by: Kristina Danahy
my mom left all her work at the office at 5pm, sent store-bought cupcakes for my class birthday celebrations, and let me watch tv when I got home from school.
I check work emails after my kids go to sleep, feel pressure to make gluten-free, nut-free, vegan unicorn cupcakes that I saw on Pinterest, and worry about how much Daniel Tiger or Tumble Leaf my son watches.
I start my days with two coffees (not hot lemon water, positive affirmations, or yoga), my baking attempts often come out Pinterest fails rather than Instagram-worthy, and I have used YouTube videos of marching bands or Koo Too Kangaroo to occupy my son while I cook dinner.
I know I have the same 24 hours in a day that Beyonce does, but changing my mindset to be a “good enough mom” instead of aiming to be a “supermom” is helping me enjoy being a mom way more.
YOU can do all the things!
Before kids, I always loved cooking, working out and reading. I’m happy to have started doing these things regularly again (after a period of takeout, sedentary life, and not reading after having two kids).
Life Hack #1: Cooking
Make those ‘Instagram-worthy’ fancy recipes that require trips to multiple grocery stores, mysterious ingredients, and hours of prep.
Good Enough Mom:
I now make a few things at the beginning of the week that can be used in multiple meals. I focus on preparing components (e.g., chop bell peppers that can go in salads, egg scrambles, or quesadillas instead of trying to have the full meals prepped on Sundays). Having stuff ready to go makes it easy to prepare fresh dinners or lunches during the week.
I also use my Instant Pot to make staples such as hardboiled eggs, oatmeal, quinoa, or salsa chicken. Instead of scouring Pinterest for meal ideas, I crowdsource from my mom friends to find out what they’ve found to be a hit with the kids and easy to make. I find inspiration for using up what’s in my pantry from my “What’s in my Pantry? Challenge” Facebook group—this also helps cut down on food waste and time spent grocery shopping.
Life Hack #2: Working Out
Run or go to studio classes (barre, spin, yoga, Pilates) 5-6 times a week.
Good Enough Mom:
Similar to my cooking hacks, I use my mom friends to help stay accountable and learn of quick workouts I can do within the time that I have (versus feeling like I need to get a babysitter so I can go to a studio class). I take my kids in the jogging stroller to literally run errands.
* Fellow moms recommended MommaStrong, and I now love doing her workouts. They range from 5 minutes to 15 minutes at home. *
If I don’t want to disturb the kids while they’re sleeping, I put on my AirPods and stream it on the AppleTV. I am also proud to have set up a large team of local moms for an upcoming 5K—we’re keeping accountable for training and inspiring each other. I feel joyful for have gotten back into running and don’t feel like a failure for not doing marathons anymore.
Life Hack #3: Reading
Idealistic Supermom: Read novels on the couch with a cup of tea.
Good Enough Mom: I now participate in a neighborhood book club with fellow moms. We each take turns hosting on a weekend afternoon so that our kids play together while we chat about the books. I’ve learned so much from the diverse choices that fellow book clubbers have brought to the group, and it doubles up as kid entertainment.
One mom even taught me about the free audiobooks available via the Libby app. I’ve “read” many books by listening in the car, on the T, or while doing chores!