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15 Productivity Hacks For Stay-At-Home Moms

15 Productivity Hacks For Stay-At-Home Moms

Being a stay-at-home mom is far from easy. More often than not, unless you have a very good idea of how to make the most of your time, it can be quite chaotic and incredibly stressful. The thing to remember is that you need to stay motivated in order to be more productive, and being more productive will leave you some more free time to do the things that make you happy, which in turn helps you get through all the chores efficiently. So, let’s look at a number of great ways to boost your productivity, and make you a happier mom in the process.

1. Get up earlier

If you want to have a productive day, you need to get up a bit earlier. This way, you will certainly have more time for yourself. Use this time to take a shower, relax and prepare for the hard working day. Moreover, it happened to all of us, because we want to sleep more, immediately when we get up we start doing chores. This is really stressful and will only exhaust you. When you get up earlier, you will have time to drink coffee alone in a quiet environment, while your children are still asleep, and can then see everyone off to school with a lot less stress and drama. Try it out and you will soon realize that you are in a better mood and that all house chores seem a lot easier.

2. Get ready for the day – put some make up on

Stay-at-home moms have very demanding tasks, and opposite to common belief, they are always busy. As you are trying to manage all your obligations, you somehow never have time to do your hair and put on some makeup. So on the way to the supermarket or a shopping mall you are always nervous because your look is sloppy and you don’t have time to fix it. However, there is always a solution and all you need are waterproof mascara, hydrating foundation and some quality lipstick.

Purchase a quality foundation that will at the same time hydrate your skin and keep it healthy. By using quality products you will make sure that the makeup doesn’t negatively affect your skin and you will be able to have it till the evening.  Apply the makeup in the morning and it will certainly make you feel better. It will boost your confidence, and you will always be ready to go.

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3. Learn a 5 minute manicure

Make up will boost your confidence but don’t forget your hands. Since you have very little time and you need your nails to look good, you can learn a 5 minute manicure and have beautiful nails in no time. Soak your hands in the warm water, massage them with a scrub and remove dead skin cells. After that file your nails and apply top coat. This will give your nails a shiny look but also the protection they need.

4. Start your own blog

It is important to understand that you are not alone. You can share your experience with other moms all over the world and you can do that by creating your very own mom blog. You can write articles on important topics and you can ask or give advice to other stay-at-home moms. Moreover, if your blog becomes popular you can also earn some money.

5. Do exercises in the morning

Physical activity is very important, because as a stay-at-home mother, most of your time you spend standing and walking. Going to the classes can take a lot of your time, because you waste your time in the car and that time you can certainly use for something else such as going on a massage. When you get up do some exercises to stretch your muscles and prepare your body for the busy day full of house chores. If you are into yoga, take a few classes to learn how to properly perform a certain position, and then continue working out alone at your home. This will save you a lot of time, help prepare for the day and won’t make you tired.

6. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help

Once a month, it happens to all mothers that they have to do laundry, prepare meals, vacuum, iron clothes, wash dishes, do homework with children, take them to the playground – and all that in one day! When this happens, stay calm and hire a nanny or a maid. Whatever option you choose, they will help you go through the day. Being a mom is a full time job, so why not outsource one part of your tasks?

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7. Hunt for discounts

Saving money is often very difficult and not lot of people know how to achieve it. One of the best ways is buying on discounts. You will be amazed how much money you can actually save, if you just try this. It won’t give you millions but it will help you to save just enough.

8. Teach your kids to do chores

If your kids are old enough to learn how to do house chores, then do that – it is better to do some smaller chores like dusting, than spend that hour in front of their computer. They need to see what you do all day and realize that it is not easy as it seems. If you want to teach them to be responsible, you can put some new rules – everyone cleans their room. This can be applied only if your kids are old enough to dust and vacuum. On the other hand, if they are not, you can teach them to put away their toys on their own.

9. Find small opportunities to relax

Hard work can make you feel stressed and under pressure. This is why is very important to have a time just for yourself. In those small holes in your schedule, e.g. after making lunch, but before the kids get back from school, take a 15-30 minutes to relax your body and your mind with a nice hot bath and enjoy every moment. You certainly deserved it.

10. Join group classes

If you have a baby or a toddler, then the best way for your baby and you to socialize is to sign up for some classes. This way your baby will learn how to play with other children and you will be able to have semi-adult conversations with other moms. You will certainly learn a lot from other mom’s experiences and be prepared for every situation.

