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How to Keep Maycember from Turning into Mayhem for Busy Moms and Families

Ah, "Maycember." The sun stays up later, the pollen is gone, and your family's schedule seems to spiral into chaos faster than you can say "end-of-school-year."

It's so busy that May has a new moniker as it becomes hotly contested as to whether it's the first or second busiest month of the year in comparison to the one with colder weather and jingle bells.

For moms, this month can feel like a whirlwind of obligations, from Teacher Appreciation Week and end-of-school events to graduations, proms and parties on top of the normal birthday party and sports schedules. Not to mention preparing for summer by finding additional childcare, finalizing summer camps, vacation plans and more.

Some even jokingly dub it "Mayhem." But fear not! With a few strategic tactics, you can not only survive but enjoy this time of year with your family.

Embrace the Chaos

First and foremost, accept that Maycember can feel dizzying even if you perfectly RSVP, add everything to your family's calendar, buy and wrap all the gifts, book the sitters and have all the right outfits picked out. It's just a lot with very little downtime.

Lower the Bar

In today's social media, photo-obsessed, competitive, keeping up with the Joneses culture, sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. Let's collectively remember that it's okay for our lives not to look perfect all the time. In fact, we help ourselves and others around us when we stop trying to be flawless and instead share with others our authentic, human, fallible selves. Let's teach our kids, and re-teach ourselves, that genuine gestures of celebration and appreciation are more important than expensive and elaborate ones.

Focus and Prioritize

When your calendar and email are bursting at the seams, it's time to streamline wherever possible. While our culture rewards us for multi-tasking, sometimes we need to do the opposite in order to work more efficiently.

Instead of trying to read school emails, RSVP and add events to your personal calendar while you're on that Zoom call, carve out 30 minutes every day of protected time for organizing your personal life. Some like doing this first thing in the morning. Some do it at lunchtime during the workday. Some like saving the end-of-day to wrap up after meetings are done.

Whatever is best for you, mark it on your calendar every day and use that dedicated time o get your personal life organized and knock out your personal to-do list.

Tell Your Team

Go ahead and warn others at work who depend on you. Especially when they don't have kids of their own or they've moved on to the "grown and flown" stage of life, they often forget or don't understand what your life is like right now.

Give them a heads up that this month may cause you to be out a bit more during the workday or leave early more than usual. When you're a dependable team member, they know you'll pull your weight and they'll appreciate that helped them anticipate what's to come.

Call on Your Village

You don't have to do it all alone. In fact, you shouldn't! As hard as it is for most people to ask for help, we all need it!

Reach out to your support network of friends, neighbors - and if your'e lucky to have it - relatives in the area. Whether it's carpooling with other parents, sharing babysitters, or even trading nights with neighbors to feed all of your kids, leaning into a support system makes all the difference both in May and all year long.

Stop Saying You're Sorry

Have you ever noticed how often women apologize? The higher the bar gets, the more we feel like we're failing and need to apologize. But there's no way to keep up with the ever-increasing bar on our never-ending to-do list, especially this month. So accept that the bar is ridiculous and stop trying to reach it. And let's stop saying, "I'm sorry," when we show up a little late or forget the gift on the kitchen counter or our child is melting down because,'s May-hem, remember?

Just know you're not alone. You're not the only one feeling this way this month. And this too shall pass soon enough. Before you know it, we'll be stressing over back-to-school clothes, backpacks, shoes ,and shipping kids off to dorm rooms.

Hang in there, Mamas! You've got this and we've got you.


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