Below is the podcast version of this article. The podcast explains things so much better than a blog post. I invite you to listen and also hear some examples and some laughs! You can subscribe to the Podcast by opening your favorite podcast app and typing “Balanced Working Moms” into the search. Enjoy!
Being Prepared is a Necessity
As a Mom, being prepared isn’t just a goal; it’s a necessity to save our sanity.
Motherhood comes with so many daily *cough* “surprises” that we often can’t predict (such as your kid having a diaper blowout on the way out the door!)
When we’re prepared, we can deal with these “surprises” much better.
When we get things done in advance, it mitigates the disruption to us and our family.
However, since we’re already so busy, being prepared and getting things done in advance can be very challenging.
I have a few rules that I live by that I’d like to share with you before we dive into the “how.”
Rule #1: Don’t beat yourself up.
I know this has happened to you a million times. You intend to do something in advance, and it falls through the cracks.
Don’t beat yourself up when you don’t manage to get something done in advance!
As a busy Mom, the first thing you do when you realize you’ve made a mistake is you get mad at yourself. I’m with you. I’ve done this a million times.
But now I’d like to introduce you to a new way of thinking.
Stop beating yourself up since when you do, instead of doing better the next time, you do WORSE.
You start feeling like a failure.
However, when you have self-compassion for yourself, you’ll actually do better in the future.
Rule #2: Use it as a Learning Opportunity.
The second rule is to learn something!
When you try to do something in advance and it doesn’t work out, learn from your experience.
This is much better energy than blaming yourself. When you see life as a learning opportunity, you’re more likely to take away the lesson and do better next time.
Now that we’ve settled that, let’s talk about how you can do more in advance.
It’s a Mindset
Getting more done in advance is a mindset.
It’s actually a game I like to play.
It THRILLS me when I get stuff done in advance.
I’m guessing it thrills you, too.
That feeling when people are coming for dinner and you have most of the meal IN THE FREEZER is like nothing else.
The sense of relief is so beautiful. It’s like you WON the game!
What Can I Do Today That My Future Self Will Thank Me For?
When you start thinking that it’s fun to do things in advance, like a game, it becomes a habit. You create systems in your routine that you start doing regularly and the more you do, the more you see opportunities to do it more!
Ideas of Things You Can Do In Advance
- Menu plan. This one’s a biggie and will make your life SO MUCH better!
- Freezer cook. Cook something in advance specifically for the freezer, such as dinner, muffins, etc.
- Outfit prepped. You can prepare your outfit for the next day or even the next week.
- Gifts. Buy a birthday gift or card in advance and put it away.
- Clothes for Next Season. Put together your wardrobe (or your kid’s) for the next season so you’ll be all ready
Success Begets Success
I know your’e wondering — how will you keep up with it?
I’ll be honest and tell you that you may not.
This real life. We’re not perfect. We don’t pretend things are going to go smoothly. We just do our best.
But, the truth is that the more you do things in advance and the more successful you are, the more you’ll WANT to do this.
Success begets success.
Set Up a System
To help you keep up with getting things done in advance, the best thing you can do is to create a system.
For example, if you bought your Mom her mother’s day gift in March, and it felt amazing to have it done early, put on your online calendar or phone a reminder to start looking for a gift each March.
Even with setting up a system there is no guarantee that it’ll happen each year.
But if it does, it’ll be wonderful. It’ll help you and you’ll enjoy the benefits of doing things in advance.
And if it doesn’t happen the next year, who knows. Maybe it’ll happen the following year.
The key is to create a mindset to always be thinking of your future self.
Examples of Things I Do In Advance
Below are more examples of things I like to do in advance
- Doubling Meals. Most times when I make a meal, I double it and stick it in the freezer. It’s like money in the bank! I love my freezer meals. Note: I love to do this for holidays, especially if a lot of people are coming over!
- Bills. I pay my bills weekly so that it’s done way in advance and I don’t panic the day before my credit card bill is due.
- Laundry. I do my personal delicates laundry more often than I absolutely need to so that I don’t run out of clothes.
I hope this article gave you lots of idea of things you can do to be prepared.
Pick just ONE thing and decide you’ll do it soon!
And once you do it, I hope you enjoy the sense of joy and relief that comes from getting things done early.
Wishing you the balance and joy that being prepared brings into your life.