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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 May 24, 2019

How to Raise a Confident Child with Grit

How to Raise a Confident Child with Grit

My husband and I facilitate a couple’s marriage and parenting group. Recently, the group discussed qualities, characteristics, and traits we wanted to see our children develop as they grow up. One term that came up that all parents seemed to upon agree as a highly valued trait was that of grit. The question from our group was:

“Can grit be taught to our children?”

The answer is, yes. Parents can help their child develop grit.

What is grit? Dr. Angela Duckworth is the top researcher on this subject and wrote the book Grit. She defines grit as “passion and perseverance for long term goals”. This new buzz word is popular in the adult realm, but what about our developing children? What if we could help our children develop grit as young children.

Grit is more crucial to success than IQ. Duckworth, through her research at Harvard, found that having grit was a better predictor for an individual’s success than IQ. This means having the smartest kid in the room doesn’t ensure any level of success in their future. They can be brilliant, but if they aren’t properly intrinsically motivated, they won’t be successful.

Grit determines long term success. If a child can’t pick themselves up and try again after a failure, then how are they going to be able to do it as adult?

What a gift it would be to our children to engage them in a manner that helps them recognize their passions, talents, and develop a persevere to purse their goals. Below are some tips on how to raise a confident child with grit.

1. Encouragement is Key

When a child wants to learn how to ride a bike, do they keep going after they fall down or do they quit after the first fall?

If they aren’t encouraged to get up and try again, and instead are coddled and told they can try again some other day, then they are being taught to play it safe.

Safe and coddled don’t exactly go hand-in-hand with building up grit. The child needs to be encouraged to try again. This can be a parent saying “you can do it, I believe in you” and “I know that even if you fall again you will try again and eventually you will get the hang of it”.

Encouragement to keep trying so that they can build up perseverance is very helpful in building a child’s confidence. This confidence is what will help them strike out and try again.

If they feel that they can’t do it or shouldn’t do it, then they won’t. The mind is a powerful thing. If a child believes that they can’t be successful in doing something, then they won’t be successful. Part of building that mentality of believing in themselves comes from encouragement from their parents, care givers, and teachers.

Cheer Them On

How many times have you heard a story of success that someone had in life that all began because someone believed in that person?

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A coach, a mom, a teacher can have a huge impact by believing in the child’s ability to be successful and voicing that encouragement to them. Words are powerful. Use them to build up a child, by telling them that they can do it even if they have try again and again.

Be their support system by being their cheerleader. Cheerleaders don’t just cheer when the team is winning. They cheer words of encouragement to keep the team going.

The same goes with children. We need to cheer for their successes, but also cheer for them to keep going and fighting the fight when life gets tough!

You Can’t Force Them

Keep in mind that you can’t force a child to keep trying. They have to do it themselves.

For example, when my daughter was learning to tie her shoes, it was a real struggle. She gave up. I couldn’t make her want to try to do it again. She had to take a break from the struggle for a few months and then try again.

She was more successful the second time around, because she had matured and her fine motor skills had improved. It would have been ridiculous for me to force her to practice tying her shoes for the three or four months in between, with tears and arguing taking place.

No, instead we took a break. She tried again later. Forcing her to learn something that she wasn’t ready to learn would have pit us against one another. That would have been a poor parenting move.

There are boundaries that parents can set though in some cases. For example, if your child begins an activity and wants to quit mid-season because they are terrible at the sport, you have the opportunity to keep them in the sport through the end of the season to show them that quitting is not an option.

Although they may not win another tennis match the rest of the season or win another swimming race all year long, finishing the commitment is important. It will help with the development of grit by teaching them to persevere through the defeat. It is character building.

If your child is great at all things all the time, they will not develop grit. They need to try things that challenge them. When they aren’t the best at something, or for that matter, the worst, it creates an opportunity for them feel real struggle. Real struggle builds real character.

2. Get Them out of Their Comfort Zone

My daughter wanted to try cheerleading this past fall. She has never done this activity in the past, nor is she particularly coordinated (sorry sweetie). For that matter, she couldn’t even do a cartwheel when cheer season began.

However, we signed up because she was so excited to become a cheerleader. I signed up to coach because there was a need for more cheer coaches. We were all-in at that point.

Once the season began, I quickly realized that cheerleading was far outside my daughter’s comfort zone. The idea of cheerleading was great in her mind. The reality of memorizing cheers and learning physical skills that were hard for her made the experience a struggle. She wanted to quit. I said to her “no, you were the one who wanted to do this, so we finish what we started.” I had to say this more than once. I don’t think anyone on the squad knew this was the case, because she kept at it.

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She kept practicing those cheers every evening. It did not come naturally to her at first, so it was uncomfortable. She always seemed to be half a beat behind the other cheerleaders, which made it very awkward and uncomfortable for her. However, letting her know that quitting mid-season was not an option made her try harder. She wanted to learn the cheers so she wouldn’t stand out on the squad as the girl who didn’t know what she is doing.

By the end of the season, she became a decent cheerleader. Not the best, but she was no longer half a beat behind the rest. She learned skills that were hard for her to conquer. Now that she felt success in achieving something that was uncomfortable and hard for her. She knows she has it in her to do that in other areas of life.

That is why it’s ok for us as parents to let our kids feel the struggle and be uncomfortable. If they don’t experience it when they are young, they will as adults, but they won’t be equipped with the perseverance and inner-strength built from years of working hard through smaller struggles as they grew up.

Allowing our children to struggle helps them build that skill of perseverance, so that they have the grit to achieve hard things in life that they really desire to accomplish.

