Moms that have it all together!

Kristi - posted on 08/14/2010 ( 142 moms have responded )

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Have you ever seen those moms who are out and about with their babies -they have their hair and make up done,they are in great shape, look well rested, they are organized, they are totally cool and calm, smiling and happy. They seem to have it all together - if you are one of those moms please, please share your secret or any tips-please!! I am a mess and need to get my act together!

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[deleted account]

Well.....I'm not sure I have it ALL together, but I manage to pull off looking like I do most of the time ;)
A couple of my secrets.
I get up 30 minutes before my son. I take a shower (with really nice soaps and lotions), dress, fix my hair, do my makeup, and make my bed. I keep an easy haircut that does not need to be blown dry, I just comb it and let it dry, and after my face cream, I use 4in1 foundation, with a matching blush/shadow, and a quick swipe of mascara. My face and hair are done in less than 3 minutes!

Cleaning--I stole this from flylady.com and modified it. I make a list of rooms I need to clean which ALWAYS includes my bed rooom, kitchen and dinning room, plus 2 more. I grab my little kitchen timer and spend 15 minutes in each room. My entire house is clean in 90 minutes. Nothing ever gets terribly dirty b/c you can do a lot in 15 minutes, and I have a small house, so most of my rooms get cleaned at the very least 2 times a week.

I plan 4 dinners , 5 lunches for hubby, 5 lunches for my son, and 5 lunches for me, along with standard breakfast food. I don't care what day we eat what, but I plan the meals based on what we have already, package quantities, and what will be "left over" from the dinners. The list/menu making process takes about 20 minutes, then I can knock out the actual shopping in another 20 minutes (so my little doesn't get so cranky), vs an hour or more trying to plan at the store and remember what I have at home. Not to mention I save a TON of $$ b/c I don't buy food that we do not use. We also lost some weight when I started this b/c I am not tempted to buy junk food--only food that will go into my meals.


hope that helps some....I love reading tips and such from others, so I hope more will post :)

Julie - posted on 08/14/2010

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Routine, Routine, Routine. I thrive and my kids thrive when we stick to one. I am NOT saying I am one of those moms who ALWAYS has it together, there is no such thing lol. But I have been at home for 8 years, so through trial and error I have learned what works best for us.

I only shop when I am in a good mood as well as the kids, because if I can't enjoy it, then what is the point? Grocery shopping days are the same all the time. Every other Wednesday. The kids know it is coming so it is no big deal and I have mentally prepared myself for it.

You will find routines and little tricks to make your life easier, it all comes with time.

Daisy - posted on 08/16/2010

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I have to say that i agree 100% with Kellean...sorry to say this but those moms who have it all together, make up done, hair done, probably in heels with kids in tow have nannies and/or grandmas that deal with their kids. Not offending any mom out there but it is the truth. I have a routine for my family BUT not always does the routine help us. Monday through Friday of course they are both with me, i have a 4 year old and an 11 month old but when weekends are here and my husband is around, routine goes out the window. Basically, just stick the basics into a routine but the rest play it by ear that's what i say. It's very easy to have it all together when someone other than yourself deals with your kids. The way i see it, if your kids are healthy and you can accomplish the basics in life, then you're good to go...

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Kelly, I agree with the menu planning. It's a MUST! It doesn't take long to look through your refrigerator and pantry to see what is already on hand. Make a menu based on that and make a shopping list based on the remaining ingredients you need. And don't forget breakfast and lunch necessities on the list. I do the menu and list during naptime. I'm in the store for about 30 minutes, because I know exactly what I need.



My daughter is pretty easy if she is feed and well rested so we've rarely had a grocery store meltdown. But having a small notebook and pencil in my purse and letting her scribble while I shop is a lifesaver! I think she pretends to do what I do. I cross off my list as I go and she does that with her scribbles!



And Kelly, I'm going to steal your cleaning plan! LOVE IT! As of now, I make sure dishes and toys are put away each day (actually my daughter puts away her toys). My goal is to vacuum the house and scrub the kitchen floor once a week. I try to wipe the bathroom daily as my daughter is taking her bath. Past that...especially laundry...I'm helpless.



As far as having myself put together...I shower either when my daughter is watching Sesame Street or just bring her in the bath with me. Saves time and water. I have curly/wavy hair so I just run some mousse through it and go. I just to basic makeup, but focus on the eyes so I'll look more put together. Takes less than 5 minutes. Then I make sure I put on something other than a t-shirt. Putting on a nice top takes no more effort than a t-shirt. Top it off with simple hoop earrings and you're good to go! My kid always has a bow in her hair. Doesn't matter what she's wearing, the bow tops off the outfit!

Alice - posted on 08/14/2010

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Right on Julie! Routine. And no, I'm not always "all-together" either, but my girls (4 of them) and I have a general routine (I say that because there is a little flexability due to the natural course of nature lol!) and we usually stick to it.

Household routine is based on time, 5am cow milk & chicken tending can be as quick as 20 minutes or as long as an hour, followed by fruit picking (if applicable) and then breakfast (fruit, if just picked lol!) ... it's all in a flow that they get used to.

