How To Do Less (And Be A Better Mom As A Result)

Expert
Family

Yes, it's possible — and your kids will thank you!

Are you feeling the strain of trying to accomplish too many goals a day?

There are a lot of Super Moms out there trying to do too much, trying to please everyone, and it's draining them. 

In the YourTango Experts video above, psychotherapist Dr. Zoe Shaw shares a revelation that might just save your sanity: You can do less in your daily life and still be a better mom to your kids.

But just how is that even possible?!


RELATED: 5 Ways To Get It All Done As A Working Mom (Even When It Seems Impossible)


In today’s society, more and more men are taking on the responsibility of child-rearing and sharing the tasks and duties that come with raising kids and getting them through school, meal times, errands, and extracurricular activities in everyday life. And while this shift is beneficial, there is still the “emotional” family burden that women tend to take on and carry a bit more of.

But according to Dr. Shaw, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing! And even if you and your husband are carrying the family burden 50/50, it can still be normal to feel overwhelmed.

The good news is that there are ways to alleviate the strain that you’re feeling and the worry that you’re not doing everything for your kids that you absolutely can. And the even better news is that becoming a better mom actually starts with you doing less and learning to focus on what’s important.

What could be better than that?

Here are 6 ways to be a great mom and actually get the chance to enjoy it!

1. Let go of the busy work.

Let go of what doesn’t fulfill you. You can do this by making a log for two to three days of all of your activities. At the end of that time, look at it and determine if a lot of your activities aren’t moving you forward to your life goals and daily goals. Are you spending more time on things that aren't bringing you any happiness than on the things that are?

Determine which activities you can cut loose that will give you more time to focus on time with your family or even time that you need to relax. 

2. Unplug from meaningless media.

You deserve a break at the end of the day! You've worked hard and yes, that entertainment time is well deserved. But what if watching TV or spending time on social media gets you feeling like you're not accomplishing over tasks?

If you can minimize your entertainment time, say, one hour of Netflix instead of three, or restrict yourself to thirty minutes of social media in a day, you’ll find that you’re going to feel so much more accomplished now that you're using your time to accomplish other things. 

Maybe you can even get in some personal meditation time or perhaps work on that puzzle with your kids! It will help you bond and make you feel happier that you're using your time more constructively.

3. Set daily goals for yourself.

Dr. Shaw suggests picking two to three tasks every day that you need to do and get them done early. Choose something reasonable that won’t overwhelm you, and get them out of the way as quickly as possible. These tasks can be anything that you need to get done — laundry, dishes, vacuuming, or even going grocery shopping or maybe even getting in some "you" time and schedule that pedicure. That way, anything that you finish up afterward feels like "icing on the cake." You'll start the day getting things done and feel accomplished all day long. 

4. Prioritize family.

It is so important that you make sure your behaviors align with your values! But what does that mean?

In other words, you need to focus on the things that are important to you and don’t let them get away just because your day is busy. Maybe you really want your kids to learn the importance of spending time together as a family, but realize that you’re just rushing around and picking up McDonald’s every day for dinner between their after-school activities. Maybe it's the three different sports, or trying to get the new notebook they need or picking up your husband's dry cleaning, but you can see that you're not instilling the need for dedicated family time to your kids.

Take a step back and determine what the really important things are. You may even need to decide to simply let something go so that your behaviors are consistent, and what you're telling your kids matches your actions.

5. Follow your intuition!

Do you always feel like you should be doing something? Whether it's agreeing to be a classroom mom for your youngest, or try and find time to join a mommy group, there are things that you might feel like you "should" be doing, and yet you never get around to it, which can make you feel guilty.

If you find yourself saying “I should do XYZ…” then you need to also give yourself a convincing reason why it needs to be done.If you can’t come up with a legitimate reason to do those goals, then let it go and allow yourself not to feel guilty that you didn't do it. Remember: focusing on what's really important is a good way to make yourself happier. Eliminate the excess things that are draining your time and energy and use them to make the time you'll have with your family later even better!

6. Give yourself grace.

Last but not least, give yourself a break! You are doing a great job as a parent, and Dr. Shaw believes that if you’re already worried about these things, then you’re already working hard to be a great mom.

You work hard and you try your best to be a good parent, so if things don't always work out as you wanted them to, don't panic!

Give yourself the grace to understand that you're only one person, and you're doing everything you can to raise your kids to be the best versions of themselves possible. 

So give yourself a pat on the back, super mom, and maybe let yourself relax a little! You can actually get away with doing less and still giving it your all. 


RELATED: The Truth About Being A Mom AND Having It All (Hint: It's Not Impossible)


If you’re struggling with this problem or any other relationship or parenting issue and don't know what to do, reach out to Dr. Zoe! She’s here to help.

Author
Expert