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11. Set a nap time or quiet time

Toddlers usually neglect your rules regarding the nap time and they tend to sleep whenever they want. In order for you to be able to rest, you need to teach them to sleep at certain time.

12. Teach your kids about independent play

You don’t need to play with your children all the time. If they learn independent play they will soon become more creative and you will have more time for your everyday activities.

13. Allow for a bit of chaos

Every mom’s nightmare is definitely the chaos in kid’s bedroom. You tidy up the room regularly but in no time the room is a complete mess once again. There are great cleaning hacks that can make the process easier, but don’t worry too much about this. Yes, they need to learn about responsibility and one way to teach them is to explain them that they need to take care of their stuff. In that way, you will have more time for yourself. Embrace the chaos and concentrate on other things.

14. Make a schedule

If you are having some difficulties organizing your day, try making a solid schedule. It will help you to finish all the chores and work on time, and it will be a lot easier for you to find more free time. Better organization will bring more productivity.

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15. Give your chores a soundtrack

Let your favorite song to become soundtrack of your chores. It doesn’t have to be just one but it will stimulate you and give you more positive energy. Everything seems to be much easier with a favorite song.

Being a mom is difficult job, make no mistake, but with a little bit of planing, a few tweaks to your schedule and some good habits, you can manage to get things done, and still have enough space to relax and work on yourself.

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Katarina Milovanovic

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Published on July 23, 2020

11 Signs You’re an Overprotective Parent (And What to Do About It)

11 Signs You’re an Overprotective Parent (And What to Do About It)

Have you ever followed your child around the playground? They may have been a toddler and you were worried they would take the wrong step and fall off the jungle gym. Therefore, you followed your toddler around, keeping them within arm’s reach so that you could prevent them from falling or having an accident.

I have been that parent at the playground in the past. With twin boys who had no fear as toddlers, I would follow them onto playground equipment because I was concerned for their safety.

After a few months of doing this, I stopped. I came to realize that children need to learn through their own experiences. They will fall, but they will also learn how to avoid danger and make calculated judgments about risks through their experiences. If I was always there to stop them from falling, they wouldn’t learn to stop themselves.

They had to learn things on their own. Of course, as a parent, it is still my responsibility to not place them in situations where they could be terribly injured.

For example, we started at playgrounds that were intended for children under the age of five. We didn’t move up to the big playgrounds until they were old enough and aware of their behaviors and the risks involved in playground play activities.

Why Parents Become Overprotective

The intention of overprotective parenting is well-meaning. These types of parents are highly concerned about their children’s safety and decision making. Their ultimate goal is to protect their child from harm. Parents should be concerned about the safety and well-being of their children.

However, on the flip side, parents should also be teaching their children about risk and responsibility. Those lessons are best taught through life experience. If we are always following behind our children, ready to catch them at a moment’s notice, then we aren’t allowing them to learn about risk and responsibility.

Unger, a researcher on overprotective parenting, suggests that parents should allow children to participate in activities on their own that are considered low-risk.[1] This means allowing children to engage in activities on their own that provide “manageable amounts of risk and responsibility.”

Unger cited that parents have become increasingly more protective of their children and are much more watchful of their children’s activities than previous generations.

The problem with being an overprotective parent is that the child misses out on the opportunity to build responsible behavior skills, build autonomy, and develop self-esteem. Their confidence can be undermined when mom or dad are always watching and guiding their behavior.

They can develop a sense that they are unable to make their own good decisions because they are never allowed to do so in life. Their confidence and self-esteem are hindered when they aren’t allowed to do things on their own without their parents hovering or watching over them.

What Are the Signs of an Overprotective Parent?

Parents with overly protective tendencies think that they are helping their child. Their goal is to protect their child, but it goes to the extreme. Below are some ways that a parent can be overly protective.

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This type of behavior can end up harming their child’s development when one or more of these behaviors is present. There are likely other ways that a parent can be overprotective of their child, as this list is not comprehensive.

These are examples so you can assess your behavior to determine if you need to loosen up overly protective parenting habits.

