Tips to Help You Manage Your Busy Life With Elaine McGhee! by Donna John
Life is busy, especially for moms trying to do it all! No one knows this better than Elaine McGhee, founder of ThriveMomma.com, a community empowering moms to gracefully return to work after Baby. Elaine joined us to share tips on managing our busy lives, the morning routine, meal planning, dealing with stress and her favorite apps to help you get it all done!
Q: How do you recommend moms get a healthy meal on the table and find time to meal plan every week?
- Make time every Sunday night. Grab your recipes and an inventory of what is in your kitchen and begin writing out your list.
- Meal planning pro tip: Only try one or two new recipes a month. (Like this easy one-pot chicken and dumplings recipe!). Try them on a weekend when you have time to deal if it’s a dud.
- Learn how to rock a Crock Pot! Easiest way to cook meat. RECIPE: 1 pound chicken + jar BBQ sauce + mango chunks. Serve over quinoa. (Try this delicious creamy chicken chili recipe!)
- Use easy recipes found on Pinterest. (Actress Ali Landry loves Pinterest!). Sandwiches, salads, pizza and tacos can be rotated in between freshly made meals.
- Always freeze portion sizes so they can be thawed and eaten the next week. Put a love note to yourself or husband on the label.
- Make meal planning fun by lighting a candle, playing your favorite music or rewarding yourself with foot rub from your partner.
Q. Mornings are so hard to get kids out the door on time. How can you help us make the morning routine easier?
- The dirty little secret about a successful morning routine is that it actually depends on a solid night-time routine.
- Move three things that you currently do in the morning to the night before. And then see if you can find another one!
- Get yourself ready before your kids wake up. Sorry, mamas! Do you need to wake up 15 minutes earlier?
- Write down what you do weekday mornings in 15-minute increments. Add in an extra 15 minutes to make room for the inevitable.
- Make breakfast the night before. Quiches, overnight oats and juicing the night before. What will you make tonight? (Maybe this fajita breakfast scramble using leftovers?)
- If your partner is around in the morning, what can he/she do to help you?! Often they don’t even know what we need help with.
- Pack lunches, bags, backpacks, layout your own clothes the night before. Get yourself on the same type of routine as your kids.
“I have found that delegating things to the kids is helpful and teaches them responsibility.” – @kimnelson111
Q: Life is stressful with kids, work, husband and family. How can you help us deal with all the stress and pressure?
- Reducing stress starts with how you are thinking and feeling in the moment. Three deep breaths will calm your heart and mind.
- Being aware of what triggers your stress will help you to see the warning signs. Deadlines and overwhelm trigger me. What stresses you? (Watch this video about de-stressing through meditation.)
- We often take too much on. Learn to say no, delegate and let others lead. Your need to please is not serving you.
- Find micro moments to recharge your energy. Listen to music, comedy take or three deep breaths before you get out of your car.
- Not making a decision is stressful. Stop listening to everyone and follow your mother’s intuition. Be brave and take a risk.
“I love taking bubble baths after everyone is asleep. Ahhhh!” – @rychepet
Q: What high-tech or low-tech tools do recommend use to help us manage our busy lives?
- App recommendation 1: @Evernote is the best to help you manage tasks. Share notebooks with your partner so they know when to pick up milk. Email yourself articles, pics and emails to store, organize or read later. View on your mobile, desktop and iPad.
- App recommendation 2: GWhizz app has all of the @Google apps all in one app. Share a @GoogleCalendar with your husband! Saves time!
- App recommendation 3: @Momcoapp is a must-have app for moms! Connect with new moms, find playdates, local services and deals!
- App recommendation 4: @littlehootsapp is a fun way to capture crazy things your child says. Easily share on social media and with friends.
- App recommendation 5: @InsightTimer is a meditation timer plus it links you with a global community. Stillness cures stress for busy moms! Try it!
“Technology can be your friend of the biggest distraction. The trick is moderation.” – @ThriveMomma
Q: You have two kids, two careers and a supportive husband. How do you get it all done each week?
- Always make time for weekly meal planning on Sunday.
- We have shared goals and we always check in to make sure our needs are being met. Write down your priorities with your partner!
- Make space for planning. De-clutter a drawer or your desk. A clear space makes for a clear head.
- Planning each week can be such a drag. I always light a candle and surround myself with beautiful things. Makes it fun.
- I color code family, work, kid events, etc., in my @googlecalendar. If it’s not on a calendar, it doesn’t exist.
- We schedule and always keep our at-home date nights. After the kids go down it’s time to spice it up!