March Madness is over and I’m still sad about it. I don’t want to talk about it, but I am going to talk about another kind of madness. April is already crazy enough, but April craziness brings May madness. Between sports, class parties, field days, graduations, end-of-year appreciation gifts, recitals, summer planning, and anything I may have left off, this month is a doozy. And I’m not even going to get into the effect spring fever has on all of it. By this time of year, most mamas are burned out and ready to throw in the towel. I can’t clear your schedule, but I can offer you some encouragement and a few practical tips I try to use when I feel the end-of-year panic.
I hope these 5 tips will help us survive together:
1. Make a huge list.
Write down everything together on one sheet of paper. When I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING. (It may take two sheets.) You can do this on your phone or in an app if you prefer, but I find the act of physically writing things down really helps me remember and helps things from falling through the cracks. Once everything is written down, group like items together and see how much can be completed at one time. Multiple snacks for multiple events? Check. Order them all at one time. Driving all over town for various activities? Fine. Plan the day around driving. Try to do things as early as possible to avoid further panic later. Different theme parties or dress up projects? Take care of it now. No one needs to be pulling an all-nighter to come up with a costume for a living wax museum. We are all human and things may still end up happening at the last minute, but at least having one list in one place can help us feel a little bit of control over the craziness until every item is eventually completed.
2. Adjust expectations.
We are all going to have to be realistic about what we can do. This is not the time of year to try to be an overachiever. This is the time of year to do the best you can with the resources you have — mainly time. Of course we want to do things with excellence, but we also need to be done. Set perfection aside and keep trudging forward. Get the most important things done and be realistic about adding anything new or trying to be extra. We will have time for that later (maybe.)
3. Stay active.
I know. I just said don’t add anything new, but this is important. When the schedule picks up, working out can be the absolute last thing a busy mama wants to do, but managing stress is crucial in such a busy time of year. Not only will exercise help lower our stress levels, but it will also help us stay healthy. No one has time to add sickness into the mix! No gym membership? No problem! The beautiful spring weather provides a perfect opportunity for a walk outside, a quick run, or even a short workout while kids play. Even a few minutes of physical activity will help you clear your head and give you more energy to tackle that list. I also like to use my walking/running time to pray because I know I can’t do anything in my own strength. I desperately need wisdom and guidance to keep things in the right perspective.
4. Keep meals super simple.
It’s totally fine to feed kids sandwiches for supper or throw a bunch of snacks into a bag to eat at the ball field. If you are trying to stay healthy on a budget, a cooler can be your best friend. We can all get back to our Pinterest meals later, but now is the time to keep everyone fed and finish out the year. Fortunately, there are also many cheap and free options for local restaurants when you just can’t make meals at home.
5. Look forward to summer!
Ladies, the good news about May madness is that we only have a few short weeks until SUMMER! We have almost made it through another school year. It is going to be crazy, but this month is going to go fast. When you feel overwhelmed and discouraged about all the extra responsibilities this month, just keep your eye on the prize. We are all in this together, and we can make it! Just keep going. Before you know it, the madness will subside (at least a little.)
So, that’s it. I hope those tips help a little bit. I would love to hear your ideas too. Brace yourselves, mamas. It’s gonna be May!