  1. You choose your child’s friends or direct them toward friendships with particular children.
  2. You don’t allow them to do activities on their own. For example, not allowing them to walk the dog in front of your home even though you live in a safe neighborhood and could even watch them from the front window.
  3. You are constantly monitoring your child. For example, you show up at their sports practices often to check in and see how they are doing or you go online to check their grades every week to ensure that they don’t have any missing work in any classes. If they do have missing work, you make sure that they get it completed and turned in before their final grade can be affected.
  4. You prevent them from making mistakes when you can see that they are going to make a low-risk mistake. For example, not allowing your five-year-old to put ketchup on their pancakes because you know they are going to dislike it and ruin their breakfast. You won’t allow them to chose to make such a mistake because you know that they will cry and get upset and you want to prevent them from becoming emotionally upset.
  5. You don’t allow them to go to friend’s homes without you.
  6. Sleepovers at other homes or camps are never allowed during their childhood.
  7. You drill them with questions about their life when they are out of your sight, such as wanting to know about all the details of their school day every day when you pick them up from school.
  8. You guide them to the extent that they are prevented from failing. For example, not allowing your teen to try out for the basketball team because you know that they will not make the cut.
  9. You make their decisions for them. For example, you don’t allow them to choose whether they can walk to school or ride the bus. You drive them and do not allow for any decision outside of this because you want to keep them safe.
  10. You are always volunteering to serve in their school classroom or chaperone the school trips because you want to “keep an eye on what is going on in your child’s class”.
  11. You do not allow them to have secrets or privacy. For example, they are not allowed to have a locked diary that you do not read or you don’t allow them to lock their bedroom door ever.

Why Being Overprotective Is Not a Good Idea

Kids learn from natural consequences. If they are not allowed to have natural consequences because their parent is continually protecting them from failure and harm, their development is being hindered.

For example, let’s look at a child named Sally who is 13. She is a child who is overly managed by her parents and is not allowed to go to sleepovers or even go to another friend’s home. Her parents are worried about stranger danger and what can happen if they are not with their child.

Sally is allowed to have friends at her home, but her parents are always watching the kids. Whenever Sally and her friends begin to disagree, the argument is squelched before the children can even begin to work things out between themselves because Sally’s parents will intervene and solve the problem.

Sally is never alone with friends outside of school because her parents are always present. The presence of her parents in her socialization is hindering her development.

She doesn’t know how to work out disagreements between her peers because she has never been allowed the opportunity to even try. Her social skills are lacking because parents intervene to direct her behavior while she is with her friends.

Kids Need Space and Time

Kids need space and time to be independent while they are children. If Sally were to be left alone with her friends, her friends would eventually push back at her bossy behavior when her parents are not present.

However, because Sally’s parents are always present she gets away with being overly-bossy to her friends. She is not learning about the natural consequences of her bossiness but someday will when it may be difficult to change her behaviors as she is older in more set in her ways.

It is easier to learn through natural consequences at a young age. Sally will likely end up going to therapy as an adult because she can’t keep friendships intact. Her bossy behaviors and lack of awareness have led to her having severed friendships repeatedly as a young adult.

She will have to work with a therapist to uncover the reason why she is losing friends and then work to change her behavior to learn better ways to act towards her friends in the future.

Effects of Overprotection

There are a variety of effects of overprotective parenting. It is often dependent on the methods the parent utilizes and the extent of the overprotective behavior.

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For example, let’s look at Tina who is a girl age 10. She wants to run and participate in her school’s after-school competitive track program. However, she is not allowed to participate in after school activities because her parents are worried that she will be exposed to boys and may start having relationships with the opposite sex too young.

Another concern is that a boy may “take advantage” of their daughter, so they want to protect her from being exposed to boys outside of school and their supervision.

The problem with this is that Tina is missing out on participating in a sports activity that could help her develop friendships. She is also missing out on the opportunities associated with being a part of a team, working hard physically to compete, and developing sportsmanship skills.

Her parents are well-meaning, but their over-protection is preventing her from participating in a sports activity that she deeply desires to engage in.

There are other effects of overprotective parenting. Below are some examples.

Examples of Overprotective Parenting

This list is not comprehensive, as every parenting situation and family is unique. However, this list can help provide some insight into the detrimental effects that overprotective parenting can cause.

1. Lack of Self-Esteem Development

If children are not allowed to try things on their own, they cannot build self-confidence and self-esteem.

2. Lack of Autonomy

If a child is always accustomed to having a parent around and supervising their behavior, they can become dependent on the decision making of their parents because they are never allowed to be alone or do things alone.

3. Anxiety

A child who is never allowed to try to do things on their own can become anxious when they are finally allowed to try things out on their own. They worry about making mistakes or failing because they have continually had a parent to help them avoid mistakes and failure.

