Monday, November 3, 2008

Tabitha's Personal Tips on How to Get it ALL done !

I'm Tabitha... wife, friend, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, and as a mother I'm also chef, laundromat, housekeeper, nurse, photographer... oh yeah, and I work too. I'm not much different than many moms out there really. I love my family and try to be the best at all the roles I play. It's a juggling act sometimes, and making it all happen can be a challenge.
Many times I've been asked, "How do you get it all done?" Well, first of all, it's not ALL done. As I type, there are many loads of laundry waiting to be washed and folded... and I'm sure something else I may have forgotten, but I couldn't do it any other way.

I love my family more than anything and wouldn't trade any of those roles for the world! My husband and I are VERY active in our church, and love it. I'm a graphic designer, and enjoy the creative process. I travel throughout the year as a spokesmodel for Mitsubishi, and it's usually very enjoyable... until I miss home too much. Cooking up treats in the kitchen is a way to bless others, and I wouldn't want to miss out on that either. All the hats I wear bring so much reward, it's definitely worth it!

What helps me is that I live by a few guidelines to assist me:

1) Prioritize

When the dishes need to be done, the baby is crying, someone is at the door and I have a deadline to meet... what do I do?? My first priority is always my family. They come first before anything. We try to put each others needs first, and many things get taken care of that way. I try to incorporate many household tasks into spending time together... we make a game out of folding laundry and matching socks, out of picking up toys, baking in the kitchen, etc. I usually do a few things at once, but not more than I can handle. Oh, and I almost never iron clothes! Pick your battles and leave the rest.

2) Slow Down

I've learned my limit, and when I reach it, I just take a deep breathe and slow down... sometimes the act of slowing down will actually help me think clearer and work faster. Let the clutter go!

3) Get Help

I'm not talking about hiring help... a housekeeper would be nice, but not realistic for me right now. What I mean is that I enlist help from those in my household. My husband is wonderful with my daughter, and we take turns giving her baths and putting her to bed. My 2 year-old's hands can hold a dust rag just as well as mine can, so she helps out with cleaning. Don't try to take on every task by yourself. You've got help around you, use it. Sometimes you have to ask for it. People might be more than willing to help, but they can't read your mind... ASK. Do what only you can do or what you do really well, and let others in your life help with some of the other tasks, it'll be more rewarding for all involved.

4) Put it Down

On paper, that is. Get in the habit of getting it out of your head. It you can think it, you can write it. Then your mind will be free to think about the task at hand and not worried about remembering what you've got to do next.

5) Master It
Learn how to say "no." That was a hard one for me. I don't like telling people no. I don't want to disappoint. My husband really helped me with learning this. One night, after crying because I felt too stressed, we figured out what I had committed myself to that I really shouldn't have... there were too many things going on. From then on, I learned to wait to say "yes" until I knew it was something I really wanted or something I knew I could handle.

My guidelines or priorities may be different than yours, but figure out what works for you and stick to it!

By the way, one of the things I enjoy is making healthy and delicious goodies in the kitchen. A new one that my family has enjoyed this year is Pumpkin Butter! Stop by for a visit and mention this post... and you might win a jar of our homemade Fresh Pumpkin Butter... tastes like pumpkin pie in a jar! And don't forget to look at some of the great recipes on Fresh Mommy, like the delicious pumpkin bread, one of our personal favorites.



Christy said...

Hi, I am new to your blog, but I already love it! This being my first time, you seem to really be doing an awesome job with your family and everything else you are tackeling! I have to say #3 is the hard one for me... to ASK! I never thought of putting a dust rag in my 2 year old daughter's hands... she does love to help me also... she is always grabbing the broom (I think because that is all I do... from sweeping my house to sweeping hair... I am a stylist). I will definately try to have Lilly do that for me. I do have to say that if I ask her to clean up(while singing the barny clean up song) she will do it 98% of the time. Thanks for your great advice. I look forward to keeping up with you blog... mine is ... I am not nearly as resourcefull as you are... but I love to blog about my kids! check it out sometime if you have any extra time! Thanks again,

Anonymous said...

Tabitha those are some great tips!! Even for those without little ones running around!

And I love this blog!! It is so cute!!

Mc Allen said...

realllly great advice!!! its so difficult to say no and slow down. But it is somthing I am working on;) And Ive already signed up for the pumpkin butter!! Love your blog...:) LA

Debbie @ said...

Boy, everything you said is soooo true. The family is first. Our kids only have us and nobody else will do!
Great post today!

Rhea said...

I like your advice. Very true and useful.

In my house, making things a race helps. (I have two boys) I make them race to clean up. Maybe not the most efficient way, but it gets the job done. hehe

Just The Girl said...

I love all the advice and agree with it 100%.

Aleta said...

Excellent advise, whether you have a child or not (Greg and I don't have children, but we understand the hectic activity of life).

I like how you put your family first. You have excellent values!

lisaschaos said...

Great list. :) My son just helped me today - hurrah. I have been sick since Thursday and just starting to feel better so today he did the dishes while I started the laundry - no it's not done but it will be finished tomorrow. :)

Then, after we made lunch together and ate together he helped me revamp the garage, no small task. :) Now if I told you that he's 16 would you be surprised at all the help I got?

mine, by magpie said...

wow- great post! even without children, i find myself getting overwhelmed becuase i try to do everything without asking for help- so your post was a good lesson to me. thanks for the reminders!!!

Live.Love.Eat said...

Great post by Tabitha. I started asking for help more, and I definitely know how to say no!! It helps!!!

Christina Lee said...

Great ideas, Tabitha-now you got me thinking :)