How Do They Do It?
They make it look so easy. They juggle work, kids and a hubby with ease, and still have time to volunteer at the women's shelter, host dinner parties and look amazing. How do they do it? We talked to two real life super moms to get their secrets.
Both moms agreed that the key to success is organization.
Use a giant calendar
"The wall in our family room has a huge -- I mean huge -- wall calendar," says Stephanie, mother of four teenagers. "Everything goes on that calendar -- doctor's appointments, school events, sports practice, everything and anything. When you see it big and bold in front of you, you are less likely to forget about anything and it allows everyone to see what's coming up for the next day."
"We went through a period where our lives were chaos," says Marta, mother of four kids in elementary school. "We were completely overscheduled. Dance lessons, martial arts lessons, school sports, church sports... it was never-ending. Our kids had something to do or somewhere to go every single evening of the week. We had to cut back. Now during the school year, they can play one sport and take one type of lesson per week."
Establish a routine early
"People have always said our kids are so well-behaved," says Stephanie. "I think it's because we established a routine with them very early in their lives, so they have always known what to expect. We have dinner at 6:30 p.m. We go to church on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. We do volunteer work as a family every third Saturday of the month. They wake up at the same time every day, even on the weekends. When kids have a routine and know what is expected of them, they are much more likely to not get anxious or unruly."
Their morning routines go off without a hitch. Their kids always seem to get along. How do these super moms keep a harmonious household?
"Life shouldn't be that complicated," explains Marta. "And I think the key goes back to organization. You need to simplify things in your household to reduce the chaos. For example, our playroom is very organized. We have clear storage bins for each type of toy or art supply -- blocks, Hot Wheels, action figures, markers, crayons, etc. When the kids are done playing, they just put the toys back in the proper bin and slide the bin back against the wall. When children are little, you have to keep things simple for them."
Hug don't hit
"Ever since our kids were really young, we have always lived by the motto: Hug don't hit. Every time one of our little ones would begin to tantrum or start fighting with another one of the kids, instead of a time-out or spanking, my husband and I would say 'Oh, do you need a hug?' The children started associating hugs as the solution to every conflict," says Stephanie.
Declutter your home
"Your home will be a lot more harmonious when everyone can find what they are looking for," explains Marta. "Our house used to have all too much stuff in it. Too much furniture that wasn't functional. Too many old magazines and newspapers. Clothes the kids had grown out of -- just way too much stuff. Now every three months, we do 'spring' cleaning where we declutter the entire house. We clean out the closets, donating what we don't need to charity. We put seasonal clothes away in storage under the beds. We have a garage sale where the kids can sell any old toys that they want to part with. We keep things in order with lots of shelving, hooks, storage bins and ottomans with storage underneath."
Up next: Beauty and love tips from real-life super moms >>