Being a mom isn’t easy…in fact it’s pretty much the hardest job you’ll have. ever. Working a full-time job on top of being a mom…just call yourself superwoman! Now, that is not saying stay at home moms have it easy…keeping the tribe alive all day while also trying to get things done around the house is beyond challenging; however, there are some unique challenges that we face as a working mom.
Really the biggest challenge is maintaining the balance between work and home life. The key is to get organized, stick to a plan and figure out what works for you as a person and a family to maintain that balance. Here are 10 ways to help make sure that you flourish in all aspects of your life as a working mom.
1. Let go of the guilt.
This is all about mindset. Would I rather be with my child instead of at work…yes! However, choosing to focus on the reasons and benefits from working instead of how you are a “terrible mom” can help you to release the guilt and embrace your superwoman ability to manage a career and a home. Why is it you are working? Is it to provide daily necessities and a better life for your child? The ability to give your child a warm home and food, good medical care and quality education? The ability to do these things for your child even when you would rather be with them in person shows your love and strength for them. There is no need to feel guilt when you are making that decision to work when it comes from a heart of love and desire to provide for your child’s needs and future.
Remember, this decision or necessity to be a working mom work might not last forever. Perhaps you will be given more flexible hours to be able to spend some more time at home, or perhaps there is an opportunity for you to earn some money at home.
Here are 3 quick ideas that could get you earning money this week!
- Start a blog! Here is how you can get started.
- See if there are any direct selling companies that fit your lifestyle and strengths.
- Creative? Consider sharing your creations through a platform such as Etsy or CreativeMarket.
2. Plan ahead.
I cannot begin to stress the importance of planning ahead when you’re a working mom. This can range anywhere from creating a menu plan for the week ahead, laying out outfits or packing lunch the evening before, or scheduling in a date night with your spouse. If it isn’t planned…it’s not going to happen!
Some benefits of planning include:
- Meal Planning: saving money on eating out, not having food go bad in the fridge, sticking to the healthy eating plan you started.
- Weekly Planning: not forgetting your child’s doctor appointment, having the time to fit in that workout, getting one cleaning chore done a day.
- Daily Planning: not forgetting your lunch because you packed it the night before, saving 10 minutes in the morning because you already chose what you were going to wear, peace of mind knowing what tasks are priority (and not worrying all day that you are forgetting something!)
3. Have routines.
As a working mom having routines helps to simplify life soooo much! I like to have one for the morning and evening. This ensures that you are well prepared for the day ahead, don’t forget any important tasks (or leave them half done), and keeps you on schedule. Here’s an example of what my routine is…well, what I attempt to have!
- Wake up and drink some water
- Devotions with a cup of coffee
- Drink my mama juice (if you have kids you NEED this, haha!)
- Get in a workout
- Shower and get ready (while possibly drinking another cup of coffee…)
- Check planner to review plans/goals for the day
- Make smoothie
- Head to work
- Family time
- Put baby down
- Prepare for the next day: pack lunch, lay out outfit, write to-do’s in planner
- Reflect on goals (what steps I took to reach them that day/what needs to be done tomorrow)
- Read (it’s been a struggle to get this one in, but I love to try to get at least 15 minutes in before bed)
- Gratitude (this can be a journal you keep or simply taking 5 minutes to reflect on things you are thankful for)(this helps me end the day on a good note and be able to wake up the next morning with a good mindset)
- Get ready for bed and sleep (well…as much as one can with a 4 month old!)
I’ve said this before…but, as a working mom you can’t do everything! No matter how much you try or how well you plan there is no possible way for us to get everything done.
and you know what?
So, what’s a working mom to do? Prioritize!
Every morning I like to look at the day ahead and see which tasks are the most important. I will then write down my “top three” in my planner. Even if there are 10 tasks in my to-do list for the day as long as those top three are done I consider myself accomplished. As a working mom, sometimes you just have to decide what is more important…a homemade meal or a clean bathroom. 30 minutes with your kids before bedtime or folding the laundry. Priorities will be different for each situation and each family, but if you prioritize than the important tasks can get done and you can let go of the guilt of not completing everything on the to-do list.