Another thing I do is try to keep everything bright and cheerful... everyone is happier and more energized (that can be good or bad lol!)

Big stuff is done with planning: like the quarterly shopping trips (and, everyone is rested and well fed)

Our shopping trip is a all-dayer where we stock up for three months so that has to come on the first "Daddy day off" in each January, April, July, and October.



Then they have the chaos of the unexpected... due to my husband's occupation, he never knows which days he will be working or off until the week before. This suits him because he will just "forget" to tell me he has the day off and stroll into the kitchen in swim trunks with "let's go to the beach" and expect us in the car in 5 minutes lol! He loves spontaneous things - I love order, but the kids love both and love "Daddy surprises" even though they need the structure of Mommy's routine.



I'd also have to say discipline has a lot to do with it. Self-discipline to stick with the routine and rules... and passing that on.

Kids need to know you expect them to do what they need to do. If the chores haven't been done, no video games; excess chores reap bonus fun money; they understand that every action has a consequence, good or bad - and it's interesting how early they realize that! That does help a lot, though! :)

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Shantelle - posted on 05/09/2011

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this was an amazing post honestly i am reading all this stuff on here and its true all of us moms are crazy messes its just we have to remember we seperate our clothes(home and out) wear the most apparent and lightest makeup at the same time i go for eyeshadow and a brown liner sometimes mascara quick to put on and sort your clothes according to out fit if you gotta!! And as for the teething thing my dear how is it going ??If it is still happening i would get him checked

Carlene - posted on 09/08/2010

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I agree with the routine. However I think sometimes that people who do not know me will assume I am a have it all together mom. If I am out with my two children and I am dressed up it means that I am having a rough day and need to get out of the house. I generally feel better if I am dressed up and take time for myself even if it is 5 minutes.

Ashley - posted on 09/01/2010

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I am not one of those moms, but I know several of them. They always look terrific and they always have their house in order in case you want to stop by. They either stay up late making sure the house is clean before they go to bed (routine), or they get up early and do it. The ones I know also sacrifice their "alone time" or "resting" time (in my life this would be my computer or tv or reading time) for making sure they look presentable at all times - hair done, pedicure done, legs shaved, etc. They want to make sure they are presentable for themselves and their husbands. They truly make some sacrifices for all of it.
Check out flylady.com - she has some great suggestions!

Crista - posted on 09/01/2010

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i agree Jenni i am that way too my little ones ask where we are going if i put my shoes on i want to feel put together even a little if i get a chance to get out of the house and my children are just the same way the min i go to change them out of play clothes they know we are headed out of the house

Jenni - posted on 09/01/2010

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Wow what is with all these posts that feel necessary to tear down another mom for looking put together. Maybe she does have her act together, so what? Kinda makes you seem bad for suggesting she must have a nanny or secretly scream at her kids behind closed doors.

I myself am a SAHM so most the time I'm at home in comfy lounge clothes, so when we go out even if it's just to Kroger I dress nice and put on make up. You know it's bad when you put on blue jeans and your 3 year old asks where we're going, lol. I love my kids, I love my life. With a 3 year old and a 2 year old I usually have them take a bath while I put on make up so we're all in the bathroom together, but they're occupied playing in the tub. Also dry shampoo you can spray in and brush out is awesome, I can wash my hair the night before and spruce it up in the morning to save time.

[deleted account]

Everyone has posted routines - I think those are key to making everyone happy and well organized. But honestly those "put together" moms are probably living in chaos at home, dirty laundry everywhere, dirty dishes, bills not paid. It's only on the outside that they are like that - for show & tell. Or they are the screamers - constantly yelling/screaming at their family behind closed doors! Now laugh at what you think might be going on at home and be happy that you have a huge support group on cirlce of moms!

Zoe - posted on 08/31/2010

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I don't think that people who have it together always have help at all. I think some people are just better organized and have different priorities. If it's important to you that your hair get's done in the morning, then you'll figure out a way to get it done.

Kellean - posted on 08/31/2010

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There is a lot of great advice! I hope you find what you are looking for.

I was the one who wrote about Nannies. I had four friends who had full time Nannies that were looking after their children (I guess it is who you hang around with). So I had first hand knowledge of these things. I also used to sit for a family when I was young, full time. I helped with the kids on a daily basis. So that works too.

One of the other mom's mentioned that her husband is a good supporter. If you have that option then perhaps he can step in and give you a break once in a while.

When all three of my children were little, my husband traveled a lot through his company. Therefore, I had to manage everything myself. I also took care of my sick parents (my dad at that time had MS) and my grandmother who had cancer. Life can get pretty busy and as a mom you can feel overwhelmed at times. Just make sure you take care of you and try to get some time for yourself. :)

As I said before it is easy to get things done with one child. However, more than two children and you've got your hands full. I think as long as the children look dressed and clean then you have accomplished what you set out to do. So often where I live I see the mom's decked out and their children looking disheveled. Usually it is the other way around.

