5 Things Moms Can Plan Ahead...but Usually Don't!
Murphy’s Law should really be termed Mom’s Law
Suddenly, from the moment you have a child, your life becomes something beautiful, something amazing.
But also something beautifully, amazingly unpredictable. A few simple strategies can transform an unpredictable circumstance to ones that are anticipated. We must add as much predictability when we can so we will stay happy, healthy moms.
Sometimes the only thing you can plan ahead for is knowing that you need to plan ahead. Ugh.
That’s what today’s post is really about—Planning. Specifically, learning how to plan ahead for those things which have tripped me up in the past and I hope you watch my mistakes and learn from them.
Here are the 5 things moms should plan ahead for — but don’t:
1. Getting sick. It’s going to happen. I personally have been plagued with migraines since I was 14, so my experience is from that angle. I’ve also had an emergency C-section and a couple of other surgeries. The one thing that always runs through a mom’s head during these times is, “How are my kids? Are they okay? Who’s making dinner? (Okay, that’s my #1. I don’t know why.)
Preparing for these scenarios is not too difficult IF you do it when you are well and able. Have 3, yes THREE nights worth of dinners and breakfasts ready for your family in case you get a nasty cold or much worse. If you’re also like me, you’ll use these items on desperate soccer nights or nights when cooking dinner is the LAST thing you want to do. Just replace it quickly to the stash.
(Oh yeah, and write all over them in the freezer so hungry teenagers don’t decide at midnight to indulge.)
2. Being tired. Moms tend to have energy streaks, then tired streaks. We’re like baseball players in that way — but no one is keeping our stats, thank goodness. Create space and time for these “down” times and do a little extra on those days when you are “on a roll”. Prepare for it and you can give yourself a little break on the “I’m not getting out of my nightgown days”.
3. Having some free time. Free time? What’s that? Free time is doing what you want, how you want; whatever you want disappears when you become a mom. However, if we consciously plan and think way, way ahead of time then “free time” can happen. It may be once a month. If you are extremely lucky, once a week. Treat it like a dentist appointment.
Maybe put it in your calendar as such, so you will have your “code” for mommy free time. Find someone to swap babysitting with or ask people to help you arrange care for your kids.
You won’t regret it. I promise you. When you know it’s coming, you will be better prepared and enjoy it much more.
4. Time with friends. Planning time with friends is vital. It doesn’t matter how many friends you have or even how often you see them. What matters is that you feel connected to people who love you and whom you love. Having friendships is so important for our well-being.
Treat it like the important thing that it is. Remember how great you feel after having a long conversation (or even a short one!) with a friend over coffee or PB and J’s while the kids play. The friendships we foster during our mothering are those that sustain us during good time and bad. They are the vehicles that God uses to minister to us in a way that only other women can.
5. Time with family. You can live 15 minutes from family members and see them almost as often as ones that live 2 hours away. I know this has happened in my family. Getting on the other's schedule, planning regular gatherings and being ready for spontaneous ones is what keeps a family connected. Birthdays, anniversaries and holidays are simply not enough.
Make a point to plan ahead for more family gatherings no matter how far apart or close you are. You won’t regret how it will impact your kids and you.
Planning ahead is key to gaining control during uncontrollable circumstances. Moms have so many that we must take care of ourselves and our families with a little forethought and diligence.
You’ll thank me later when you smell a casserole in the oven when you are sniffling, sneezing or bone tired. Or, better yet, out with a dear friend you haven’t seen in a blue moon.
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