A Sane Woman’s Guide: one more giveaway

Just to prove that perfectly moderately sane women sometimes go a little insane, I submit today’s to-do list– the part that actually got completed (with major help from kids).

–Went to the bank, post office and Home Depot with 5 kids. Returned one item and picked up 15 other items that were all in different corners of the store, many of which required color/style selection, much to the dismay of the bored children (who all had BEGGED to come along, I might add in my defense).

–Fixed two broken closet door latches, and sternly warned children to treat the new hardware more gently.

–Installed a new rod for our shower. Was shocked at how smoothly it slides compared to our old one.

–Supervised an 11 year old as he fertilized the lawn (It would have been easier to do myself, but he knows how to do it now!)

–Primed a double-car garage. We’ve lived here since 1993 and finally decided to paint it– my husband was thrilled to come home and discover this had been done, mostly by our 14 and 17 year old sons.

–Threw out 6 ancient dust-covered houseplants — with only a small pang of regret. It will be soo nice not to have to water plants on that high shelf any more.

–Rinsed out and bleached several hundred plastic seed starter packets. This job was done by my 11 and 13 year old daughters, once I got them set up. Hubby was equally thrilled to see this done, since it is TIME to start our tomato plants!

–I’ve got lots more to do tomorrow– spring fever seems to have bitten my to-do list. However after a week and a day of spring break, I think we’d better also get some math and reading done tomorrow.

How about you? What’s on your to-do list? Anyone who shares an item or two in comments below will be automatically entered into a drawing to win a copy of my book A Sane Woman’s Guide to Raising a Large Family. I’ll be selecting a random winner on Friday morning!

5 ways to avoid mom burnout

With all the stress flying around here lately, I’ve begun to feel a bit worn down. Time to think of some things that restore my energy instead of taking more. Here are some of the things that help me.
I’d love to hear in comments what you do when you’re feeling beat by life and need that little extra pep in your step.

1. Do a project. Something about scrapbooking a few pages or organizing a couple of drawers or rearranging the living room gives me a sense of accomplishment, even in the midst of other challenging situations. This week I cut some extra dish towels into quarters and hemmed them to make cloth napkins. (They’ll come in handy during our 30 days of nothing next month!) Next week I’m hoping to get my bathroom painted — it’s been needing it for awhile and a couple weeks ago I found a gallon of the perfect color for $5, thanks to someone who’d had the paint mixed and then returned it to the store. (By the way, if you’re in need of paint, always check the ‘reject’ paint at the paint store. You’d be surprised at the nice colors that people return. It is usually marked down at least 50%. And don’t forget that you can mix a couple of similar colors if you need more than a gallon’s worth.)

2. Make some lists. When I’m stressed and overly busy, I can feel so scatter-brained that I have a hard time remembering what is most important to get done. Making a list makes it easier even on a stressful day to evaluate my time and get at least a few of the most important things done. This goes a long way toward lowering my stress levels.

3. Get some extra rest. I’m a night owl, and when I have lots to do, I tend to stay up later and later. When the stress is winning over sanity inside my head, I’ll often realize I’ve stayed up until 2 several nights in a row. Often a couple nights of midnight bedtimes are all it takes to help me feel in control of my life again.

4. Spend some quality time with my husband. A couple nights ago when the stress was getting to me, my husband and I put the kids to bed and went and sat in the swimming pool. We watched the sunset and chatted and griped and schemed and laughed. For an hour and a half. It was wonderful!

5. Focus on doing things 15 minutes better each day.

How about you? What do you do when you start feeling burned out?