4. Lack of Responsibility

When parents are always helping and guiding their children to an extreme, children will fail to develop their own responsibility skills. If they are never held responsible for anything, how can they develop a sense of responsibility?

5. People-Pleasing Tendencies

Youniverse explained that children who have overprotective parents who constantly direct their children’s behavior end up seeking the approval of those in their life.[2] These children will grow up accustomed to someone always telling them what the “right behavior” looks like.

If they don’t have that praise or comfort of someone saying they did things right, they can become anxious or depressed. They become people-pleasers who seek the appraisal of others.

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6. Risky Behavior

When children are raised in an overly protective home, they often engage in risky behavior when the reigns are lifted. They haven’t experienced the failures associated with low-risk situations at a younger age because of their overly protective parents.

Therefore, when they get older, access to high-risk situations becomes more easily accessible, and without understanding high risk versus low-risk situations, they engage without the wisdom of previous experiences.

Because of their inexperience with risks in general, they may engage in high risk because they are unaware of consequences.

7. Diminished Development Regarding Fear, Social Skills, and Coping Skills

Psychology Today explains that children with overprotective parents have developmental issues, such as not being able to deal with stress and poor social skills.[3]

For example, a child who isn’t allowed to play on a playground because the parent wants to protect their child from injury is prevented from learning about risk-taking on the playground and the bumps and bruises from consequences.

Such a child may grow up to either having too much fear because it was instilled by their parents or have no fear because they have no concept of high-risk versus low-risk behavior.

8. Lack of Immunity

The Psychology Today article also explained that children who have overly protective parents that do not allow exposure to germs can become children who have a compromised immune system. Exposure to germs as children is needed for them to develop a healthy immune system naturally.

When parents are disinfecting everything the child encounters and not allowing exposure to germs (e.g., not allowing them to go to a petting zoo or to play in the sandbox because of the germs in those places), they can be stunting their child’s ability to develop their immune system.

9. Control Freaks

Children who have been parented by control freaks learn this behavior from their parents. Parents are the primary role model of behavior for their children. If children see their parents acting as though they must have control over others and every situation at all times, then they too will learn to behave in this same manner.

What to Do If You Are an Overprotective Parent

If after reading this content you feel that you may be an overprotective parent, there is hope. You can change.

It begins with loosening the reigns of control over your child in a calculated and reasonable manner. Allowing for low-risk behaviors and the consequences involved can help your child become more independent.

There is definitely a balance to protective versus overprotective parenting. Allowing for activities and exposure to experiences that are low-risk is a good way to start.

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For example, allowing your child to play on age-appropriate playground equipment (without following them) is a good first step. They will experience some bumps and bruises, but this is a part of normal development and learning about consequences.

You will want to research authoritative parenting methods if you feel you are an overprotective parent. Overprotective parents tend to be authoritarian parents.

Here is a LifeHack article I previously wrote about authoritarian parenting, so you can understand the drawbacks to this parenting method: Authoritarian Parenting.

Authoritative parenting is not control-based parenting. It involves teaching consequences naturally, allowing age-appropriate decision-making, and having conversations with children rather than dictating for ultimate control and compliance.

MSU Extension provides some great guidelines for authoritative parenting.[4] Below are some of the behaviors they described with authoritative parenting methods:

  • Provide reasonable, age-appropriate expectations for children.
  • Stress and anxiety for children can have positive outcomes, as they are allowed to experience these feelings in small doses as children. They can then build their coping skills and ability to deal with stress and anxiety through experience.
  • Encourage independence, as it helps children build their confidence and self-esteem.
  • Allowing for failures when they are young helps them learn how to pick themselves back up and try again. Developing this ability at a young age regularly will help prepare them for bigger failures when they are older, such as breakups, failed classes, or losing a job.

Final Thoughts

It is never too late to work on our parenting skills. There is no such thing as a perfect parent, therefore, we can always be working on improving our parenting methods.

We all want our children to be successful, happy, and competent as adults. It does not happen overnight. Parenting is a continual process of trying daily to help our children live and learn through their own life experiences.

If we try to protect them every step of the way, then they are not being allowed to truly experience life.

Allow for age-appropriate experiences and allow for failures so that they can learn how to pick themselves back up and try again.

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Featured photo credit: Sue Zeng via unsplash.com

Reference

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