It’s two weeks out from Christmas Day. The kids still need presents for their teachers and Kris Kringle gifts for classmates. There’s break up parties, end of year school concerts and of course, letters to Santa.
This is all before your work Christmas party, your partners and trying to squeeze in festive feasts with friends.
Did I mention the Christmas Day preparations, decorations and presents?
No wonder we mums feel frazzled and un-festive at Christmas time.
You know what though, busy mum? There’s no need to hit the panic button. It doesn’t have to be like that this year. I promise.
The key to enjoying the silly season is to start early. Here are six tips to help you feel more festive and enjoy an organised Christmas.
1. Start Stocking Up
Throughout October and November I start buying goodies I need for Christmas each week in my shopping. Things like meat, bottles of drink and sauces (I can’t go near chocolate as I’d eat it all before Christmas). This helps me feel more organised at Christmas and spreads the cost over two months.
Photo credit Pexel Bay
2. De-clutter + Make Money
I recently did a stock take at home because the kids wanted a trampoline. To make room, the cubby house (and furniture inside) had to go. The festive season is the perfect time to sell, as other parents are looking for big-ticket items at a bargain price. Are there any pre-loved items you could buy or sell this Christmas?
3. Embrace Socks + Jocks
My Little People are getting older and have been given one big item the past couple of years. I also add everyday essentials like socks, underwear, pyjamas, bathers and books. When I’m out late night shopping at Kmart (aka the perfect excuse to get out of putting the kids to bed) I’ll also grab these goodies to put away for presents.
4. Gift An Experience
My kids have received Adventure Park Passes for the past three years from both sets of grandparents. They love the experience and that it lasts for months. Other ideas: zoo passes, museum and movie tickets, craft sessions or dance lessons.
5. Reward Your Loyalty
Last year I used my Flybuys points to buy a glass teapot. I used my points and paid the difference. Online shopping saved me time and money. Accruing loyalty points? Reward yourself!
6. Fill that freezer
I’ve started preparing meals and restocking our freezer in advance ready for those chaotic December nights (you know the ones – arriving home from breakups, parties and concerts).
What helps you feel less frazzled in the lead up to Christmas? Let me know in the comments below.
Good luck out there, busy mum. If you need a hand to have an organised Christmas, I’m here for you.
Thank you for reading,
If you haven’t joined my free Simply Happy Mums Facebook Group yet, please DO, because it’s a beautiful space to find support, connection and conversation.
P.S. As a thank you for reading, I’d love to give you 24 kindness ideas to use in your advent calendar to teach your kids about giving as well as receiving this Christmas. Download Christmas Kindness Ideas HERE
Are you an overwhelmed mum?
It’s 5pm, the dinner is starting to boil over on the stove, the kids are bickering about who touched who and the dog is whining to be fed. Before you know it, you’re yelling at the top of your voice for some peace and quiet. Then you shut down, retreat to your digital device for some mindless scrolling, or reach into the cupboard for a sweet treat to tide you over.
Don’t feel bad. Every parent gets overwhelmed sometimes. Like you, I’m a busy mum trying to juggle work, home and kids. I’ve often felt stressed out, snowed under and like I was doing so much but achieving so little. I hated it.
Three pivotal points in my life helped me realise I needed to calm the chaos. Making small and simple changes have helped me to feel calmer than ever and more present with my kids.
How many hours are there in a day?
Rewind to four years ago: My daughter was at kinder, my son was a toddler and I was teaching part-time. I was also (somehow) on the kinder fundraising committee, secretary of the local toy library and wedding planning. At the time I had zero boundaries and said ‘yes’ to everything. Guess what? I took on too much. I was doing the do but actually felt like I was dropping the ball all the time. The change came when, after our wedding, our son was diagnosed with Perthes Disease. I sifted through The To Do List and how it all made me feel. The result? No more extra commitments + simple meal preparation tweaks = more time, feelings of calm and actual productiveness.
When my son started kinder I decided to study Wellness Coaching (as well as teaching part-time). The strenuous workload resulted in skipping lunch. But, guess who turned up at 3 pm? Those sugar cravings. Internally, my immune system shut down and I was getting sick often. So, I switched my exercise from night to morning, ate a more fulfilling breakfast and nibbled on high-energy nutritious snacks during the day so I wasn’t running on empty.
With both kids at school last year, their extra-curricular activities ramped up. My business was in its infancy and I was teaching three days a week. When we’d get home at night, I would turn into a snappy, crazy, screaming mum. I’d also forget simple stuff like assembly and to message people back (even though I had a diary and a reminder on my phone). I had to find time to switch off, give my brain a break (from thinking about The To-Do List), and focus on being more mindful.
Does any of this resonate with you? How do you deal with being an overwhelmed mum? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
In my up incoming Calm the Chaos challenge I am going to share with you simple strategies to be more organised so you don’t feel like you’re dropping the ball all the time and have enough energy to easily get through the day. Reduce the stress and overwhelm in your day as a mum so that you can feel more focused with your family by joining Calm the Chaos Challenge.
Missed a post? You can check out my other Simply Happy blog posts like ‘How to calm the chaos using essential oils’ here.
Looking for support, connection and conversation? Join my Simply Happy Mums Facebook group.
Family mealtime (does anyone else call it ‘feeding time at the zoo?). Chaos, bedlam, a never-ending saga – trust me, busy mum, I’ve been there.
Your hectic day aside, by the time you’ve got everyone else organised at the dinner table, you are absolutely exhausted.
But you know what busy mum? It doesn’t have to be like that anymore.