Lara - posted on 08/31/2010

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so desperately agree with the routine advice!!!there is a book called 'save our sleep' i swear by it and im one of those mums... i have an 8 month old daughter who sleeps 2x2 hours blocks during the day and now sleeps all night.... :) i have time to work out/ shower/ makeup/ hair/ house work/ rest if im tired... ect.... seriously get onto that book i highly recommend it!!!!! good luck and i hope you can soon become 'one of those mums' :) xx

Marlena - posted on 08/29/2010

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Just keep in mind, just because someone looks like they have it all together on the outside doesn't mean they have it all together on the inside. DO what is right for your family. DON'T worry about what others think. ASK if you need help. TRY to help others when you can.

Liz - posted on 08/29/2010

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Maybe they have nannies. lol
People often comment that I'm a very calm mom, but that's not always true.
I've never been a fan of make-up, but I can't even leave my house without at least being showered. And I'm perfectly fine going out with my hair wet, as long as it's clean. lol I usually just pull it back in a ponytail anyway.
And the people who would have a problem with how I looked one day are not the people I would ever want to be friends with anyway, so who cares what they think?
I do know 2 women who both seemed like "super-mom's". But I've also seen both of those women "lose it". So, I realize that there's no such thing as a super-mom. Just real people who have some days that are better than others.
A mom may take her kid to the playground for an hour and appear to be having a wondreful and fun time, only to go home and pass the kid back off to the nanny, relieved that her "kid time" for the day was done and now she can get back to her "me time".
I have 3 kids and barely have a minute to myself. Some days I'm okay with not being able to go to the bathroom by myself, and some days I'm on the verge of a mental breakdown.
As some people have said, routine makes a big difference. Plus, kids thrive on routine. So, the better the kids are thriving, the better you'll feel as a mom. It's a win-win.
And don't be afraid to ask for help- as long as it's from the right people who really do want to lend a hand. I've had people tell me "Let me know if I can help you in any way and I'll be glad to lend a hand." Then I've asked those same people for something- say a ride to the dr, or to watch my other kids so I can run an errand, and they have a million excuses of why they can't do THAT for me. And that's from the relatives! So I've learned not to ask for help from them. But then there are other people who would gladly go to the store for you AND take your kids with them AND feed them lunch while they're out!
The bottom line is, we're all a mess sometimes.
YOU might be perfectly okay with something that might stress me out to the max. And I might be fine with something that would stress you out.
Don't be too hard on yourself. I'm sure you're not nearly as big a mess as you think you are.

Aniesha - posted on 08/29/2010

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I think a lot of it is illusion, lol. Apparently people think I'm a calm Mum who deals with things really well, but there are times when I feel like I'm stumbling round with one eye twitching, lol.

I think a huge thing for me is having a supportive partner. I'm pretty much a 24/7 stay at home mum. My son (20 mths) doesn't go to daycare or anything, and his Dad goes away for a day or two with work a couple of times a month. We're pretty lucky tho, coz my man is a musician, so overall he's away a lot less than a 9 to 5 working person. I know a lot of other mums were saying routine is good, and I have no doubt it is, but our routine is absolutely shot, lol. But it's what works for us. I'm a musician also, and work wherever I can & it doesn't interfere with my baby, so it really helps for us to have a flexible kid. I used to stress about him not getting his sleep etc., but now I just put more faith in him that he'll let me know what he needs.

That was a bit of a ramble, haha. I think it comes down to accepting the help when people offer it. Partner, mum, in-laws, friends, whatever! Take time for yourself, coz you're still a person underneath the "Mum" exterior! And don't stress too much about what you should or shouldn't be doing. According to parenting books, I'm doing everything wrong, but hey, it's what works for us:). I used to stress a lot about things, but I've had to learn to just let go of a lot, & has definitely helped:)

Tameka - posted on 08/29/2010

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Fake it. I found that if I let it show my family and friends start to worry. I only let a select few close family and friends know the truth because we all need love and support to get us through the tough days. I have a High Needs baby so the days have been VERY tough indeed. I fake it when I am in public to avoid stares and whispered comments. I hold it together until I am back at home. Fortunately my High Needs baby is now 8 months and is starting to nap during the day and wakes only 4-5 times a night I'm starting to function again.

I have noticed the mums who have their hair done and their make up flawless have quiet and withdrawn children (well, the ones I've seen around my town any way). I brought this up with a close friend of my who is a psychologist and she said that those women believe that having a baby isn't a reason to change anything about their previous life and are often a distraction/nuisance to how things used to be done. They're the baby that gets left in the pram and ignored while mum has lunch with the girls the third time that week or left in the cot to scream while mum is watching the last 20 minutes of her favourite soap opera. It blew my mind to hear this (and upset me a bit too...) and is nice to know that I'm normal to be a bit frazzled!!

Dawn - posted on 08/28/2010

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Like Kelly, I also use a modified version of flylady.com. And I plan meals. I write down what we have and put it on the fridge. Then my hubby and older daughter can pick what we have for dinner instead of asking, "What's for dinner??????"