5. Use a planner
Mom brain…sleep deprivation, whatever you want to call it…might be the reason why I continually open the fridge to find my phone or apologizing because I’ve missed an appointment.
Having a planner, whether paper or digital goes a long way to helping us frazzled mama’s not forget what is important!
I have found that if it doesn’t get down I’m most likely not going to remember! So, for things like:
- To-do lists
- Grocery lists
Have a cute planner you love and put EVERYTHING in there!
I have used the Erin Condren planner in the past and loved it! Or you could download some printables and just print out pages as you need them. I happen to know of some cute ones that I love to use 😉
6. Stay connected during the day.
I am so fortunate to be able to have my “suegra” (mother-in-law) take care of baby Caleb during the week. I am able to check in with her when I need to and she send me pictures throughout the day helping to motivate me to work hard for my little boy and minimizing how much I miss him. My husband also is able to stop by for lunch and often during my lunch break I can Facetime with him and Caleb.
See if your child care provider uses and app or has the ability to send you a quick photo or update on how your child is doing. Or if your child is older see if you can call them during your lunch break. This not only helps comfort your heart as a working mom, but also strengthens your relationship with your little ones as they get to hear you and know you are near.
7. Spend time with your spouse.
It’s easy for our spouse to begin to feel a little left out as we get home from work and then rush to prepare dinner, clean the kitchen, do the laundry, calm the baby, etc, etc…
The best way to combat this is to maintain open lines of communication. I know it is hard to find a quiet moment, but perhaps you can find time to connect while you both fold that huge stack of laundry that has been sitting on top of the dryer for the last three days. Any little thing you can do together goes a long way to helping keep your relationship strong. There are several things you can do to help prepare your marriage for when kids arrive.
Don’t feel bad about leaving baby for a date night. Yes, you did spend 40 hours away from baby during the week, BUT strengthening your marriage is truly an investment for your whole family. Having a strong happy marriage is going to help create a more loving, stable environment in which your children can flourish. It will also help to make daddy feel special and loved as you take the time to focus solely on him.
8. Have some “mommy time”.
Burn out happens. Help avoid the meltdown by taking a few moments to yourself. For the stage of life I’m in this is the ability to exercise (I’m using an awesome at home program that takes less than 40 minutes 4x/week…perfect for this busy mama!) and then take a hot shower and get ready for the day since hubby takes the baby to his abuela’s every morning. This allows me a quiet moment to breathe, think, and prepare my mind for the day ahead without worrying that Caleb will wake up and start crying while there is still shampoo in my hair! Find a small thing that gives you a chance to collect yourself and feel refreshed each day…or at least once a week!
I know as a mom it seems there is hardly a spare moment, but taking care of yourself means that you will be more capable to care for those you love.
Happy wife/mom = happy family!
9. Eliminate time wasters.
Be disciplined and set time limits when it comes to things like social media or surfing the internet…believe me, I know what a black hole Pinterest is 😉 One thing that can be helpful is to set a timer on your phone once you get on Facebook, Instagram or whatever your social media platform of choice is…once the alarm goes off it’s time to move on to something a little more productive (eliminating that crazy moment of looking up and realizing it’s been two hours instead of 20 minutes!). Also try to reduce watching tv to once or twice a week to maximize time with your family in the evenings. Spend time together having a game night or a walk around the block. This will help to promote healthier relationships (not to mention a healthier lifestyle!).
10. Be present.
Whether you are at work or at home…be all there. As a working mom you will accomplish so much more and connect better with others when your mind is focused on the task or people you have in front of you. You will become a much better performer at work and a better parent/spouse when you take the time to be present and in the moment.
This is especially important with your children. I know how easy it is to get distracted by to-do lists or scrolling through Facebook while they recount (with specific detail) their day. They know mama isn’t paying attention! Putting down the phone and focusing in on them will go a long way towards strengthening the relationship you have with your children.
Remember, life is a journey and you’re always learning…you’re not going to get it right all the time. Give yourself grace, be filled with love and realize it will all be okay!
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