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Attention all BUSY Moms!! Stop Surviving and Start THRIVING!

You love your kids and their silly singing at the top of their voice, how they follow you everywhere because you are their hero. But sometimes, too much, is …. well too much! Sometimes we busy moms need some quiet, some ME TIME, some help around the house, and balance to our sometimes chaotic and noisy lives. And that’s okay! Here are some practical ways to get a break with toddlers, preschoolers, and school age kids. Busy Moms, Stop Surviving and Start THRIVING!

You love your kids and their silly singing at the top of their voice, how they follow you everywhere because you are their hero. But sometimes, too much, is .... well too much! Sometimes we busy moms need some quiet, some ME TIME, some help around the house, and balance to our sometimes chaotic and noisy lives. And that's okay! Here are some practical ways to get a break with toddlers, preschoolers, and school age kids. Busy Moms, Stop Surviving and Start THRIVING!

Busy Moms

You love your kids! They are your joy, they make you smile, they have so much energy and so many creative ideas! But sometimes all the noise, chaos, and shall we say demands of the day can be draining for us busy moms. We can get weary. I get it, you are not alone! I’ve felt that way many of days – I’ve got 6 kids, and 3 are preschoolers.

It doesn’t make you a bad mom because you crave quiet or need some me time! Actually, taking the space and time you need to restore yourself is healthy and will help you be a better Mom and enjoy your time with your children more. But how do you get that coveted ME TIME in the busyness of life?

Here are some practical suggestions to help you give everyone the space they need to not only survive motherhood, but thrive:

Make a Routine

We have been a homeschooling family so spending time with my 6 kids day in and day out is normal. I wouldn’t change it. I love getting this time with my kids – I know they grow up all too fast! Setting up a  routine with the kids is the first step in claiming your sanity. If kids know what is expected of them, they know how to meet them. You can print a schedule, that helps me, or just start developing patterns.  Ways routine can ease stress:

  • Meal planning -no more what is for dinner and you can rotate your meal plans monthly
  • Chores! Don’t try to do it all yourself. Kids NEED to learn to help out. It takes a little longer to teach someone how to do it and then check up on them, but eventually they will master the skill and then there is one fewer thing for you to do and you taught them a valuable life skill of work!
  • Schedule regular laundry days (or if you have a large family like us, a day for each person to do or have their laundry done)
  • Meal Time  = everyone help set the table (even little kids can put silverware at people’s spots) take their own plates to the kitchen, wipe down the table / counters, etc. We all help out and it all gets done much quicker!
  • Weekly House Cleaning – Set a day and time for everyone to pitch in and clean their own room and help with a common space. You can assign everyone their room + living room or their room + bathroom, etc. Of you can assign by chores: one vacuums, one dusts, on picks up toys, etc.

Bedtimes are IMPORTANT

You may be tempted to toss bedtimes out the window because your schedules just became more flexible, but don’t!

  1. You all need to be well rested to keep your bodies strong
  2. When people are better rested, they are better behaved…..need I say more?!
  3. By having all the kids in bed at night, that gives you and your spouse some couple time together every night.

So when should your kids go to bed? That is really up to you. It depends largely on the age of your children, how early you and your spouse go to bed, and what time your kids are use to going to bed. If they have always had a 9pm bedtime they will baulk at 8pm, but you may be able to move it to 8:30pm. Younger kids can realistically be in bed by 7 or 7:30.  In our home, all kids are in bed (and allowed to read a book in bed) by 8:30pm, the younger kids go to bed earlier. That way my husband and I have time to tidy up the house and get about an hour of uninterrupted time before we fall asleep. We get up early so we are asleep by 10pm.

Institute Quiet Time

Remember way back when your babies and toddlers took afternoon naps from lunch until early afternoon (12-3pm or so). Well in our house, we never got rid of them. No, I don’t make my 8th grader take 3 hour naps every day =)… but we morphed nap time into quiet time.

In our home, quiet time is a time when the house is literally QUIET! My little people who still take afternoon naps, nap. My older children do their school work independently (if they haven’t finished before lunch), play with their toys, or read – all in their rooms! They know they cannot come out and talk until 3pm.  This is good for 2 reasons:

  1. Kids need space too! They need to learn to be by themselves, self entertain, and have time to pursue their own interests.
  2. This not only gives me the quiet in the house that I crave, but it gives me some uninterrupted me time. Some days I work, others I clean the kitchen or menu plan, and some days….. I sneak in a bath or watch my favorite tv program. Really it doesn’t matter what I do – but I get to CHOOSE what I do.

