If you’ve been a mom for five minutes or fifty years, you understand it. The self-doubt that constantly questions every decision you’ve ever made about your children or yourself. It’s that little voice in your head that says, “Did I spend enough time with my kids today?” “Did they eat enough healthy foods?” “What if they turn into a Dateline story because I didn’t

[ fill in the blank]?!!”

The voice creeps in at night, judges you when you see other parents with their children and is confirmed when overly-critical adults make rude comments.

Mom-Guilt is a real issue. I have three kiddos ages 22, 15, and 6. (People often like to point out to me that there are a few age gaps in there. I got it. Thanks for the heads up!) Now, I have been a stay-at-home-mom, a work-outside-my-home-mom, and a work-from-home-mom and have felt guilt at every juncture.

I am a veteran of Mom-Guilt.

Why do we feel so guilty? Well for one we are incredibly busy and have far too many expectations on ourselves and our children. Sometimes we’re busy just to be busy. We often set ridiculously high standards and often fall short….which adds to that guilt-tank.

Next, we have an over-load of information constantly bombarding us between social media, opinions disguised as the authority and of course, the media’s hysteric attention grabbing headlines, “The Seven Hidden Dangers In Your Neighborhood Park.” Why would any parent in their right mind allow their children to play outside again?! Heap on another helping of GUILT.

Let’s talk about social media for a minute. Now, we all know that those photos are taken at the frenzied rate of flashing paparazzi bulbs following around a Kardashian. In other words, MANY shots are taken looking for that perfect one. Clutter is pushed outside the frame. Children are repositioned. Filters are used (Lark or Juno???). Stories are embellished. Experiments with different angles or perhaps eyes focused on a distant object to convey that this photo was simply captured in a moment of quiet contemplation…….and not with my outstretched arm dangling my camera above my head. You know what I’m talking about….we’re ALL guilty on this one!

So, what do these things have to do with Mom-Guilt?

They steal our time.

How many times have you shushed your kid while you finish a social media post? I’m not adding to the guilt; I’m simply pointing out what we’ve all done.

Now, surviving Mom-Guilt does not mean that you must give everything up. In fact, you can create MORE time with one little trick.

***Plan each and every single day.***

As a professional organizer, this is the number one technique I suggest to clients who feel overwhelmed and suffer from guilt. Now, depending on the personality of my client I get one of two responses:

Those who lean toward “Type A” say, “Yeah, I already to do this as they show me a calendar with every hour of the day mapped out accompanied with a systematic display of color-coded post-it notes with additional information for each activity for the day.

Those who consider themselves free-spirited and spontaneous show me the super cute planner they bought but never opened and have nothing written inside.

Good news, planning out your day does not require a project management degree, and it will give you MORE time. Here are seven tips to help you get started:

1. You don’t need a fancy planner. When first starting, use a notebook. Write the date on the top of the page and list your top priorities. You should limit yourself to 3-5 priorities each day. These are the tasks most likely to keep you up at night if you don’t get them done. Also, remember that if everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority.

2. Choose to plan every day either the night before or first thing in the morning.

3. Choose three daily household tasks that can easily be done every day. Mine are to make my bed, do one load of laundry, and make sure my kitchen is clean immediately after dinner.

4. Learn to map out your day for the areas that are important to you. You don’t need to assign specific times unless it’s necessary (work, appointments, etc.)
o Family/Couple Time
o Finances/Budget
o Work/School
o House Project
o Self/Down Time (Go ahead….post that photo!)
o Health Time
o Religious/Spiritual
o What other areas in your life are important to you?

5. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Also, it’s important to try and start your day as early as you can muster. I am a 5:30 am girl as it gives me a full hour before my kids start to wake up.

6. Create a menu and plan your meals ahead of time. I’ve become a huge fan of the meal delivery services as they also save me a trip to the grocery store. Extra bonus!

7. Budget your time as you would your money. Learn to say “no” to people and activities that are not on your priority list.

Let’s face it. Nothing will ever eliminate Mom-Guilt. It’s inherent once that child enters your life. It is possible to manage it with a little daily planning and to focus on what’s important in your life. Weed out the things that don’t make you feel great and pat yourself on the back cause you’re doing a pretty awesome job!

Thanks for reading!
Janel