Here are five helpful tricks from my kitchen to yours. These tips will help you feel more organised and you’ll eat healthier in the process (who doesn’t want that, right?!)
Photo credit to Pexel
1. Chop ‘til You Drop!
Chop all vegetables, herbs and fruit as soon as you get home from the shops. Store them in plastic containers in the fridge (this will make it easier to use for dinners throughout the week. I find that when the kids get home from school, they are more likely to eat these foods if they are washed, cut up and ready to go. *This tip also works for weekends and holidays – chop up some fruit for the little people to help them select healthier options.
Photo credit Lulu hypermarket
2. Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Simply put: I just don’t buy unhealthy food options (we live by this in our house). If the bad stuff is lying around I’d eat it and the kids would nag. So, I always keep a full bowl of fresh fruit (apples, bananas, or pears) on the bench. This way it’s the first thing the kids see and grab when they want a quick snack.
3. Eat Healthier at Snack Time
I prepare healthy snacks on the weekend so they’re ready for school lunches, after-school snacks or when I am rushing out the door. Having our healthy snacks ready to go in the fridge or freezer means I don’t even have to think twice about what I am going to have for morning or afternoon tea. Some examples: homemade muffins, biscuits, bliss balls, chia pudding and nuts in a small container.
4. Be Prepared
I make time every weekend to do a big batch of cooking. This helps me get ahead with meal preparation so on the nights we’re home late, a healthy dinner is already organised, ready and waiting. Voila! Batch cooking is SO MUCH BETTER than making a big mess in the kitchen every night (dishes, argh!), and it saves time so I can be more present with my kids.
5. Befriend Your Freezer
I make a big batch of brown rice, quinoa, smoothies, pizza dough, stock, biscuits and muffins and freeze them in small portions. This saves time and ensures healthy options are always on hand.
Do any of these tips appeal to? Let me know which ones you want to try, I’d love to hear from you.
Missed a post? You can check out my other Simply Happy blog posts here.
If you enjoyed these tips but are feeling like there’s never enough hours in the day to implement them. You’re always wishing you could just have a bit more time. Let me help you feel more organised so that you actually have time for the things that you want to do without letting anyone down. Book a free 20 minute ‘Time Review’ with me NOW.
Looking for support, connection and conversation? Join my Simply Happy Mums Facebook group HERE.
It is not your fault that as a mum you aren’t able to prioritise yourself. Your entire way of being is focused on making sure everyone else is ok first. Racing between work, school pick up and after-school activities. Worrying about where everyone needs to be and what they are doing. Not to mention running a house and juggling your own career or business. But unless you start to prioritise yourself you will not be able to continue giving to those around you. As the saying goes ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup.’
What an amazing experience spending two nights in Hepburn Springs last weekend with nine beautiful women that said yes to taking time out to relax, reconnect with themselves, laugh and enjoy the company of like-minded mums. This was so much more than a ‘girl’s weekend away’. The mums’ retreat was designed with interactive nurturing workshops and activities to introduce the mums to a variety of other strategies to help them better cope when life feels overwhelming. The simple, yet incredible shifts these women experienced reinforced you can’t afford NOT to find the time for yourself.
4 ultimate benefits of a mums’ retreat
1. Connection builds well-being
Every mum knew at least one person on the retreat. The relaxed environment, sharing of meals and fun activities created plenty of opportunities for the women to connect and actually have a proper meaningful conversation without the kid’s interrupting or having other things to rush off for. I am extremely grateful for the women being a little vulnerable and open to making new friends and memories. Their connection with the other mums has helped them build their own well-being.
2. Learning continues after the retreat
Over the weekend the mums were introduced to yoga and meditation – both practices I use to feel calmer and stay sane as a mum who juggles kids, home and a business. Each and every mum walked away either wanting to continue or start using a mindful practice such as yoga or meditation.
They also participated in two workshops presented by myself, a Wellness Coach. They learned how important it is to switch off when managing the juggle so that they can recharge and be the best version of themselves. They realised by prioritising themselves they are reinforcing to their kids how important they really are. They also started to figure out what’s important to them, who they want to be as both a mum and an individual and looked at what needs to change in their lives.
3. Energised and focused
They were able to let go of the mental load and worry that they have as a mum. There was nothing that they needed to organise apart from what to wear each day. They all felt so much more energised from taking time out from their normal schedule. The break left them all feeling energised and more focused on what is really important in their lives.
4. Relaxed and calmer
There was also plenty of opportunities of free time. Each mum made the most of having time to be pampered with a massage and beauty treatment. They also enjoyed walking in the picturesque area, time to read, and even catching up on some much-needed sleep. A surprise dancing session on Saturday night had them all laughing and experiencing something new and out of their usual comfort zone. As one mum said after the session ‘laughing is the best medicine to feel calmer and more relaxed.’
A mums’ retreat is more than just a ‘girls weekend away’. It is an opportunity for you to start giving back to yourself through relaxation, connection, laughter and learning. Unless you start to prioritise yourself you will not be able to continue giving to those around you. Life will carry on as it is unless you give yourself some time and space from the daily juggle. Join my waitlist and I will email you when the next Mums’ Revive Retreat is being held.
If you loved the sound of the retreat but right now you just need a way to quickly calm yourself down when you feel your blood starting to boil BEFORE you snap. You would love to get your kids to do what you’re asking WITHOUT having to turn into a CRAZY screaming mum. Learn how with my 5 quick ways to keep cool when the kids are driving you crazy, without having to yell.