Are there times we break quiet time? Sure. Some days we meet with friends or I spend time giving one of my kids extra 1:1 time with school work or just spending quality time together. But most days of the week it is “free time for Mom” and every day it is QUIET!

family driving you nuts as you stay at home practicing social distancing? Try these suggestions

Trade off Evening Duties

So our afternoon quiet time is great for me, but it doesn’t help my introverted husband get his me time because when I get my time…. he is working from home.  Try alternating evenings of watching the kids. Give your partner the night off at least once (if not more) a week. But basically, from the time they finish working until bedtime, the family needs to go about life pretending they are not there.

  • Eat dinner on your own in a man cave (office, basement, garage, bedroom)
  • Watch a movie that you can’t watch with the family
  • Exercise (great for stress relief)  – jog around the block, shoot hoops in the driveway, use your treadmill, do a workout video, squeeze in some push-ups  / sit ups / squats / burpees
  • Play Games on your own like darts, pool, ping pong, video game, or something on your cell phone
  • Take a long shower or bath…. or sit in a spa or sauna if you have one
  • Do Lawn Work ONLY if that relaxes you (some guys like that, my husband does not!)
  • Hobby – have a hobby like wood working, painting, photography, etc. Spend time doing what you love
  • Read a Book – spend time reading a book you enjoy
  • Indulge in a sweet treat – have your spouse sneak you a bowl of ice cream, slice of pie, or a handful of jelly beans to eat all by yourself without hearing “can I have some too”
  • Finish A Project – if you are like my husband you have a million projects started at once and finishing something never seems to happen. Take some time and actually organize your workshop, clean your car, etc.
  • Chat with a friend – with social distancing you can’t catch a movie, meet a buddy for golf, etc., but you may still want to talk with another adult who isn’t your partner. That’s ok. Call, facetime, or message with a friend.
  • Watch Funny Videos on You Tube – my husband likes just scrolling through youtube and watching how to videos and dreaming about making better pizza, wood working, etc.

Tag Team

There is a reason it takes two to make a baby 😉 You have a spouse, use them! You guys are a TEAM and know your kids the best. If you have a child throwing a tantrum or find yourself getting frustrated helping your son with his school work, ask your spouse to tag in. Then after 30 min or so ask if they need to swap. Then neither of you gets “too” frustrated and you both get a needed break.

Encourage Responsibility

Having everyone home all the time will undoubtedly mean MORE MESS! But that shouldn’t mean you have to clean it all! Having kids help with household chores is good for them! It helps them take responsibility, build character. So even if your kids have never helped around the house before – now is the time!

Sit down as a family with a list of daily chores and go around the circle with each of you picking one. Repeat until all the chores are assigned to someone. You can trade off chores every week. Another idea is to draw chores at random from a hat.  Here are some common household chores kids can help with include:

  • making beds
  • doing laundry / folding / putting away clothes
  • doing dishes
  • wiping down table / counters after meals
  • setting table / filling cups with water
  • feeding the dog
  • walking the dog
  • changing sheets / linens and bathroom towels weekly
  • cleaning bathroom: toilet, shower, sink
  • vacuuming the house
  • dusting
  • moping
  • disinfecting surfaces you touch frequently like light switches, door handles, counters, bathrooms, etc.
  • light police – make sure lights not in use get turned off
  • clean up toys
  • water the flowers / garden

Giving out chores may create some resistance at the beginning, but it is worth it. Kids tend to make less mess when they realize they will have to clean it up! I suggest holding them accountable with a checklist or limiting rewards if they haven’t finished their chores. At our house, you have to finish your list before you get dessert, play game, or watch a movie. If anyone is truly stubborn, they have to go to bed at the same time as the littles – 7pm! I’ve only ever had to threaten that one….. it seems to do the trick in our house.

how to improve family stress caused by stay at home social distancing

Deal Swiftly with Behaviors

Nothing can grate on your time at home together quicker than naughty children! Now is not the time to be lax with discipline. I’m not saying you run your own branch of the army or make them line up like they did in Sound of Music, though sometimes it is tempting. But more if you say something – follow through! If not, they will stop obeying and that spins out of control really quickly! Yikes! Don’t tolerate disrespect towards other members of your family (talking back, name calling, stealing toys, shoving, etc). You are all stuck in your house – it needs to be a safe space. At our house, we send people to their room if they can’t be polite until they are willing to apologize and behave better. You may also need to take away privileges like staying up late, dessert, electronics, etc.

