The alarm on my phone softly chimes and I feel around on my nightstand until I find it and press “stop.” I close my eyes for just a few more minutes and the next time I open them it’s because the aroma of fresh coffee has reached me. Is there someone in my kitchen who cares enough to make me a hot cup of coffee every morning? Yes, there is! It’s me!!
Every night I set up my programmable coffee pot and no matter how tired I am, I don’t skip this step because it’s a gift to myself. I’ve come to see the programmable coffee pot as one of my “can’t live without” items and setting it is one way I help myself have better days as a mom, a professional, and a person in general. Believe it or not, I once saw the setting of the coffee pot as a little chore, but coming to see it as a gift to myself changed the whole perspective. My coffee pot (I call her Ruth) is in good company with a few other life savers.
First, there’s the smartphone alarm. Not for me, but for my children. When met with the excuse “I forgot!” I once suggested my child set his phone alarm to remind himself of what he needed to do. I’ve never stopped suggesting it. Even my youngest (10) can say “Hey, Siri, set an alarm for 8:00.” He thinks it’s cool and it cuts way down on arguments to have him set his own alarm for the end of game time and be responsible himself for starting his bedtime routine. No more yelling from the bottom of the stairs, and when the alarm goes off and he does what he’s supposed to do, I can really sing his praises for being responsible. My own smartphone reminders, alerts and alarms help do the heavy lifting of the “mom-brain” stuff that needs remembering.
Next up, delivery services. I have no idea how I would have run an assisted living home, parented my children, or kept my sanity this year without delivery services. Same goes for online orders for pickup. From Door Dash to Walmart delivery to Amazon to the local Langenstien’s online ordering service, all these have been my extra hands when there just weren’t enough hours in the day or energy in my body to get it all done. Yep, the tips mean it costs me a little, but so would a nervous breakdown, so I choose to give myself the help I need, order stuff from the peace of my bed and let someone deliver it while I get in the exercise I’ve been putting off or help someone with homework, or (gasp!) actually rest.
The last member of my mom management team is my journal. Old fashioned, I know, but it works for me. I use a daily planner style journal that includes the liturgy for the day, space for listing my priorities AND for planning rest and reward, along with some white space for thinking, jotting stuff I want to remember, or just a diary of the day. Every morning I use my cute little Ooly pen, sip coffee, get inspiration, center myself and gather my thoughts. I find that it makes a huge difference to set my own purpose for the day before everyone else attempts to hijack me.
Being a mother is a challenge in normal times, and this year it’s taken every trick in my mom book to keep me afloat. I hope you find some inspiration in this showcase of my favorite life savers. We’ve got this, moms, especially with a little help from our “friends.”