Dawn - posted on 08/28/2010

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I am told I am one of "those moms" The best advice I can give is relax... Cut yourself some slack you will not be able to do it all, everyday. Somedays some things are just not going to get done. Let it be ok. Forget the image of what you think you "need" to be. Find a hairstle/makeup routine that are simple. Make time for yourself each day even if it just 5 minutes. Some of the best advice my grandma gave me as a litle girl was "the worse you feel, the better you should dress" if you're having a bad day, dress up a bit. Feeling like you look good will help you feel better. And, if you are out and about and people are complimenting you, that makes you feel even better. Every time you catch yourself being negative force yourself to find 2 things positive. Attitude is everything. So, my last piece of advice is if you don't feel it, fake it. Seriously. You can only fake an attitude for so long before it becomes true.

Paula - posted on 08/28/2010

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I also rush out the house sometimes and look at the other mums and say to myself "how do they look like they just left the hairdresser and its 9am" ah well we all have our good points and I just try to focus on those on the days I am out the door and I didnt have time to brush my hair or put on makeup....Really as long as my bubs is happy and I am enjoying the day its all good.....

Kellean - posted on 08/28/2010

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It is a good idea to establish a routine when you only have the one child to worry about. Getting in the habit of a using a schedule so that when you continue to have more children you will be prepared for everything.
I also recommend that you have exchanges with friends. You take your friends children two to three hours a week and she does the same thing for you. If that won't work then definitely hire a sitter or nanny to come in and give you a chance to breath for several hours a week. I cannot stress to you the importance of taking time out for you! This really makes a difference in that Mom's really need their time to do whatever they want. Whether it is a going to the spa, getting their hair done, napping or even cleaning the house. It really is up to you to spend that time however you want. Both Mom's and children need a break from each other once in a while. Pediatrician's highly recommend this early on as infants. It will get the children used to mommy being away and better prepared for pre-school on up. Maybe even a family member can step in for awhile?
However, women that look polished 24/7 really do have someone helping with their children around the clock. It is just a fact! You can't work out when you have more than one baby running around and needing attention.
The most important thing is to never compare yourself to others!! Being a Mom is the most rewarding job in the world and it is also the hardest job! With every job there is some vacation time in between. Remember to reward yourself periodically! ;)

Jennifer - posted on 08/28/2010

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I dont have a minute by minute routine just an hour routine every morning and a bed time routine. When I wake up in the morning i put the baby in his excercauser and put his baby movie on, it keeps him entertained long enough for me to get myself ready and eat breakfast. Also, its ok to let the baby cry a little bit sometimes the only way to get a shower is to let him cry for a few minutes. thats how I do it.

Christie - posted on 08/28/2010

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A good tip I was given was to get out of bed an hour earlier than your child. It's easier said than done but in time. Sincerely Sema has some really good motherhood tips at www.producehersink.com

Naomi Nneka - posted on 08/28/2010

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in my own part of the world ,west africa,such moms usually have house helps or maids or someone assisting them especially with household chores.when u have to do everything all by urself u dont seem to have any time at all for urself.as for me i wake very early and do the much i can b4 my 2kids get up.i get the older one who is 4yrs to do some chores and go on some erands.i try to keep things where thet should so dat i dont have to look so much for them.at times my little one 9months needs my attention just to b carried when i have a lot to do so i end up backing her-tying her to my back with a cloth and doing what i have to do.u musn;t b like others,do what u can reasonably and necessarily do.i hope i'v been helpful in some way

Heather - posted on 08/28/2010

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Sometimes our personality type does contribute to our 'all together ness'! If you have a routine that suits you, your kids are feed, clean and happy, maybe that's not going to be your thing. They may be blessed instead with a mum that loves to be with them or doesn't mind playing mud pies in the back yard or loves spontaneous trips to the grandma's in their PJ's for breakfast. We each have gifts that will bless our kids lives. Don't worry if you don't look like the calm super mum - you kids will love you for being you.

Elizabeth - posted on 08/27/2010

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I agree with julie 100% on this one!! establish a routine and stick to it. I used to think I could let my kids stay up just a little late on the weekends, or holidays, or special occasions...can't do it!! once they are thrown off schedule, it's hard to get them and you back into the swing of things. Do I fall off my schedule..once in awhile..but I am back on it the next day. Can't let it go on for too long!!

Rossi - posted on 08/27/2010

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I absolutely agree w/routine...not a rigid schedule that can't be flexible but something to go by. I have three children so far and one on the way. I homeschool all three ... k-5, 4th and 7th. We all have a routine that I've color coded for them so they know what to do and if it something unexpected comes up we move on to the next thing and not sweat the small stuff. All three of the girls help out and each have their own set of chores that they quickly do each day. I keep a calendar by the garage door so as my hubby and the rest of us walk out, we know exactly what is going on. I do plan ahead for lunches and dinners so it makes it easy through out the day to quickly do the prep-work in stages. I do my grocery shopping for the week on Sunday with the whole family. We make a game of it. Two girls with head off with their daddy and the other one is with me and we split the list and we race to see who can get everything on their list first. We save b/c we only buy what is needed and only buy what is on the list. It's fun and FAST! I wake up 30 minutes before the girls and they go to bed 1 hours before my husband and I do so we can get our alone time together. I do take many tips from fly-lady and I do take the time fix my hair in an easy style and a little make-up. I do this b/c I feel better when I look good. I make sure we eat healthy organic foods and completely cut out the sugar and we are all healthy, happy and energetic. We do many activities together. I take karate w/the girls and coach one of their teams. I think it would be difficult to do what we do if I didn't have a flexible routine schedule... and for the record... I do NOT have a nanny...I would never hire one... I want to be the one to raise my children up for the Lord and enjoy them while they are home. Hope this helps!

