My first morning starting a new job really went well. I had prepared the lunches for the kids ahead of time, laid out their clothes, and made sure they finished their homework. I took a shower and even put a little makeup on. I ironed my shirt (I cant believe I had time for that!) and put my suit on. I felt great. In the morning, I fed the kids breakfast, chatted and sent them out the door on their way to school. I drove to my new work feeling really good about myself thinking, “this working and getting the kids ready for school thing is a piece of cake.” This was all up until the moment I was stepping out of my car looking down at my feet and saw my fluffy cozy slippers still on. I couldn’t help but burst out laughing. I pulled down my pants a little lower so that they covered by feet, and I walked tall with my perfect suit and slippers, started my new job!
Working Moms Manual
You can plan all you want, but some things just can’t be helped. It’s not easy to juggle it all and feel like you can maintain your sanity! Even with help from our partners and friends, it’s still a lot to manage, so I wanted to share some tips that have made my life a lot easier (or at least more manageable). Below is a list of things that will save you time in the daily routine. By shaving off just a few minutes here and there, you might find it less stressful and you will be able to ride the wave instead of swimming upstream. I also added in some tips/goals to just make your crazy routine more enjoyable and less stressful. This will all take a few weeks to get into, but after that I think you will find it very helpful.
1. Get a big calendar and use it.
Write down all the activities, including who is driving and where, so everyone can see. Carpool with other parents. I’m sure they will be as relieved as you to share the driving and it saves the environment too.
2. Make a weekly plan of your dinners
so that you know what to shop for. That saves you a few stops at the store and ensures that you get some variety in the meals too. Make the same dinner for the family but make sure there is at least one side each member of the family likes (If you don’t already).
Then you have an easy dinner next week or pack it in portion sizes and use them for lunch. Link to the lunch blog
4. Shop online.
It will save you a lot of time and money if you can shop online. I love it when the kids are in bed, I have a cup of tea or a glass of wine and do my groceries, or presents for upcoming birthdays or holidays. Just make sure if it is a new site to check the reviews.
5. Scavenger hunt game!
If you do need to do grocery shopping after work with the kids, then make a list ahead of time of what you need. I always have a list posted on the fridge and I add on during the week. Pick out 3 things on the list for the kids to find, that way they think it’s a little fun and they get a treat, maybe an apple to enjoy in the car.
6. Help with housework.
If It’s at all possible for you to get some help with cleaning, that is BIG. If it’s getting the kids involved and paying them allowance or getting some outside help. House work is just not fun. Link to blogs
7. Pack lunches and bags in the evening.
It just makes a huge difference if everything is ready to go in the morning. Some people even hire a morning helper for the kids so you can leave early for work. Then that person can help with the lunches too.
8. Hold back on ambitions.
Don’t set the timeline too tight. Make room for some family time where you do whatever you want, even if it means doing nothing at all. I think it’s important to just take a breath and enjoy the moment. Don’t rush it. It will be gone before we know it.
9. Have a date night.
Use your network or get a sitter. Go out as adults and feel what you are like with no kids. Look at your partner and remember the love between you. Nurture it even while having small kids. It’s important to be together and set time aside for that. Play tennis, hit the movies, have a drink, but just stay the two of you. ONCE A MONTH at least is your goal. Happy parents makes happy kids!
10. Create ME time.
Take time every day to do what you love. If it’s taking a bath, going to yoga, for a run, reading a brain-candy magazine, but give yourself a small gift every day.
So there you have it. I hope you find some points helpful and will share below your experiences on what you do to stay on top of being a working mom.