This Mom Secret may not be rocket science, but it is essential to feeling successful, not to mention- confident, as a mom.

Before having kids, I would have characterized myself as a pretty good planner- not OCD, but good. Thinking about what I was going to wear the next day wasn’t all to uncommon. While I like spontaneity, I also like to have everything together to even consider it. That may seem like an oxymoron to you, but it totally makes sense to me, so let me keep thinking it does.

When I became a mom of one, planning took on whole new levels. The five minutes it used to take me to gather my shoes, purse, and any other necessity needed to get out of the door suddenly turned into 15-20 min.- not to mention the formidable diaper change (requiring an entire new outfit) that is inevitable just as you pick baby up to leave.

Now as a mom of three, it’s become even more extreme, and even more essential to plan ahead.

Some examples:
– Washing out the coffee pot/grinder in the afternoon.
– Prepping the coffee at night.
– Prepping diaper bags in the evening (I routinely only do this on Sat.nights for Sun. morning or if we have to be anywhere earlier than usual the next day.)
– Setting out breakfast items in the evening. (again- this is primarily a Sat. night thing until school starts again.)
– Set out all the kids clothes. (Mainly a Sat night thing or if we have somewhere to be.  During the school year we do this the night before they go to school.  This also helps with whining about what they wear- rather it be at night than the morning.)
– Poach chicken mid-morning.  (If we don’t have morning plans regularly you will find chicken boiling on my stove- it’s versatile and a staple for us.  Sometimes I use it that day for lunch or just freeze it for later in the week.)
– Dinner (I think about dinner the morning of, not at 5pm- this allows time for thawing, marinating, etc.)

I’m sure there’s more.  Pretty much if it can be done earlier, then I try and do it.

Word of Caution– If you’re not careful you could easily fall into the trap of being over-prepared and living in the future.  I see it in myself some days.  I can be so worried about planning for the next activity or meal that I fail to enjoy the moments right in front of me.  There are times I have to just relax and know that things will get done, and if not, it’s still okay.