Kristi - posted on 08/27/2010

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Thak you to everyone who posted their thoughts and ideas! This has been VERY helpful and I have already strated to implement some of your ideas. I am feeling more together already. Thanks moms!!

Olivia - posted on 08/27/2010

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Routine. Im not dolled up everyday but I look together. It took me awhile to get it but once I did it was worth the wait.

CJ - posted on 08/27/2010

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No matter how good a mom looks they dont always have it together. there may be a good day where they get enough time to make them selves look good and the kids are being good and all is well, but really no mom has days like that. Either that or the mom who looks fabulous has to get up a couple hours earlier then anyone so they have the time. Here is the thing to remember, your child is never going to care what you look like until they are a teenager and as long as your child is happy then thats all that matters. And if you need a couple days where you want to feel amazing get dressed up when the kids are napping and go out when they are up.

Anna - posted on 08/27/2010

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Well I dont know how together I am. Most of my friends think I do so maybe I do but it doesnt always feel that way. I have been a mother for 21 years. I have four children ages 21,17,7,1. Pretty good age span allows for a less chaotic life! Honestly I have a routine like everyone else but its super flexible. I tend to not care so much if I didnt get the kitchen cleaned before heading off to church. And I dont really care if I make my bed everyday or not. These arent the important things in life!

My children however do eat on a schedule, watch tv on a schedule, play outside on a schedule (my 7 yr old) take naps on a schedule and bathe and lay down for the night on a schedule. Sometimes we break the bedtime schedule but try really hard to keep that one consistent.

I also have tons of help. My two oldest boys help with the little ones. My husbands helps with the kids alot and he helps clean at night when he comes home from work. Someone always watches the kids when I do major grocery shopping and if I have to pick up a few things then I take the little two with me. I enlist help from my 7 yr old and my 1 yr old sits in the cart. Jacob is always willing to get things off the self for me so its not so boring for him.

With the help and support of my family working as a team we just get things done. I dont think one person is supposed to do everything. Even if you have smaller children they love to help Mommy. If everyone helps then it makes you look like you have everything together

Rebekah - posted on 08/27/2010

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First of all, how old is your kido? That has everything to do with it. No mom has it all together the 1st 3-4 months of thier first child! Secondly, it's all about routine and lowering your expectations. If you don't get the chores done in order to get a shower in, then you still rock! Children thrive on routines, because they love to know what is coming next and what to expect from their day. Even as a baby/toddler I tell my daughter what we are doing each day and why. This increase her speech development, cognitive development, as well as any anxieties she may have about what is coming up.

Lastly, it's all in the partner! My husband is fabulous about picking up the slack for me when I go to the gym or need time to decompress from a stressful day. He does a lot of one on one time with our daughter and she also thrives from these spontaneous moments with daddy!

Kyle - posted on 08/27/2010

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Here's what I do - or try to do, to keep life sane and happy:
1. Menu planning, makes everything food related easier, cooking, shopping,etc.
2. Certain chores for certain days: Monday - shopping, Tues - laundry, etc.
3. Get up and ready before child wakes up - you feel good about yourself and not lazy
4. Nap if I need to
5. Remember that you can't do everything and sometimes its more important to play or spend quality time with your family than have every little chore completed.

Flor (Flower) - posted on 08/27/2010

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HI! I am a stay at home mommy of a three year old, a two year old, and a 10 month old. I absolutely LOVE my girls. I enjoy them- and have them in a pretty "strict" routine! I believe that having them in a routine (I call it Schedule) is absolutely necessary! They know what to expect, I know what to expect- we all thrive! Now, as a mom, I am realistic and know that we will not always be able to stick to a routine I use those times as "blessings" and teach my girls to go with the flow with out breaking down. Of Course discipline is absolutely necessary. I expect my girls to obey- if not they know the consequences. (Yes, even my ten month old.) Now, in order for discipline to work with them, I myself must be disciplined. I can't expect them to be able to control themselves if mommy is prone to breakdowns, screaming spells, ect..
I believe God has trusted us with a most precious gift-His children. Now it's our RESPONSABILITY to rear them to be pleasing to Him. We need to have faith, and trust that God doesn't make a mistake by "allowing" us to become mommies!!
Oh, yes- last thing ENJOY them!!! Let them see you smile!!! Let them see you actually want to play with them!! They and you will reap the benefits!

