There are endless articles about family and relationships and how to best cope with working and being a great mom. These articles can make us feel that the odds are heavily stacked against us, that most of us are bound to fail because we are so racked with guilt that we can’t possibly see a way to make it work.
But if you follow these 7 straightforward rules, you’ll reap the benefits from the minute you put them into practice:
Rule 1: Come to breakfast dressed and ready to go.
This gives time for a chat about the day and to go over schedules so that everyone is where they should be when they should be.
Rule 2: Bags, equipment/ kits and projects all ready by the front door the night before.
This eliminates the potential for last minutes screaming matches about who moved what and where.
Rule 3: Clothes for the next day laid out ready.
This may sound a little extreme but it is amazing how this simple rule helps everyone to start the day on the right foot.
Rule 4: No messaging each other during the day unless absolutely necessary.
It’s very stressful receiving gripes and moans via text during the working day, knowing full well you can’t do anything about it until you get home, if at all. Encourage your kids to be independent and to save non-urgent matters for discussion at home later.
Rule 5: Absolutely no TV/gaming/messaging until homework is done and dusted.
Kids are far more likely to get on with their homework if they know there is no room for negotiation on this point. It also gives you the chance to get a few small chores done such as sorting out paperwork whilst being on hand should you need to help them stay focused.
Rule 6: Having a healthy snack after school.
Encourage your kids to have a healthy snack as soon as they come in, especially if you are not around. There will be no more shouts of ‘I’m starving’ as soon as you walk in the door which is a big confrontation trigger.
Rule 7: ‘First in’ tidies the kitchen.
It’s quite common for everyone to leave without there being time to do this in the morning. It will help you a lot to have this rule in place as it can be quite depressing to walk into a mess before even thinking about preparing dinner. If this job falls to the same person, explain how important it is and reward them with fewer chores to do at other times.
You can start by putting a couple of these rules into practice right now else go with all 7 at once. You’ll almost certainly get some resistance but persevere and enjoy a more contented family and being a much less stressed working mom.