You snuggled that wiggly new life, and felt your heart burst with joy. You leaped out of bed at the slightest cry, or just to see them breathe.

Caring for your child was straightforward if exhausting. Intimate feedings and stinky diapers in the hazy world of sleep deprivation.

But now, caring for your child is more complex. Some kids don’t naturally eat real food. Others continue to wake in the night — when they’re three years old. Next, you have to figure out what to do about those unhealthy, but incredibly handy, electronics. What does a child need to succeed in elementary school?

Joy is slowly fading into panic. Parenting is too important to just wing it. What you need is a plan. Other moms enjoy life with kids. How do they do it?

I know that sense of panic, because I’ve been there — more than once.

I always wanted a houseful of happy kids. I couldn’t wait to read books, sing, play games and settle in for long evening talks. My chubby baby boy was everything I hoped for, and it wasn’t long before baby two was on her way.

That’s when reality began to set in. The house needed to be cleaned. The budget needed to balance. There was teething, illness, and a mess, always a mess. During that initial overwhelm, I was privileged to have friends nearby who helped me learn the basics of mothering time management.

Then we needed to move.

We moved again, to a foreign country, then all over the US. Long distance moving forced me to learn how to organize our household super efficiently. Sometimes I had to mother alone. If I wanted to exercise, or shower, or eat, I needed to have plan. Nobody was going to bail me out, so I learned to manage my time on a whole new level.

Mothers from other cultures helped me figure out what is really important. We all love our children, but how we love them is going to be unique to each of us. One size fits all plans don’t work.

I was pregnant with baby three, when we landed in our new home town and our oldest started school. This required a whole new set of approaches as I learned to keep up with graded papers, homework, and after school activities, while dealing with lower energy and the time demands of nursing.

Today, I am the happy, if imperfect, mom of four energetic kids. We make our home in suburbia, and live the normal crazy of school, sports, music, and chasing the dog.

My goal is to help you make your plans to accomplish the necessary, have less stress, feel more purpose, and ultimately, more fun with your own kids.

You can genuinely laugh when your toddler knocks the tower down, knowing your house will stay clean enough. You can be the mom who listens to all the knock-knock jokes, because you’ve already figured out what’s for dinner. You can share in your elementary student’s excitement about coding, because you know she’s developing healthy screen time habits.

Get your copy of “40 Easy habits that will make you a happier mom by the end of the week” so you can you can start loving every day with your kids even more, and let’s tackle this mothering gig together.