3. Allow Them To Fail

Your child will fail at things in life. Let them. Do not swoop in and rescue your child from their personal failures. If they don’t fail, then they don’t have the opportunity to pick themselves up and try again.

If I had pulled my daughter from cheerleader once I realized that it was going to be a real struggle, she wouldn’t have experienced failure and struggle. Letting her have this small failure in life taught her lessons that can’t be taught in a classroom. She learned about the power she has within herself to try harder, to practice in order to make change happen, and to push through it even when you feel like giving up because it is embarrassing.

Failure is embarrassing. Learning to handle embarrassment is taking on a fear. When kids learn to do this at a young age, it is practice for adult life. They will experience failure as an adult. They will be better equipped to handle life’s disappointments and failures if they have learned to handle the fear of embarrassment and failure when they are young.

Practice builds up the skill. Processing and handling fear, embarrassment, and failure are skills.

If I had pulled my daughter from cheer and allowed her to quit, I would have taken from her the opportunity to learn how to process and handle the embarrassment and failure she was experiencing at each practice and games. She learned to keep trying and that practicing the skills would lessen the embarrassment and feelings of failure.

Learning the value of practice and how to preserve through the fear and failure are priceless lessons. We may want to rescue our children because we want them to be successful at the things that they do, but how will they be successful in this competitive world as adults if they are provided with only opportunities in which they succeed?

Failure is needed to learn to thrive. Success in adulthood does not come easy to children who are protected from failure because they haven’t built up the ability to persevere.

Perseverance comes when they have learned time and time again how to take the fear of embarrassment and failure head on and practice to get better.

4. Teach Them to Try Again

Encourage your child to try again. Don’t let them quit on the first try.

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Life is hard. If we quit the first time we tried at things, we would never amount to anything in life. We need to teach our children that trying again is simply part of life.

Help them to give it a go by providing encouragement and support. Offer to practice with them, provide them with tutoring or coaching if necessary — whatever it takes to get them back on the proverbial horse and trying again.

Break it Down

Sometimes failure occurs because they are trying something all at one time and they haven’t mastered the smaller components.

For example, a math student isn’t going to jump into calculus as their first high school math course. No, of course not. They build on their skills. They begin with basic math, then algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and pre-calculus to then they get to the calculus level.

If they are thrown into the deep end by taking on calculus before the foundation of their math skills are built, they will fail.

Help your child try again by breaking down what it is they are trying to achieve.

Going back to my cheer example… my daughter was not the best at learning the cheers when we began. It then dawned on me that we needed to break down each cheer phrase by phrase. Once we learned the phrase and movements that went with it, we could then learn the next one. Once these were learned, we could combine the phrases, practice them together, and then try to move to learn the next phrase in the cheer. It was a tedious process, but it worked.

Not all skills come easy for kids. Helping them learn the skill of breaking things down into manageable tasks is another way we teach them about grit. They are learning to build skills by persisting, practicing, and building upon previous experience, knowledge, and skills.

Grit is put into practice in childhood when they learn how to break down large tasks into smaller achievable tasks in order to build toward a greater goal.

5. Let Them Find Their Passion

Your child may be a wonderful pianist. However, if they aren’t passionate about the skill, then they likely won’t be happy or fulfilled in becoming a concert pianist.

It’s great to help your child discover their talents, but also let them discover what they are passionate about in life.

True success will come because they are passionate about the activity, not because they are the best. The best usually become that way because they are passionate first. Therefore, let your child experience a variety of activities and interests so that they can discover what they love to do.

6. Praise Their Efforts, Not the Outcome

Praising their efforts keeps them motivated and trying. If you focus on outcome, then when they fail, they will become defeated and discouraged.

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Focusing on the fact that they tried hard and pointing out specific ways that they did well in terms of effort will support them in trying again. When you make a habit of focusing on outcome, then failures are avoided at all costs, including taking risks.

Risks are needed in order to become successful. Therefore, make a habit of praising their efforts, even when the outcome is not what they had hoped and tried for, because eventually, if they keep trying their efforts will result in success.

7. Be a Model of Grit

If you are a parent or a caregiver for a child, then you are a model to that child. Children naturally look up to the adults in their life that are closest to them, especially their parents. They will look at your ability to persevere and achieve. Your grit will show.

Your children are watching. They may not know the term grit, but they will learn about working hard, not giving up, trying again after failure, and all that grit entails from your actions.

How you handle life is being watched by your children. You can work on your own grit by reading Angela Duckworth’s book Grit .

Develop a Growth Mindset

Helping your child develop a growth mindset is also helpful to your child in their development of grit. Dr. Dweck, author of Growth Mindset and researcher at Stanford, developed a theory of fixed versus growth mindset.

Basically, what it means is that if you have a fixed mindset, you will fear failure and easily give up. Someone with a growth mindset believes that their talents, skills, and abilities can be improved with hard work and learning. Parents and caregivers can help with the development of a growth mindset.

    Some of the ways that a growth mindset can be developed include:

    • Teaching your child how the brain works: neuron connections, right brain versus left brain.
    • Teach them to set goals.
    • Teach them to have a “can do” attitude.
    • Teach them to develop a strategy when they want to achieve something.
    • Teach them that mistakes are an opportunity to learn.
    • Teach them that failure is a normal part of life.
    • Teach them about self talk: Self Talk Determines Your Success

    There are a great deal of activities and materials online for helping your child develop a growth mindset including these resources below (each site contains at least some free content):

    The Bottom Line

    Grit is not just for adults, it is something we can help our children develop. Grit is more critical to success than IQ, so we should be helping our children develop this quality early in life.

    As a parent, being a model of grit, is one of the first ways to help our children become “gritty”.

    Featured photo credit: Gabriela Braga via unsplash.com

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