The fall season means all kinds of new habits for moms and kids alike – and if you are already feeling like you need a little help not constantly feeling overwhelmed and burdened by mom guilt, here are my favourite tips and products to get you through this season of change.
Don’t make life hard in the areas it does not have to be
Between dance lessons and homework assignments, conference calls and parent-teacher meetings, a mom cannot afford to spend time and energy in areas that are not strategic. Sometimes, I think we make life harder than it needs to be – and this can contribute to feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and mom guilt in a huge way. Take grocery shopping for example; I used to do it with a bunch of small kids in tow, and the experience would leave me frazzled and exhausted, and often without the thing I went to get from the store in the first place because I was busy being a hostage negotiator!!! I have given up this struggle and now use a grocery pick up service. For a small fee, you save so much time. You place your grocery order online from the comfort of your own home (I use a recurring shopping list every single week), you select your desired time for pick up, you pull up your vehicle, and a friendly staff member delivers your groceries to your car. What used to take me an hour and a half was significantly cut down to less than half an hour from start to finish. Services like this allow you to save time strategically, freeing you up to enjoy time with your family. My go to is the PC Insiders subscription – free pick up and I earn reward points, all while I gain time with my family.
Make time for date night even if you have no child care
When you think about it, so much time is spent in a car as a mom. I spend about an hour daily for school drop off and pick up, between one to two or more hours in the car for errands and appointments depending on the day, and then another hour driving kids to activities and play dates when we have them scheduled. That’s a lot!
Instead of just a place where we act as chauffeurs for our kids, what if the car could be a place for connection for all members of the family – even for something like a weekly date night?
Here’s how you do it: pack the kids in the car in their pyjamas, drive around until they fall asleep, grab your favourite drink, park somewhere scenic, and enjoy a movie or just enjoy music and each other’s company.
We recently took the Hyundai Palisade out for a test drive and the bells and whistles (like heated seats and steering wheel and multiple USB ports) on this SUV really allowed me to create a luxury date experience. Plus the in-vehicle intercom with Kid’s Quiet Zone silenced what we were listening to in the front in the row so we didn’t disturb our sleeping baby in the back – brilliant! It’s the kind of vehicle that keeps up with the demands of a modern family.
Connection can happen anywhere we are intentional about it happening- even in the car.
Help your kids keep their hands clean while they’re at school
The back-to-school season is TOUGH, as a new school year means new germy situations. Your children also may be settling into a new routine and be introduced to new environments (like a new school). They also won’t have you with them during the day to remind them to do things like wash their hands before and after lunch and recess!
To help my kids avoid germs and keep their hands clean during school hours my simple hack is antibacterial wipes. I send each one (and you know I have a lot!) a travel-pack of Wet Ones in their lunch boxes or backpacks. They are gentle on skin and are an easy way to ensure my kids keep harmful germs away when soap and water aren’t easily accessible - and let’s face it, many kids forget to get up, find a sink and wash their hands. The prompt of seeing a wipe in their lunchbox is a great way to keep your kiddos’ hands clean, and to help ease your mind, knowing that you have given them a line of defence against harmful germs.
Acknowledge that asking for help is not a sign of weakness
I do not know where in modern motherhood it became a sign of success to do everything alone- but this mindset needs to stop! We need to be ok with asking for help, and be ok receiving it! Whether your help comes from your mom, a hired service to clean your home, a teenager in the neighbourhood who watches your kids, or a mom you swap babysitting with so you can both get a break during the week, creating a culture where moms help each other succeed is something that is very important to me, and desperately needed today.
Lisa Canning is a mom of 7, a speaker, author and coach, and a sought after expert in the area of modern motherhood. Follow her adventures on Instagram @lisacanning and on her website, lisacanning.ca