How to Reclaim Your Time as a Mom, According to a Life Coach

When you’re pulled in one million directions every day—drop-off, work meetings, school projects, play dates, tween drama, dinner plans—it can be tricky to feel like you have any grasp on your own schedule. That’s why we tapped Andrea Marcellus, wellness expert, life strategist, and CEO of the and/life brand, for a few pointers on how to give moms the confidence to reclaim their time, supercharge their habits, and live their best lives. Here’s what Andrea recommends:

Practice Personal Authenticity. Women—and moms in particular—often feel pressured to fit a certain mold. For instance, the PTA-leading, bake sale-organizing, homemade dinner-making mother fits the bill for a ton of amazing women. But if this isn’t you, that’s okay! Be the bikram-teaching, management team-leading, Rihanna concert-going, mom instead. Don’t let the idea of who you “think” you are supposed to be overtake who you actually are and what makes you happiest.

Live the Rule of Awesome. As moms, we always have running to-do lists that never seem to get shorter. But that doesn’t mean we should settle for just mediocre things while working to check one more “to-do” off our list. Instead of spending more money than you’d like to admit on just ok, bland lunches during the week, pull together quick, healthy meals using ingredients you love in the mornings or the night before, and save your lunch money to treat yourself to an awesome dinner for you and your significant other, or even the whole family, at that five-star restaurant you’ve been eyeing for months. Put simply, if it isn’t awesome, don’t do it – it’s not worth the time, calories or money.

Strategize Habits. Lots of moms feel the burden of not having enough time for even the simplest of weekly errands – like grocery shopping. To reclaim your time and simplify your to-do list, think about streamlining what feels like a chore into a no-brainer habit. Every Tuesday afternoon as your packing your kid’s snack for soccer practice, take stock of what’s in your fridge and use the time between drop-off and pick-up to grab what you need at the store. Suddenly you’re tackling multiple to-dos in a single trip!

Develop Oppositional Stability. Every mom knows the feeling— you’re outraged because your daughter left a mess in the sink AGAIN or your son forgot his homework AGAIN. We’re all human and reach our breaking point from time to time, but when faced with a tough reality, I always say “give it a hug.” Embracing a situation when your initial reaction is to push back hard is the key to finding solutions and moving forward as far as possible. When you ask where someone is coming from first (what distracted them), you’re able to de-escalate the situation before explaining your position (what their choice dumps on your plate). You’ll both be coming from a place of empathy and be more likely to reach common ground more quickly.

Allow in the Extraordinary. Sometimes we’re so focused on how motherhood adds to our endless to-do lists that we forget the joy and love motherhood brings to our lives. By practicing the five life strategies and finding all the extra time it brings, we can finally feel free to allow in the extraordinary moments— like playing with our kids in the backyard without worrying about the extra laundry that will come from it, seeing our kids score their first goal and forgetting how many hours you’ve dedicated to carpool, or helping our kids with their science project overnight and not caring about all the paint and glitter that now covers your kitchen floor. By allowing in the extraordinary, you can enjoy and focus on what matters most.

How do you make the most of your time? Share with us below!

Now read How to Simplify Your Morning Routine with Kids or How One Mini Editor Reacted to Her Gestational Diabetes Diagnosis.

Opening Image: Ivy Reynolds for Mini Magazine