*This post is not exclusively for working moms. It’s really for any mom! I’m just giving my experience throughout the week as a working mom.
Is it possible? Sometimes I wonder. Most of the time, during the week, I feel like my life is chaos. There is laundry to do, grocery shopping, meals to plan, make, and oh yeah, clean up… there is a house to clean, a dog to walk, etc. The list could go on and all I REALLY want to do is be with my kids who I didn’t see all day. Ok, I’m not going to lie, I’d also like to lie on the couch until my husband comes home so he can do all of the things I mentioned for me. I don’t want to do those other things, but I feel pulled in ten different directions when I walk in the door after a day at work.
I’m not going to try to make it seem like I have it all together, because I don’t! There are days when I pick up pizza on the way home from work because the thought of cooking, exhausts me. Here are some suggestions though, that may help you feel like you have your life in control as a busy, working mom!
- Stay on top of the laundry. I used to do laundry once a week before having kids and would do a few loads on one day. Can we just stop for a second and talk about how much laundry kids make?! Yikes! I now try to do a load every day or every other day to stay on top of it. The girls (3 ½) help me organize, fold and put clothes away.
- Plan meals ahead of time. Plan meals a week in advance. You will be more likely to prepare healthy food if you have the recipe and ingredients all set to go. My family always goes to the grocery store after church on Sundays. We get what we need for the week, and it makes my life easier during the week.
- Designate. Don’t do it all and don’t feel like you have to do it all! Your significant other and children are definitely capable of helping you out. Instead of just expecting them to do something, give them specific tasks. My husband doesn’t always think of the things that I’d like to be done, but is always willing to help and do them if I just ask.
- Do one major chore per day. This may sound over the top for you, but make a calendar of areas of the house that you want cleaned, and put one thing in each day. For example, on Monday you will vacuum, on Tuesday you will clean the kids’ bathroom, on Wednesday you will dust, etc. It makes keeping your house much more manageable.
- