Five Tips for Managing the Crazy

I get lots of comments & emails asking how I do it all, how I stay organized, how I run two businesses, how I keep our home so clean, how I love my husband well, how I make time for margaritas with girlfriends, how I stay on budget, how I run a farm & the list goes on.

The short answer - I don't. 
The better answer - You're not alone.

Let me paint you a picture. 

Earlier this week when we announced our (big! awesome! fun!) news of our brick & mortar shop opening, I was suffering from a pretty intense 48 hour stomach bug. I had intended to write our newsletter & create the event the week before, but my to-do list got the best of me & I was buried in work. 

Sunday afternoon came & so did my stomach bug. I thought I could just sleep it off. Oh no, my friends, how very naive of me. Monday morning came dreadfully quick & at the crack of dawn, with my puke bucket nearby & frantic breaks for the potty, I wrote our newsletter announcing our exciting news & fell straight back into bed.

On time? Barely. With grace? I nearly died. 

But here's the thing. I did the work, you got a pretty announcement in your inbox & you had no idea what was happening behind the scenes.

Our life isn't always as chaotic as the story above, but my point is that we all deal with our own versions of crazy. How we manage that crazy is key. 

What strategies do we implement in our own lives that keep us from having to write newsletters at the crack of dawn with a puke bucket in hand? 

How do we find a simpler, sustainable rhythm for our lives that gives us room to breathe & enjoy life's goodness?

I'm not perfect. But I've learned a whole lot amid the crazy. Here's a handful of tips, strategies & calls to action that I use in my own life to keep the chaos at bay. Enjoy!

1. Hire a housekeeper - I talk about this all of the time, but my housekeeper is my favorite person. It's the best investment on our quality of life & I am just so grateful for her service to our family. Create a budget category for this expense & find a housekeeper you love. It is the best gift you can give yourself in the new year!

2. Make time for YES! - Truth be told, I am exhausted by the many books out there telling us that in order to feel less stressed, we need to say no. I believe that's left us feeling disconnected & without community. Friends, I'd invite you to say yes. Saying yes has enriched my life in countless ways & allows me to feel a little more "me" when life feels hectic. Yes to weekly coffee with girlfriends! Yes to reading that book! Yes to movie nights with family! Yes to pie before dinner! Whatever your yes is, make time for it & watch your joy grow. 

3. Sign up for services that you'll use & will actually make your life easier - Signing up for Grove Collaborative & having our favorite home + body care products delivered right to our doorstep every month helps me feel on top of my game when I have zero energy left. Living on the farm makes it tough to go into town for a roll of toilet paper. And let's face it, that toilet paper pack turns into the fun earrings I need for that cute, new top I found on the end cap. It's an energy suck, a time suck, & a money suck.

Grove Collaborative keeps me focused on what we actually need within our home, saves me money & honors my time. The best part? The folks at Grove Collaborative are gifting every Natalie Creates reader a farmhouse enamelware caddy full of Mrs. Meyer's cleaning supplies when you sign up as a new customer & place your first order! I know you'll love & use this service just as much as our family does! 

Click HERE to sign up & never run out of toilet paper again!

4. Take time to plan - I spend 1 hour every Sunday planning out the week ahead. I jot down my commitments for the week (I'm using this monthly planner this year & loving it!) & my list of priorities for each day. I also set aside time within that hour to meal plan & write out my grocery list. This hour leaves me feeling in control of what I can realistically accomplish that week & how I plan to feed my family. Try carving out a little time this Sunday afternoon to plan out your week. Let me know how it transforms your days ahead.

5. Be ok with sometimes not being ok... & ask for help! - When we've implemented all of our strategies, followed all the rules, hired that housekeeper, taken time to plan & we still can't get it all together, admit your shortcomings & ask for help. This is where the grace comes in. This is where your people come in. Shoot an email & ask for a meal, a prayer or a babysitter. I cannot begin to tell you how many millions of times I've leaned into my precious community & they've shown up with paintbrushes, warm food & love. We've all got our own versions of crazy, but we should never expect to deal with them alone.

How do you handle the chaos? How do you manage the crazy? Share your thoughts in the comments, friends!



Emily said...

I love the Say Yes! one. I get the need to prioritize commitments, but make time for people! Why work so hard in life and never enjoy those around you?

Stephanie said...

Again great post. (although I do miss some of your craftier ones, but totally get life is busy and changes focus) I have a question about housekeepers. I have looked into it and it's just brought questions. How often? Are you home when they are there? What tasks do they do? Do you feel like you have to clean first? It has kinda stressed me out. I am a stay at home mom so I kinda feel like I should be doing these things, but has a pastors wife and mother of soon to be four (yikes) I can't keep up.

Jessica said...

I love everything about this. I wish we were neighbors. You are an inspiration. xoxo

britt snodgrass said...

I've been visiting your blog since your college days and always leave inspired. Your words are sprinkled with just the right amounts of hope, love, and vulnerability, for which, in these crazy times, I'm grateful.

Natalie freeman said...

Stephanie - Our housekeeper comes once a month. She does all of the chores I simply cannot get to from dusting to cleaning baseboards to mopping our floors. It helps me feel on top of my game when I am feeling stretched too thin!

Natalie freeman said...

Britt - Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I cannot tell you how much that means to me. Thank you for following along for such a long time!

Carlie said...

Really enjoy your blog, Natalie! Thanks for being so authentic; it's inspiring. You may really enjoy the read, "One Small Yes" by Misty Lown. She is my boss at the dance studio I teach at. As a wife, mom of five, and owner of several super successful start up businesses she often asked the same thing you mentioned above (how do you it all?) She's a believer and gives credit to the one whom credit is due and the everyday ONE SMALL YESES!

Carlie said...

Ugh. Sorry about the long hyperlink!

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