Not all team moms are alike. There are the ones who are frazzled, with their hair in a messy bun – all the time – and constantly in search of something they forgot or seems to be missing. Then there are the ones who appear to be on top of everything. Nothing seems to phase them. They always appear to be ready for a business meeting and they can tell you with 100% certainty where XYZ is. These are the moms we want so badly to emulate. They seem to have it all going.
Here’s a big secret: THEY ARE JUST AS FRAZZLED AS YOU ARE. The only difference is they have established habits in their lives where there is a place for everything and everything is in it’s place.
Here are nine habits for highly effective team moms:
Getting Ready for the Day Begins the Night Before
Jot Down Any Reminders for the Next Day
Having a to-do list or even just a list of reminders for the next day will make your day run much smoother. As I often say, it’s better to remember something when it needs to be done than have to circle back to get it done. Re-work is my pet peeve.
Pack Your Bag
Whether it’s your lunch or just remembering some papers you need, packing your bag the night before is the first line of defense to make sure nothing gets forgotten.
Set Out Clothes for the Next Day
This is so simple but integral to getting your day started right. No one has time to stand in their closet and stare at their clothes for 10 minutes each morning before deciding what to wear. And to top it off, it’s a really annoying way to start the day.
Set Your Clock 30 Minutes Before You NEED to Get Up
While I LOVE sleep, I abhor feeling rushed in the morning. It just sets a bad tone for the day. However, when I am able to take my time getting ready, slow down eating breakfast and have time to remember all the items I need to have with me for the day it makes my day go so much smoother.
Making Your Bed Every Morning
This is one of those delayed gratification things moms can do to make their day complete. Crawling into a bed that was made is one of the most luxurious feelings you can have after a long day. And just think about it: as they say in the military, if you make your bed in the morning you have already accomplished one thing.
Have a Time Management System
Having a solid time management system is a great way to keep everything in order. When you know when you are doing something, it’s easier to figure out how you are going to do it.
Spending 5-10 minutes each week to meal plan will not only save you time, it will save you money.
Have an “It Is What It Is” Attitude
As they say, *stuff* happens. No matter how organized you are, something is going to go wrong. If you can do something about it then do it. If there is nothing you can do about it then don’t freak out. It won’t do any good anyway.
A perfect example of this happened when I was driving to Chicago for a tournament when inexplicably our EZPass didn’t work at one of the toll transponders on the Skyway. My choices at that time were to freak out and likely cause a traffic jam of raging mad Chicagoians or to realize “it is what it is”. In that specific moment, with cars already ten deep behind us, there was literally nothing I could (or would) do to fix the transponder. It’s not like I was going to jump on the phone for the next 30 minutes with the Illinois Department of Transportation to get my transponder fixed. We had to move on given the circumstances we were in and figure the rest out later. Luckily each toll gate is equipped with a debit card slider. Easy peasy! I swiped the card and off I went.
When a situation arises, figure out quickly if it’s something you can control at this very moment. If there isn’t, don’t let it stop the rest of your forward progression.
Leans on Others for Help
Friends, listen closely. I’ll only say this once: it IS NOT a failure on your part if you delegate some of your team mom duties or ask for help. It actually shows great leadership and in most situations the other parents want to help.
Plans for the Worst, Hope for the Best
Sorry to burst your bubble but bad things happen to good people. You can have all your ducks in a row with tournament registrations, hotel reservations, uniform orders and sanctioning organization memberships then one of those crazy ducks steps out of line.
If you do a little ‘worst case scenario planning’ you will be ready for every situation. Some scenarios to consider planning for are: hotel reservations, tournament registrations, tournament schedules, travel plans, team meals, uniform issues and roster changes.
Similar to getting up 30 minutes before you need to, the earlier you can plan for something the more likely it will be planned right, nothing will be forgotten and that frazzled feeling will never come to fruition.
Have A Tickler System
With the invention of smartphones, your tickler system it right at your fingertips. Whether it’s as simple as using your phone’s pre-loaded calendar or a Google calendar or something advanced such as a time management app, your smartphone is typically at your side most of the time and even if it isn’t I would bet good money that you check it at least once an hour. This means you can set up reminders to alert on your phone.
It can be as simple as reminding you at about 15 minutes before you typically leave for work to remember the paperwork for a meeting that day. A reminder for the tournament you need to pay for or the roster you have to submit.
What habits would you add? Leave a comment below and let us know.
Sue Nowicki is an alumna of the 2014/15 Disney Parks Moms Panel. She is a team mom extraordinaire who has filled her time serving as secretary, navigator, head cheerleader, treasurer, athletic trainer and team psychologist for her daughter’s travel sports team for over 15 years before becoming a team owner. She is also a travel consultant for Looking Glass Travel specializing in Disney destinations. You can follow her on Twitter at @JazzinDisneyMom.