If you are consistent with your expectations, kids will know how to behave and everyone will be happier!

 

Practice Selfless Love

Kids are great imitators. If they have an annoying habit, I challenge you to ask your spouse if they can see where they get it from. We’ve found most of the things the kids do that annoy us, they learned from one of us in some way shape or form. So watch, evaluate, and make changes as needed.

Because kids are great at imitating, if you start setting an example of putting others first. They will follow your example. New to this concept…. try:

  • let everyone else pick their slice of food first
  • pick chores last
  • allow someone else to go first in the line for the bathroom
  • when picking a movie or game, let others choose first
  • have a disagreement, be quick to admit you may be wrong or agree to disagree and move on
  • ask your spouse what they want to do or what they need

Give Hugs & Praise Freely

When people feel loved and cared for they are move loving and easy to live with. And unlike toilet paper that is in short supply, hugs and encouraging words are FREE! So make sure you hug everyone who lives in your house 3 times a day. Praise others in your house for concrete things (we are not talking about blanket, empty words). For example:

  • Great job getting your chores done without being asked
  • I love how you stopped to help your brother get water
  • Thanks for doing such a great job wiping the table after dinner tonight
  • I am so proud of how hard you are working at your school work
  • I love you.  (No explanation needed! These can be scary weeks for kids and they NEED to hear you love them and that things will be ok…. repeatedly!)
  • Your smile always brightens my day.
  • I always like when you wear that blue shirt; it brings out your pretty eyes.

Create Memories

One of the quickest ways to pull yourself out of a funk is to start having FUN! Take a peak at 101 Fun Things to Do at Home or pick something you like, but do something together. Create memories! When you are laughing together you wont have time to be annoyed!

Over 1 million FREE printable worksheets for toddler, preschool, pre k, kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grdae, 5th grade, and 6th grade students to make learning fun! Includes worksheets for kids (free worksheets, homeschool worksheets, and free worksheets) to practice math, english, grammar, science, history, alphabet letters and more! The best free printable worksheets for kids! FREE A to Z Letter Find- super cute printable abc worksheets to help kids practice letter recognition of both uppercase and lowercase letters. Perfect for toddler, preschool, and kindergarten age kids #alphabet #preschool #kindergarten Kids will have fun learning about our solar system with these free printable Solar System Worksheets for kids.  You’ll find solar system vocabulary, planets, sun, stars, moon phases, and so much more! These free worksheets are great for Kindergarteners, grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, and grade 6 students.

Looking for more great content? We have over 1 million educational worksheets conveniently arranged by subject or grade: super cute Pre k Worksheets, fun kindergarten worksheets, free 1st grade worksheets, handy 2nd grade worksheets, printable 3rd grade worksheets, and 4th grade worksheets

Looking for a fun abc printable to help kids learn their alphabet letters, learn vocabulary, and work on phonemic awareness. These hugely popular alphabet hats are a great way to introduce students to the letters in the alphabet from A to Z. There is a different hat to make for each letter - perfect to go with a letter of the week program for toddlers, preschoolers, pre k, and kindergartners. Help kids learn about what is under their skin with this fun, interactive, and hands on human body project for kids from toddler, preschool, pre k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students. This can be a simple life size human body project or use our free printable templates to add bones of the body, organ templates, and more. This engaging science project is EASY and LOW PREP too.  100 Amazing Food experiments for summer science with kids

zoo animal crafts Teaching kids about famous artist Monet with this fun Monet art projects. This  easy-to-make tissue paper craft makes a beautiful Monet Art Project for Kids that will brighten up any room while helping to explore a famous artists for kids while having fun creating beautiful art, slowing down to appreciate the pretty things around us, and learning to express themselves too. This art projects for kids is perfect for toddler, preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students. handprint alphabet Printable alphabet crafts

Crafts Ideas for Kids

Looking for more craft projects for kids? Check out these fun ideas!

