What does it take to have a successful day as a mom who also manages her home?
My first official job was a cashier at Wal-Mart. The first thing they did was train me. They told me what I needed to do. I had to clock in on time, count the money in my till, scan customer’s purchases, and collect their money. And, I had to take breaks and a lunch.
I knew my minimum requirements.
Knowing what was expected of me every time I showed up to work was good. I tried my best to do what was required of me. Sometimes I made mistakes or didn’t meet the requirements.
In the beginning, when I was training closely with someone, they would let me know when I did a good job. It felt good to know I was learning and getting better.
Once I was good at the minimum requirements, I tried to do more. With practice, my scanning speed increased. I straightened my area when I didn’t have a customer. I smiled more because I didn’t have to concentrate as much.
What about our jobs as moms and home managers?
What are the requirements and who tells us we’re doing a good job?
We are in charge of that!
It’s our job to decide what is required of us and oversee making ourselves feel good and appreciated.
We are the manager AND the employee. As the manager, we set the requirements and give feedback to the employee. As the employee, we try to meet the minimum requirements and do our best.
I hear from so many women who are overwhelmed. They don’t feel like they are doing a good job…at anything. They say their homes are a mess. Their to-do list never gets done. They feel unappreciated. They’re stuck in indecision and aren’t sure where or how to start. They can’t keep up with the mundane tasks.
How do you know if you are doing a good job without a “job description?” How will you feel validated if you don’t know it’s your job to encourage yourself?
Struggling with overwhelm and discouragement? Try this.
First, decide what the minimum requirements are for a successful day in your life. What tasks do you need to complete? I like to choose tasks that give me the most satisfied feeling when they’re done.
Now, I know, you have normal duties of life like getting the kids dressed, working, or driving the carpool. I’m not talking about those things.
Here are some ideas. Just pick two things to start.
- Make your bed.
- Clean the kitchen after dinner.
- Give each child one hug and kiss and tell them you love them.
- Serve one meal.
Then, each day, try to get those two things done. When you get them done you KNOW you’ve had a successful day! Yay!
Notice and encourage yourself.
Next, you act as the manager and make yourself feel validated and noticed for doing an awesome job.
For example, let’s say I choose making my bed and cleaning the kitchen equals a successful day. In the morning when I (employee) make my bed I tell myself, “Tracy, that looks amazing. Good job! You’re halfway to a successful day!” (manager encouraging employee.)
And I smile as I walk out of my room.
You could add a prayer as you walk out, “Thank you, Lord, for giving me a healthy body that can make my bed.”
Then, I walk into my bedroom throughout the day knowing I did a great job at work! I feel amazing when I walk into a clean kitchen in the morning.
Nobody else is “in charge” of noticing your work or building you up. That’s your job. How good of a job are you doing? Notice how you showed up today and got things done. Speak kindly to yourself…or you might want to quit! Beating yourself up never helps.
Choose secondary tasks.
Once you’ve had several successful days, add one or two more tasks to your list. These secondary items, if you get them done, would mean you had an EXCEPTIONAL day! You produced more than the minimum.
These might be:
- One healthy meal for your family. (One of my favorite YouTuber’s lunch prep ideas + she has great dinner ideas, too!)
- One activity with the kids where you are fully engaged.
- One load of laundry. (Laundry tips.)
- Listen to the Bible on a Bible App for 10 minutes. (I use YouVersion.)
Get good at successful days.
Focus on these minimum tasks for a while. Get good at the basics and having simple, successful days. If you are taking care of kids that’s a whole day’s job full of fun and distractions and picking up and feeding and napping. Maybe you’re carpooling and changing diapers. Enjoy these chaotic moments.
But, now you will have successful days in the midst of the chaos. Be encouraged. You are doing a great job!
Tracy, Simply Squared Away