What is the fastest speed you’ve driven in your vehicle? C’mon, be honest, this is a safe place. For me, I can say I’ve gone 80-85 mph for many miles without even realizing my foot is heavy on the gas. Where I live, the highest speed limit is about 70 mph just to give you a clue of how many miles over the speed limit I have gone. It typically isn’t until I see a speed limit sign, or a a police car checking for speeders , that I was reminded to check my speed and slow down. Sometimes, when I drive, I think I just get in a zone and will admit, I don’t even think or realize how fast I am going or even think that I am speeding. Most days I set my cruise control though and I am good to go!
In life, as you well know, there is no cruise control button. As a mom, we are pulled in several different directions from the moment we wake up until the moment we go to bed. Most days fly by at what feels like a warped speed. If you have really little ones, oftentimes, you are even needed throughout the night making this need for you 24/7. You feel like there is no time to hit the breaks and you keep speeding around, not only getting tasks done but taking care of everyone too.
Lets be honest and say that this can be down right exhausting. Sometimes you feel like you are in a this zone catering to the needs of everyone in your family, multi-tasking to make sure everything gets done (or in my case, at least started) and never finding the time to slow down and take a two second breather or being able to take the time for a little self care along the way. By the end of the day you may find yourself thinking, Where did the day go? or I wish I would have had time to read a chapter in that book I got from the library or Man, I am so tired but there is still this to get done and that to do, or there’s no time to watch that favorite episode of your favorite show on netflix. Whatever it is you may think at the end of a very busy day there is one thing that holds true, not once did you think about slowing down because you are a super mom, you are what holds the glue together and if you don’t do it, nobody else will or your child just simply needed Mom today. The problem is, is that you had no speed limit sign in your day and no police officer to pull you over if you were going to fast without stopping to take a break.
With that, my advice to you Mombies out there on this fine Monday, is to simply Slow Down. This applies to driving and just in your everyday life at home. I don’t have to tell you that speeding is illegal, dangerous and reckless. It can also be an expensive mistake, if caught as well. With speeding when driving, there are consequences.
Just like actual speeding, not slowing down in your every day normal activity can also lead to consequences. You will find yourself burnt out, having lack of patience with whoever crosses your path, you may get physically sick, you can become easily stressed out, you can also become overly exhausted, etc. Figuratively speaking, you may not have any posted speed limit signs throughout your day to remind you to slow down, or a police officer to pull you over when you get in this zone. There is, however, a point during the day where that nagging voice inside you is telling you it is time to take a break and slow down or when your body tells you it has exhausted its use for that day and knows you are ready for something more low key. It is your job to start listening to your overall being and take that breath of fresh air.
To you speeders out there, on the road and in everyday life, please slow down. As the occasional Mombie myself, I will leave you all with some simple ideas of things I do when I have exceeded the speed limit in my life and know it’s time to slow down. It is my hope you will be able to use these tips or find ways in your own life to incorporate ways to stop and smell the roses:
- Have everyone pitch in to help out with a chore, any chore! This is helpful at the dinner hour especially. Instead of doing everything yourself, make this a family affair. For example last night I could have easily dragged my tired body into the kitchen and submitted to making dinner, setting the table, and dishing up everyone’s plates while the rest of my family was lounging on the couch (which is what I obviously would have wanted to do instead) . Instead, I delegated the task and decided it would go faster and we may eat on time if everyone helped out. As a mom, you shouldn’t have to do it all or be expected to. There is a little piece of the dinner hour that each of your family members can be involved in helping with.
- Make meals ahead. If you know your week is going to be busy, dinner prep the weekend before. This has been such a time saver this summer, especially nights where my oldest had sporting events in the evening and didn’t get done with games until 5:30 or 6:30. Instead of scrambling trying to figure out what to eat and what to make have a plan. I never felt like cooking on these evenings as it got late and I was too tired, so this not only saved time but made things less of a headache.
- Plan in advance to do one thing YOU enjoy each day. If you already have a plan about something you want to do before the day begins you have already given yourself that permission to slow down and take that much needed break. It can be something as simple as reading a chapter in a book, or watching an episode of your favorite tv show or exercising when your husband gets home from work. It can be something that takes 5 minutes or something that lasts an hour. Whatever it is, do it, enjoy it and don’t feel guilty about it.
- Set aside time on the weekends to have time completely to yourself. For me, this is Saturday and Sunday mornings. I wake up and usually work out for about an hour. I try to do this before anything else so as I don’t get distracted by all the other things I have to do or a child needing me and putting off doing so. Lately, I have even just been mowing the lawn. Some may see this as a chore, but it gives me time to slap on my ear buds and listen to a podcast or my favorite music, child free for 45 minutes.
- Focus on one task and do it from start to finish. Nothing is more overwhelming then starting something and not being able to finish it. I have always been a list maker and when I can cross something off that list, I feel so less stressed. However, when I start something and can’t finish it I can’t cross it off my list and if I continue to go on without finishing it I just get overwhelmed because things continue to get added to that list. Take the time to finish so you can move on to the next task stress free.
- Online Shopping. I recently ordered all of my daughters school supplies online. At first I was feeling so guilty about not giving her the in store experience and mother-daughter bonding time to do this together. However, with the 2nd little one now and trying to find time to shop and shopping with them both can be a stressful nightmare. I decided against the stress and headache and let me tell you, ordering online was easy, no stress and was delivered to my door in 2 days! BOOM!
- Take a bath instead of a shower. Soaking in a bath of bubbles and hot water is sometimes the best medicine for a busy and stressful day. This forces relaxation.
- Put down the electronic devices and actually spend time with your family. Play a board/card game. Take a walk together. Play in your back yard. Talk to each other. Whatever it is, eliminate screen time and spend more time with the people you love.
- Say No. Simply stop saying yes to everything. Don’t feel obligated to do things you don’t want to do, especially if it just will cause you more to do and cause you more stress.
- Keep the environment you live in clean. If my house is messy/dirty I can’t relax and always creates me to do busy work. Doing the little things now to keep your house tidy, will eliminate a bigger cleaning time later. Pick up after yourself. Wipe down tables and counters after each use. Have your kids pick up their own toys after they are done. Keep on a cleaning schedule.