- Plan ahead- This is without fail the best thing you can do to make your days run smoother. Make a meal plan and grocery list, so you can have your meals planned out and ready to go. Nothing is worse than staring in the fridge at 5pm with starving kids wondering what is for dinner. Although breakfast for dinner is always acceptable on those days! Two of my kids are in school but as soon as they get home we are on the go with sports events and practices. If I take 10 minutes to gather all the clothing they will need and pack snacks before they get home, we all make it out of the house a lot happier.
- Take time for yourself. I love my kids and having them with me, but sometimes Mom needs a break! Everyone has something different they chose to do when they get an hour of free time, but mine is exercise. I love to get out and go for a run by myself! A huge help for me has been my gym membership. My daughter loves going to the gym daycare and I get an hour or two of uninterrupted me time. It’s a win-win. If exercise isn’t your thing take time for your hobbies or even to just sit down and read a book for a bit.
- Keep your expectations low. There are so many times I plan on my husband making it home in time for an event or a sports game and it just doesn’t happen. It isn’t his fault, since I guess he is busy saving lives and all, but it still is hard! If I just assume he won’t make it home and that I am doing bedtime or a football game by myself, then I am not disappointed. Then if he does come, it is a pleasant surprise!
- Last but not least, learn your limits and when to say no. We want to please everyone and try to do everything, but sometimes it just isn’t possible. Decide what your main goals are, for example, spend quality time with your kids, create a happy home environment, support and show love to your spouse or partner, maintain your health, etc. When you pile on extra commitments and these things start to fall by the wayside, then it is time to reevaluate! You will be more successful and so much happier when you don’t overwhelm yourself!
What tips do YOU have about surviving residency?