or inlaws can watch the kids so you can go out to dinner with hubs (or have a nap), as if someone can bring you a coffee and a donut when you’re stuck at home with a teething baby.
Help can come in many forms and sometimes, it’s just as simple as having someone there with you. So many people are willing to help but are fearful of pushing boundaries, which is why you need to ask the question.
3 – Delegate Tasks
Delegating tasks isn’t bossy, it’s efficient. Furthermore to the asking for help point, sometimes people just need to be told what to do. *cough* husbands *cough*
You really don’t have to do all the things, and delegating tasks makes sure of it. Order your groceries online and tell your husband to pick them up on the way home from work, tell your older kids they need to make their bed or put a load of washing on (they’re not too young, our 18 month old daughter attempts to make her own bed). Ask your extended family if they can do a school pickup, or babysit for a few hours, or anything you need.
Even your friends will wash your dishes or stack your dishwasher if they’re visiting and you ask them to.
This is even more important when you’re a new mom or have a new little babe at home. Asking for help and delegating tasks are a powerful sanity saving combo.
4 – Plan Smart Catch Ups With Friends
I love catching up with friends at the local cafe as much as the next person, but keeping up can be a bit difficult sometimes. You might catch up for coffee one day, then be invited again the next day and before you know it you’ve spent every day at the cafe and no days doing the things you needed to do (surely it’s not just me).
Creating routines and systems can help you save your sanity as a mother, and applying this to your catch ups with friends is no different.
Instead of scattered coffee dates throughout the week, pick one day where you ‘book in’ your catch ups. That way you spend one day out at the cafe, spend less money in total on food and drinks, and you’re able to plan your week effectively. If you miss the catch up one week, book it in for your catch up day the next week.
I don’t like letting my friends down and I love seeing them, but I also feel incredibly flustered and all over the place if I don’t get done what I need to. Having a set day for catch ups saves my sanity, allows me to spend time with my friends and allows me to plan my week and get things done.
5 – Use To Do Lists and Calendars
I would be so lost without my to do lists and calendars. Even my husband says that if it’s not in the calendar, it’s not happening. We have a joint Google calendar that allows us to add in events or tasks and both of us can see it. We work shift work and have crazy amounts of appointments and things to do so this keeps it all in order and all in one place.
We are both more of the pen and paper to do list kind of people though, so when it comes to lists, we have tons.
We use grocery shopping lists, meal plans, daily to do lists and weekly to do lists, monthly calendar (on the fridge, used mostly for school and kids events), and budgets too just to keep our world in some sort of order.
Figure out what works best for you, you can use apps to keep everything together (I use Evernote for quick notes when I’m out and about), or you can use pen and paper to keep things together – like with our free life planner:
While there is a lot of chaos in motherhood, you can do things to make life easier for yourself and to help save your sanity as a mother. Little things can make such a big difference in the long run. Start with one or two of the items on this list, or go all out and implement them all!
Embracing the chaos and enjoying motherhood can be a whole lot easier when you feel like you have some control over some of the areas. Since adding these things into my day, I’ve felt like I’m much calmer and in control, which makes me a better mother and helps me enjoy motherhood more. Hopefully, they can help you too.