Mary - posted on 08/27/2010

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I don't have it all together by any means, but I think I'm getting there - and it's actually much easier than it seems once you jump in. You just have to have realistic expectations of it not happening overnight. You also have to ditch the excuses - especially the "they have it together b'c they have money, nannies, grandmas, etc." Those things may be helpful, but really - in the longrun of training up your children I think it's better to have them with you helping. My daughter stays with me almost all of the time - and I work part time. My husband might watch her for an hour a week, or let her help him work outside a little - but she's almost always with me.

I've been researching household notebooks (google it!) and I think it's a wonderful idea and will be very helpful. My work schedule is NOT regular at all - so I'm organizing my notebook that way. Monthly tasks and weekly tasks - not assigning days to anything. Some structure with a lot of flexibility - this may also be because I am phobic of rigid routine, although some structure is necessary - especially for children.

Another thing that has been helpful is to get what I can done, then maintain it. In the past I have tried to super clean everything - but by the time I get back to the first room I started with, it's a disaster again and you have to start all over. This way I did one room on a day I had extra time, and at night we spend a couple of minutes (it seriously takes less than 5 minutes - my 2 year old is learning to help, so instructing her actually takes longer than doing it myself - but it will pay off later) and pick up. As I have time I have been chipping away at other areas in the house, then maintaining those. It's much more managable this way, and it's encouraging to have a room that's been consistently clean for a couple of weeks.

As for hair/makeup etc. I pretty much don't. I've never worn makeup - saves time and money, and you never have to run out looking way different than people expect you to. The lady who did my makeup for my wedding, I did cave for that, could tell I didn't wear any - she said that wearing makeup can actually damage your skin and make you more reliant on it. I have had the occassional week or so per year that I decide to wear mascara - but I get annoyed with it and stop. During the winter I do wear a facial lotion to keep my skin from cracking - it takes about 15 seconds to apply. I also keep chap stick on hand. Hair usually dries on it's own - sometimes I invest the 5-10 minutes to blowdry it and run a curling iron or straightener through - but I'm not totally convinced it helps that much.

Meal planning is the next area I'm going to tackle and I think it will do wonders for my sanity, budget, health and time!

Reiko - posted on 08/27/2010

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Well, catch me on a good day and I think I do pretty well. Of course every day is somewhat of an adventure with two kids, 2.5 yrs old and 14 mths old. I agree with pp's, routine and structure play a big part. I am not a morning person, but I wake up at 6am so I can have a shower and look presentable (not that that's super early). We usually have one outing a day, my kids are really used to getting ready to go, getting in /out of carseats, being out and about. I make sure to time things so that if I can help it, I'm not trying to do things when the kids are tired or hungry - it just doesn't end well. We sleep trained both our kids, we were fortunate that it didn't take much, they are good sleepers and nappers - again, routine helps because they know naps and bedtime aren't options; a well rested kid is much easier to live and play with, and we get a good amount of rest as well. I also joined a playgroup and always ask for advice from other mommies who seem to have it together - I've picked up so many tips and tricks!

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although many of the women who "have it all together" do get alot of help from families or nannys or whatever, its not ALL of them. To say that this is the only way makes women with family who live far away or women who cant afford "nannies" feel pretty hopeless. I think if ppl believe that is the only way, they must have been seriously discouraged somewhere along the line, or, they are using it as a copout because they cant get it together.
because i can say, i know women, who DO NOT get "help" from others, and still have it together. Myself included. Ladies you CAN DO IT!

nobody is perfect and everyone has bad days, even bad weeks lol, but you can get it together :-) if you have two legs and a heartbeat, you can get it together!

ROUTINE is an absolute must. Being crazy bent on having a perfect routine that never gets broken, is of course a very bad idea, as it wont happen. you have to know how to be flexible and enjoy life, but at the same time, you must must must must have a set, planned routine in place that happens daily if nothing out of the ordinary comes up.
"winging it" is no good for you or for your family.

Children thrive off routine, it makes them feel safe and confident, and thats a fact. I see it all around me, the flustered, unorganised, here there and everywhere mums, usually have whinging, shy, frustrated, just as flustered and tired and aggravated children. The mums who have routine and are calm usually have children who are confident, well behaved most of the time and generally happy. not to mention husbands appreciate a home that is in order.

dont feel hopelessness if you havent got there yet, it takes time, some ppl more time than others, but be encouraged it IS possible :-)

I only have the one child, but I know a woman with 4 kids. 3 boys and a girl, all under 7. She still looks good every day, her house is clean whenever i visit, and she is happy.

