Why You Should Do Your Future Self a Favor

Raise your hand if you feel overwhelmed at least 75% of the time. Oh wow. That’s everyone. All of us. WE ARE ALL RAISING OUR HANDS. Including me. Heck, especially me these days. I have 5 kids, and my husband and I both work. Between all of the extra curriculars and homework assignments and general care and feeding duties, we are all wiped out at the end of the day. That’s why I have started doing everything I can to give my future self a break, and you guys? I think it might be the magic secret to eternal youth—or at least a little more rest and a smidge fewer wrinkles.

Sometimes, I go all out for my future self, like the nights when I double whatever I am making for dinner and stick half in the freezer for the next time Future Sarah needs a healthy, crowd-pleasing dinner pronto. Other times, I just give future me a teeny leg up, like when the baby is teething and I make sure to have a dose of infant Tylenol ready locked and loaded when I go to bed, so I don’t have to fumble with the bottle in the middle of the night when I am up with a fussy kiddo and only half awake myself.

Other ways I make life better for future Sarah:

  • Posting the week’s dinner menu on the fridge to remind myself and to stop the kids from asking me what’s for dinner quite so many times
  • Asking Alexa to remind us when we need to take our meds and when we need to be walking out the door if we’re going to make it to school on time
  • Making sure everyone has packed their backpacks before they go to bed
  • Sorting the laundry at night and preloading the washer with the first load of the morning so all I have to do is mash the start button when I walk past the machine on my way to get the baby
  • Sleeping in my exercise clothes so there’s one less excuse between me and that early morning workout
  • Setting an alarm to remind me to go to bed
  • Prepping a Lego challenge for my 10-year-old so I am ready when he starts acting like a monster when he’s bored (Lego Challenge is a fun game we made up that goes like this: Scoop a completely random assortment of Legos in a large Ziploc bags and a smaller assortment in a sandwich bag. Give your kid the large bag, set a timer for 45-60 minutes, and give them a theme. I usually make it something silly like “underwater hotel” or “safari battle station.” Then enjoy your nag-free time while they build. When the timer is up, make a big deal about whatever thing they made and take pictures. Then as an added bonus, set a 10-minute timer and ask them to build with the small bag either with their eyes closed or without removing any pieces from the bag. If you always keep a couple bags of Legos ready to go, you can buy an hour or more of quiet fun time).
  • Making cookie dough any time I have a few minutes and keeping it in the fridge so I (or one of the kids) can make cookies whenever the mood strikes us.
  • Taking 5 minutes before I go to bed every night and writing a quick list of the 5 most important tasks on the next day’s horizon
  • Scheduling time on my husband’s calendar for the two of us to sit down together and meal plan and grocery shop online—then when the appointed moment arrives, it’s like a mini-day-date (but a really boring one)
  • Always keeping a drawer stocked with batteries and stamps and immediately replenishing when supplies run low

What do you do to be kind to your future self? I’d love some more great ideas.

Sarah Jedd has a Ph.D. in communication arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches and studies the rhetoric of Planned Parenthood. Sarah has 5 (F I V E) children: teens Harry and Jack, elementary schoolers Cooper and Dorothy, and sweet baby Minnie, born in August 2020. Sarah blogs about being a mom of many at harrytimes.com and overshares on IG as @sarahjedd. Sarah, her husband, and their kids live in Verona with the world's laziest dog.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here