Today’s moms are busy people! Between work, shuttling the kids to practice, cooking dinner, looking for that one lost shoe, finding your husband’s keys, errands, and oh yeah, maybe taking some time to relax each day, women’s lives are hectic! Sometimes it seems as though there aren’t enough hours in the day or days in the week to tackle everything on our plates. As a busy mom, wife, friend, and employee, how are you supposed to meet all your deadlines and stay sane?

The answer is simple. Learn to say no. That’s it. Just say no. Taking time for yourself, time to stay grounded, is paramount to staying healthy and staying sane. The kids have a field trip, two practices, and a sleep over? You were asked to volunteer for yet another charity event? Plan a party for work? Just say no!

If Mama Ain’t Happy

If you are spending your time hurrying from one obligation to the next, not enjoying any of them, it’s time to step back and reassess what is really important. Will the kids die if they don’t get to have a sleep over? No. Are you the only one at your office capable of planning a party? I’d wager not. Will no one else step up to volunteer for the event? Of course not. The world as you know it will not cease to exist if you take time to yourself every day.

Slow down, mom! Take time to enjoy your family. Savor the moments you have with them and spend time that counts, not time running from event to event. Plan a stay-at-home movie night with the whole family. Go on a picnic. Take the kids on a bike ride at a state park. Time spent together will be the time you remember and the time that memories are made.  Your family needs you healthy and an over-stressed mom is not a healthy mom.

It is as simple as choosing one thing a week to trim from your schedule. Billy needs a ride to ball practice? Develop a carpool schedule and alternate weeks with another mom. Sarah needs cupcakes made for a class party? Buy them already made. Your husband’s shirt needs a button resewn? Take it to the alteration shop. By removing one thing from your schedule a week, you are freeing up valuable time you can spend on the one person in your family who is not being taken care of…you.

And while you are practicing saying no and reassessing your priorities, don’t forget to do something nice for yourself.  A tired, stressed out, run down mom will not be as good to her family or herself as a happy, alert, ready-to-take-on-the-world mom. Go for a walk, get a massage, take a nap, meditate, or read a book, whatever it is that relaxes and rejuvenates you, do it! The old adage “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” is true and to take care of everyone else, you have to take care of yourself first.

So, slow down mom and enjoy the ride!

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