Its about getting priorities right, and not going overboard in one area and neglecting other areas because of it.

for example, you might think, right, i havent worn makeup since my child was born. couldnt be bothered and havent had time, but im tired of looking tired! so im going to do my hair and makeup every day now! or at least when i go out shopping! then you go ahead and try to do your old hair and makeup routine that you did before you had kids.... u try to fit in the hour and a half it took you to get ready into your life now (or however long it used to take)... noooo, disappointment is lurking at the door. Be NOW thinking. Tone down the makeup, and get a haircut that looks fab with not too much effort. waist length hair might look wonderful, but it doesnt when its all up in a messy bun bcoz u have no time for it. chop it to a good length, get it layered in a way that only takes a towel and mousse or a quick blast of the hairdryer to look nice. makeup doesnt need to be fancy, just fresh. bit of tinted moisturiser, concealer and mascara works WONDERS for a tired looking mum! you see its all about putting important things first, and fitting the rest in with a bit of time saving creativity! lol.

write lists! lists lists lists!! and then LOOK at them haha. It helps. dont make them too big or youll never get it finished and eventually give up on the list idea. make them simple, must be done goes first.. would like to get done second, and then if you have time, do things from tomorrows list! or just CHILL, lol.

meal planning is a great idea, it doesnt have to be masterchef extravagant, just simple. it not only is budget friendly, but it saves time later from the "hmmm what should we have for lunch.. hmmm" "oh i forgot to defrost the roast" and staring into the cupboard for ten minutes moments. it all helps.

cleaning schedule not only makes your home more hygenic, it keeps you sane and you can SEE the results so you feel like youve actually accomplished something. work out how often vaccuming and mopping and bathroom and toilets and rooms and washing etc etc needs to be done, and space it out over a week, fortnight, month etc depending on what it is so its being done regularly in accordance to its necessity. it really really helps. you feel somewhat on top of things, and you have things to put on your to do list straight away.

i suggest buying one of those gigantic planners u see at the newsagency that you think "who the heck would buy that?! a business man? a hair salon?"... nope. YOU. haha. you can put it ALL on there and leave it on the kitchen table, or your bedside table, wherever it can be referred to. they have enough room for notes, birthdays, shopping lists, appointments, to-do's for the day etc. u can keep it to yourself or use it as a full family planner, itll help having it all in one place on paper.

getting up before the kids do is really the best way to get a head start... to tired? go to bed earlier! easier said than done. believe me i know, it took serious effort for me to "get it together" because my personality is pretty cruisy and spontaneous. but i learned very quickly that an unorganised, not fussed attitude does NOT work for a family woman. So years of just living for the moment kind of mindset had to be traineed out of me.

it does take self discipline, but youll be glad you did it!
and so will your kids and partner :-)

Giovanna - posted on 08/26/2010

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oh my gosh,i'm the same way!at almost 23 i feel like a complete mess!before it would take me about two hours to get ready,and now i have to do it in less than an hour!it's so frustrating.the worst thing is that i haven't been able to work out so i'm super self-conscious.but i guess it is all about routine.what i've started to do is that when my baby takes his first nap,i work out for half and hour or so,and then take a shower.but i'm hoping to improve my routine.i really have to get it together too!lol

Ashley - posted on 08/26/2010

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No mom will ever be perfect. Routine is definately the big secret. My son has had the same routine since the day he was born. Besides those "Stepford Moms" all have their own problems they are just better at hiding them.

Mei - posted on 08/26/2010

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As a military mom, I know that having family around to help makes this possible and a lot about how to manage w/o family around at all. I have never had any family or any type of help, so I just go out when I have had the chance to get ready and the baby is doing well (ie fed, rested, etc.). I don't always get a chance to get ready every time, but when I know I have to go out, I plan ahead and get ready early.

Nadine - posted on 08/26/2010

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ok im just here for sympathising im a mess to hunni lol i have four boys one 8 one 7 one 5 and one 2 and pfft i have no chance of even dreaming of a routine as soon as i get one some thing happens to mes it up, if i have ever gone out looking even close to nice it because i got up 2 hours before the kids hehehehe

Jill - posted on 08/26/2010

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I have 4 kids ages 6,4, and twins that are 2. I agree that routine makes a huge difference in how the day runs. I find that we get more things done if they are simply part of the routine-and I try to be flexible. I don't have a nanny or any outside help but I do have a good husband who is also a good Dad. I prefer to wait until he gets home from work to go on outings or run errands but I have gone alone with the kids. I guess the best suggestions I can give are do your best. Do things that work best for you and your family. If you decide to use a routine don't be afraid to adapt it until you get it they way you want it. It took me about 2 years to decide on a routine that I like for me and my 4 kids and I'm sure I'll still make changes to it. One thing that is important to me is to try to spend one on one time with each of my kids every day because they are only little for such a short time and don't want to turn around and realize that I missed it. Good luck!

Gina - posted on 08/26/2010

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You can't control everything butI try to prepare in advance for things that might come up. I toss extra clothes for the baby/the potty training toddler/the accident prone 5 year old in the diaper bag or car when we're heading out. Extra snacks, pacifiers, diapers/wipes, sunscreen, and bandaids are also handy to keep in the car. If we're heading to a friends house for dinner, I always bring jammies for the kids so we can change them before we head home(then cross my fingers that they fall asleep in the car). Both my 5 year old and 2 year old help pick up their toys before lunch and dinner(I tell them to start about 15 min before food is going to be served).
Make-up is simple if you keep it basic. Pick your best feature and play it up. My routine includes a little powder, roll-on eye shadow, n mascara.. takes 5 minutes but helps me feel a little more pulled together. A pony tail or cute headband will keep your hair in check and out of the way. Just know that, sometimes things are going to get so chaotic that all you can do is laugh and realize that nobody truly has it all together(even if they look like they do).

