3 Ways to Be an Awesome Mom (Plus Have Fun at It)

I kept thinking that once I got ONE more thing off my list, I'd have more time to spend with my boy. WRONG. All it brought me was guilt. Besides, I wasn't being that productive any way. How could I be? Trying to work while ignoring my precious boy's pleads for attention? Impossible.
07/29/2015 04:04 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017
Germany, Mother carrying her kids
Germany, Mother carrying her kids

Let me guess: your days involves a million loads of laundry, carpool, a 9-5 job, maybe a side hustle.

Oh, and that never ending call for one... more... thing...

It is amazing that you haven't exploded from being pulled in so many directions!

If you are like the rest of us, you end up dropping the ball somewhere. The laundry piles up -- until you are digging through looking for a non-urine soaked pair of pants for your toddler.

Meanwhile, you've got tons of emails to catch up for your business and you still have not finished that report for your job -- you know, the one that pays the bills.

I've been that person -- with enough on my plate that one day, after a long day at the office, I had a precious two hours before I had to put my son to bed and instead of spending the time playing with him, I was on my computer -- working.

I kept thinking that once I got ONE more thing off my list, I'd have more time to spend with my boy.

WRONG.

All it brought me was guilt. Besides, I wasn't being that productive any way. How could I be? Trying to work while ignoring my precious boy's pleads for attention? Impossible.

Something had to change.

I decided to prioritize better and be more purposeful of the few waking hours with my family.

Along the way, I discovered three ways to maximize family time, feel WAY less stress and have WAY more fun.

Designate "Family Time."

Put down your phone and turn off your computer -- the world is not going to end while you're away.

Read to your kid(s), strap them in the stroller for a quick trip to the park, and if you have to cook, make some quick and easy meals -- save the gourmet cooking for the weekend.

BE PRESENT.

Maybe your partner isn't home yet, but your kids are, and younger kids crave attention from their mommy.

Engage, Engage, Engage

Maybe the family is out running errands and you take the "gap-time" to check out the latest celebrity gossip on TMZ. Instead, look back at those (bored) little faces, sing some silly songs, or, a couple hundred rounds of peekaboo will entertain even the most sophisticated little human. As soon as my husband steps in the door after work, he starts beat boxing (no joke) and we have a mini family dance party. The dancing is by NO means pretty (lots of flailing arms and legs) but we have So. Much FUN!
If All Else Fails, Systematize
Systems are my answer to implementing everything and anything new in my life. Put all your best intentions into a list then pare it down to 3-5 items to accomplish in a day. Be specific. Know your own threshold. My own list is just three items long. Any longer and I run the risk of setting the bar too high for myself and failing. I picked the items that give the most meaning to our time together, cute-y-fied it and hung it up outside my son's bedroom:
  • Nighttime prayers
  • Read (at least) three times
  • 30 minutes minimum playtime
That's it. If I get those done, I call it a successful (parenting) day.
Bottom Line

For the most of us, our family is our why. Don't put them on the back burner while you get your act together.

You've got this.

Natasha

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