Being a mom is both the best thing and the most frustrating thing that I’ve experienced in my life. It felt like I went from a capable woman able to run a business and tackle huge to-do lists to a woman who was glad I could get a shower in a day. I’ve been a mom for 17 years now and while I didn’t struggle with getting a shower as my kids got older, a whole new set of issues grew….like how to keep up with everything and everyone.
I used to feel overwhelmed by the swirling to do list in my mind along with the actual list and all the kids’ activities and appointments. In fact, I used to screw up all the time and miss things or show up for stuff without whatever I needed. I also used to live in constant stress because I felt like I was always going to mess up or miss something.
Then I realized I could use my organization skills to create a system for my family/mom life that would help me dig my way out of the hole I was in. That’s how I created the mom to do list.
I’m going to share the system I use that helps me keep up with mom life without a partner or family nearby to help. As usual, I’m going to keep it real with you because I know like all moms, your time is valuable. I’m going to show you the system that works for me so you can try it in your home and see if it works for you.
You only need to
- read this post
- download the printable mom to do list at the bottom of this post
- follow the steps below
Mom To Do List
- Planner or 3 ring notebook (affiliate link)
- Mom to do list
- Your current calendar
- Your family calendar
- Blank piece of paper
- Sticky notes (optional)
First up, let me say that you don’t have to have a planner. I recommend that you have a planner because it’ll help you keep everything in one place, which makes your life easier. You can also use a 3 ring binder or whatever you prefer. You just need something that you can keep your mom to lists in and keep them all together.
Also, if you don’t have a personal calendar or a family calendar, I’d recommend that you start with that first.
Step 1: Brain dump
The first step toward managing your Monmouth mom to do list is to do a brain dump.
All you need to do is grab a piece of paper and a pen and write down everything swirling around in your brain that you know you need to get done. Write down everything. Everything. No matter how small and insignificant it seems, write it down.
I’m telling you, this one step is a huge part of reducing your stress. Do it often!
When we hold onto the list in our heads, it only makes us stressed because it’s all up there and we’re trying not to forget it. We’re also not doing anything that helps us take steps toward getting things done. And you can’t see how important some things are, how some can wait or that others need to happen now. Instead, it’s all swirling around in your head and stressing you out….at least if you’re like me.
Step 2: Print out mom to do list
Now that you’ve written down everything swirling around in your head. You need to begin to take action on all the things on your list.
To do that AND be able to keep up with your family, your job and the rest of life, you’re going to need to be a bit strategic about it.
Print out the mom to do list. They’re at the bottom of this post. You’ll sign into a box below and the mom to do lists for this month will come right to your inbox.
Print them to fit into whatever size notebook or planner you’re putting them in. In this post, I show you how to set your computer to print whatever size you prefer or will fit your planner/notebook.
Step 3: Rank your list
Now take a look at your brain dump list.
Look at it very realistically.
What things on that list need to happen this week?
What things can wait until next week or later?
Step 4: Assign a few tasks to dates for this week
The name of this step is a little deceiving. There’s a bit more to it than assigning tasks.
You need to get out your calendar and look at this week. Creating these mom to do lists is about being realistic with your life. It’s about accepting that the days of us powering through a list of 10 tasks at home is most likely over. That’s OK, and we can work with that, but we have to be realistic.
Pull out your calendar and look at it for the next week.
Do you have any days where you don’t have appointments or kids activities? Hopefully, you have at least one.
Now take those days that you think you’ll have a little bit of freedom in your schedule and put 1 or 2 things from your brain dump on those days. Don’t add more than 1 or 2 items.
Start with the tasks that you ranked highest or most important on your brain dump list.
Make sure you layer in your usual task for the week as well. You know, things like the laundry, grocery shopping, paying bills. Whatever other tasks you are responsible for each week.
Layering the regular tasks with the brain dump list will make sure you don’t add too much to your day.
Step 5: Layer in recurring tasks
If you noticed in the picture above this one, on the 4th, I needed to change the fridge filter, on the 7th I needed to clean the Roomba filter, and on the 8th I needed to clean the fish tank.
Those are all recurring tasks that I need to keep up with, but guess what? I’m never going to remember that. Ever. Life is too busy, and it ain’t gonna happen.
To me, that’s the beauty of these mom to do lists. They help me keep up and not forget even the little stuff for the long run.
Let’s say the I need to clean the Roomba filter and the fish tank every other week. When I hit my mom office(another Real Organized mom system) for the week, I’m going to add those to the calendar two weeks out, since I finished them this week. That way in 2 weeks I won’t forget that I need to do them again.
I need to replace the fridge filter in 6 months. That’s going to be in March. Since that’s next year in this scenario, I’m going to write the date and the task on a sticky note and put it in the back of my planner or notebook. That way, as soon as the next year of the mom to do lists are available, I can add that tasks to the to-do list, and it won’t get forgotten.
Step 6: Assign a few tasks to dates for next week
Now that you’ve got this week taken care of, it’s time to look at next week.
Once again, use your calendar and reference when you think you’ll have time to get some stuff done.
Only add one or two tasks to a day.
That may mean you are only adding one or two tasks to the week.
Step 7: Repeat steps 1 to 6
It may seem dumb to only get one or two items done from your brain dump, but trust me, we’re looking at the cumulative effect of this. And it works!
You definitely have to keep focused on the fact that progress forward is progress forward regardless of how small it may seem or feel. It will make a difference in the end. At least it has for me.
I feel so much less stressed as a mom daily now than I did a few years ago before I started using this system. I actually feel like a competent human again who can get stuff done. Yes, there are times this system bugs me and feels a little regimented. When those moments hit, I remember how I used to feel and how I used to not show up or show up without what I needed to bring, and I’m happy to do my brain dump and add a few things to my to do list for the week.
All you need to do to get started feeling less stressed and less like a hot mess of a mom is to sign in below for your mom to do list. I’ll send this months to do list right to your inbox. Then each month, you’ll get a new month of mom to do lists delivered to your inbox as well.
UPDATE: The mom to do list is no longer available. You can use this same idea in any planner, just dedicate a portion of your calendar section to your to do list and use all the techniques taught in this post.
Either way, you’re going to love how great it feels to begin to clear your head and clear your stress.