There’s an old saying: If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. These super successful, career balancing, busy moms are all at different stages of parenthood, have expertise in different areas, and have tips all parents can benefit from. From feelings of being overwhelmed and calendar combustion to nursery décor and meal prep, these three moms have strategies to help the busiest of parents create more calm in their lives.
Want to delve deeper into each topic? Join them from April 27-April 29 at the BabyTime Show (www.babytimeshows.ca) where they will have a full presentation on their selected topic.
Lisa Canning, mom of six (soon to be seven) children under the age of 8, is an interior design expert, life-balance coach, and an advocate for good mental health. Want to know how this busy mom of soon to be seven stays sane in a house full of children and is still able to run a successful business? Here are Lisa’s top tips to live a balanced life:
1. Motherhood can be an overwhelming gig at times, especially when you throw in juggling the demands of work, household chores, trying to stay healthy and go on an occasional date night! My best tip for juggling everything is to really think about your priorities. What comes first for you: your marriage/kids, work, health, personal time, etc.? Write a list and order everything based on what is most important to you. Then ensure your calendar actually reflects these priorities.
2. Another way to tackle your calendar and avoid becoming overwhelmed is to have some hard boundaries to ensure your priorities stay in the right order. For example, if you want to make sure your family takes precedence over your work, ensure you have a hard stop time for when you do work, which means you schedule appointments around this hard stop time, you put your phone away at this hard stop time, etc. Setting boundaries with your time is a great way to ensure your top priorities remain your top priorities.
3. Schedule time for yourself like you would any other priority in your life; even if it is just 30-minutes of quiet reading, schedule it and stick to it like you would a child's soccer practice, or a conference call for work. As moms, we GIVE, GIVE, GIVE! So we have to ensure we refill our tanks regularly.
Jaclyn Colville is mother to one 6-month-old darling little girl, an interior stylist, and a frequent TV guest. Décor and design can be completely overwhelming to some, yet when that bundle of joy arrives, most parents want to have the perfect space for them to curl up in. Here are her top tips for smart design in an infant or toddler room:
1. Design with longevity in mind, meaning do not design for the right now stage. Design thinking about the next 5 (or more) years to save money and your time. For example, while you might want to have a chair in your child’s room for breastfeeding, make sure it’s a sturdy one that your little one will be able to curl up in to read stories with you when they’re a toddler. Investing in a convertible crib is a great idea – it means that one purchase now will grow with your child to become a toddler bed, and a full size bed later.
2. Choose a calm, neutral colour, but it does not have to a traditional baby colour. Think calm grey or soft taupe for a nursery. You can use accent pieces to add in soft or vibrant pinks or blues (or any colour!) to update the space as your child grow. Going with a calm colour allows years of growth before you have to re-paint.
3. Make the room welcoming! While you’re going to spend lots of time in there, this is your child’s sanctuary, a space to call their own. Don’t have precious heirlooms in there – or at least keep them out of reach! Be sure the contents are durable, safe, and fun. No sharp corners, lots of places for storage, nothing fussy. You want your child’s space to be a place they love, and where they feel your love surrounding them.
Taylor Kaye is a popular host on CHUM FM, a red carpet reporter, host of Meal-Prep-Mondays, and mom of three girls. Meal prep and making lunches is a constant complaint with moms new and seasoned! Frazzled about the dinnertime madness? Not sure how to mix up the lunch bag? This mom has got it down to a science and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are her top meal and meal preparation tips:
1. Make family meals a priority. Meal-time is a great time to connect with each other, share stories from everyone’s day, make plans, solve issues, and cement the bond of family. Meal prep time can serve the same purpose – giving you time to work together to create a meal you’ll all enjoy.
2. Choose foods that are versatile. As a family of five, we don’t always like the same things, or like it the same way. When I choose foods, I’ll pick products that can be served different ways. For example, if I make a lunch platter of different meats and veggies, I’ll include pitas, buns, and crackers and allow everyone to assemble their plates and “sandwiches” so everyone gets what they like, how they like it. Another versatile option: granola bars. They can be eaten whole, crumbled on yogurt, or broken up into a cereal and fruit bowl.
3. Teach your kids to cook. Give the kids specific jobs to help, like grating cheese, mixing ingredients, laying out crackers - things that they can do with minimal supervision. A word of caution here: they may not do it exactly the way you would, but this is about teaching them and getting help, even when it feels like it would be easier to do it all yourself! If you invest a bit of time every meal to teaching them, before you know it, they’ll be efficient helpers well on their way to being cooks. And when they can make their own meals, you’ve done a great job of make independent adults.
To hear more tips from these super busy moms, come to their presentations at The Babytime Show, from Friday, April 27 to Sunday, April at The International Centre, Hall 1. Visit www.babytimeshows.ca for full show details, presentation times and see all the show has to offer.