Nothing says summer like a big juicy watermelon! We whipped up a bath of this gorgeous watermelon playdough for our upcoming watermelon theme! This homemade playdoh recipe is super easy-to-make, soft, and such a fun watermelon activity! Use this summer activities for preschoolers, toddlers, kindergartners, grade 1, grade 2, and grade 3 students. Are your kids as crazy about slime as mine are? My kids love playing with slime and trying different types of slime. In our experimenting, we came up with this cool baking soda slime. This slime uses baking soda as the activator for a wonderful sheen and flow without being sticky at all! And with the first day fo sCome see how to make slime with baking soda and get playing with your preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd graders. Ready? Set. GO! This really fun car activity for kids is sure to be a hit. Whether you race your cars outside as a summer activity or indoors as a rainy day activity for kids - this is EPIC! This pool noodle activity is fun for toddler, preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd graders, and up. Just grab a pool noodle, duct tape, and our free printable to create a cool hot wheels race tarck in just 5 minutes! You are going to love this simple-to-make and creative art project for kids. You can create abstract art or art projects based on famous artists. We opted to make a starry night for kids tin foil project. I love the dimmension this technique gave to our van gogh art project. This aluminum foil art makes a great summer activity for kids of all ages from preschool, pre-k, kinderagrten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, 6th graders, and up!

Kids Activities

Looking for more fun kids activities and other ideas to keep kids engaged, learning, and having fun? Check out these:

You will love this outrageously fun painting with cars activity where kids will make a cheery rainbow painting using hotwheel vehicles. This rainbow painting for kids is a silly rainbow painting ideas that your kids will LOVE! Use this for a rainbow theme, car theme, spring theme, or just a fun play ativity with kids. Try this car activities for kids with toddler, preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, and first grade students.  Fun summer activity for bucket list Making a DIY foosball table is a really fun STEM project for kids of all ages to make together and loads of fun to play with too! The diy games for kids is the project for a rainy day or as a summer bucket list idea.  Try this homemade games for kids with preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and 4th graders too. This EPIC kids activity is sure to be a hit with your kids. Looking for a fun summer activity for kids? You are going to love blowing colorful snake bubble. This sock bubbles activity is super simple and such an easy summer activity idea for toddlder, preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd graders too. It takes blowing bakcyard bubles to a new level making long, colorful snakes with a simple technique using a sock and a plastic bottle. You've got to try this bubble snake experiment.

Things to Do with Kids

This vinegar and baking soda rocket is an out-of-this-world fun AND educational summer activity for kids! Preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students will enjoy making the baking soda rocket. This how to make a bottle rocket project is one of those really cool science projects your kids will remember forever! Have you ever heard of a lemon volcano? Kids are going to love this fun, creative,volcano experiment that screams summer! This simple lemon volcano experiment is perfect for curious kids from toddler, preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd graders too. All you need are a few simple materials to make some amazing erupting lemon volcanos! The goal of an amazing science experiment for kids is to grab kids attention and make them wonder why did that happen, how could that work, and I want to try that! This leak proof bag is such a simple science experiment for kids that explores polymers. What's best is this amazing science experiment with everyday materials! Try this water experiment with kids of all ages from toddler, preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and 4th graders too. Kids are going to love this really fun Frozen Rainbow Eruptions science activity where kids will make beautiful rainbows as they create a chemical reaction! This baking soda and vinegar experiment! This rainbow activities for preschoolers usese a couple simple materials for a mesmerizing, colorful preschool summer activity! Use this rainbow science with toddler, preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd graders.

Summer Science

There are so many fun ways to play and teach kids about chemical reactions using a baking soda and vinegar reaction. Here are some of our favorite baking soda and vinegar activities.

Looking for more fun, creative ways you can begin your free homeschool? We have over 1,000,000 pages of FREE Printable Worksheets including resources for: pre k worksheets, kindergarten worksheets, 1st grade worksheets, 2nd grade worksheets, 3rd grade worksheets, 4th grade worksheets, 5th grade worksheets, 6th grade worksheets, and more. Plus see our history lessons for kids, hands-on countries for kids, printable math games, language arts worksheetssight word worksheetsfree alphabet printables, and cvc word activities for kids of all ages! And our hugely popular Pipe Cleaner constellation activities

About the author

Beth Gorden

Beth Gorden is the creative multi-tasking creator of 123 Homeschool 4 Me. As a busy homeschooling mother of six, she strives to create hands-on learning activities and worksheets that kids will love to make learning FUN! She has created over 1 million pages of printables to help teach kids ABCs, science, English grammar, history, math, and so much more! Beth is also the creator of 2 additional sites with even more educational activities and FREE printables - www.kindergartenworksheetsandgames.com and www.preschoolplayandlearn.com

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