Jean - posted on 08/26/2010

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well, I'm not a super mom but I always have this in mind...."If I can do it today why wait for tomorrow". I prepare my child and hubby's things ahead of time. In this way you can be more prepared, organized and treat yourself well to look beautiful inside and out.
Goodluck!

Felina - posted on 08/26/2010

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I am still working on this myself, I am a stay at home with 2 little ones at home (ages 1 and 2) and I also have a 9 year old in school. Flylady.net really helps me, maybe it will help you too :) !

Amber - posted on 08/26/2010

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Checklists are awesome! Plan your work and then work your plan. It's so worth it and you feel so accomplished when you get to check something off. It's amazing the rush of confidence you feel when little by little you are reaching your goals!

Mary Jo - posted on 08/26/2010

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I was never that mom, now my kids are older and I can be that mom when I choose to be. Don't worry about the other mom's, love your kids and enjoy them while they are little, as they grow older you will have all the time in the world to do your hair and make-up for the grocery store. :) As woman, we always look at other woman to see how we are measuring up. If you are loving your kids and taking care of their needs, then you are measuring up just fine.

Finally, no one has it completely together ... we all have our "mess" ... some of us just have it packaged differently.

Jennifer - posted on 08/26/2010

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Kristi, O honey don't be so hard on yourself. A lot of it does have to do with schedule. I will stay up late and paint my nails and get up before EVERYONE to go to the gym. BUT the thing you have to remember is a lot of it is just an act on the mothers side.
Trust me I know. I have been asked about it also. The IMPORTANT thing is to enjoy your kids. I know when I was wearing white I would not let my kids hug me unless I knew they were clean. LOL
I saw what that did to my sisters kids and decided not to wear white anymore.

Holly - posted on 08/25/2010

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I dont think they have it all together! the happy looking ones who are always pretty and perky, must be rich and paying for help or have a relative that is helping them then they run off to get all pretty! the ones that look normal, are the ones who work very hard to get it together and barely has help or they do! i knew this one teacher that acted like she regrets having a child and had a horrible, horrible attitude towards a lot of moms when we all meet. she was very organized and smart but tired and aggravated lol.. she needed to think positive and drink an energy drink lol.. i dont know but all moms are different, i like the ones who work hard, is able to keep them selves up and has loads of time to spend with there child and never think negative or worry! im like that, i get so strung out on thinking negative scary thoughts i start worrying then stressed. i dont think its good to think like that constantly and stress your self so hard caz it does take a lot of energy out of you and i think kids that are 2 yrs and smaller can feel that from you! i have it hard at the moment, i just had a little one and no one is able to help me, not even daycare! im not rich to hire a nanny lol i wish but i do everything on my own at home while the hubby works hard! half the time, im not able to tend to myself or the house, the 3 week old needs tending too so i get her and her big 2 yr old brother together and spend time with them!

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Routine and discipline. I've been home for 4 years now, and everything stays together much better when we have a routine and I stay disciplined. I spend a lot of time with the kids during the day, then when they go to bed it's my time to do deep cleaning, running on the treadmill, reading magazines, or what ever. But there are certain things that are always done on the same day, like grocery shopping (every other wednesday). I worked for months to compile a list of our grocery store based on the layout and the things I buy. I keep a copy of that, so I just mark stuff off as I use them so I'm all set when I go to the store. It did take some time to get the initial list, but well worth the effort. I can do 2 weeks of grocery shopping for a family of 4 in under an hour.

Working out at night after the kids go to bed is great for me. It gives me more energy at that point in the day so I don't just sit down and watch tv the rest of the night, and then I'm able to get a lot more done.

Routine is important, but I think discipline comes first. Without that, no amount of routine will work. I'm also big on lists. I absolutely love those magnetic pads (I buy tons of them at the dollar store).

And don't be so hard on yourself. Every mom can look put together once in a while :)

Brenda - posted on 08/25/2010

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I do not always have it together but my friends think I do! LOL! From the time my first child was born I told myself I would never be one of those people that stayed in their pjs all day. I always made time for a shower....and getting dressed. May not have had makeup or hair done but I was clean and felt better because I was somewhat presentable. It really changes your attitude. Also, when my daughter was about 1 year old I discovered FlyLady. She has helped this sidetracked mom find routine and helps keep me going. Now so many of the things I do are just habits--took time but I got there. Her website is www.flylady.net and she also has a FB page. I have never had a nanny and although my parents do live in town they are 45 min. away so don't have their help all the time. Good luck!

Stifler's - posted on 08/24/2010

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I used to just sit my baby in his swing chair in the bathroom while I showered. It might sound creepy or whatever but they are amused and soothed by the sound of the shower I think and just sit there and at least you get a shower.

Amber - posted on 08/24/2010

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yes this is to help her i just wanted to let her know its ok to let the baby cry for a few minutes while she gets ready.

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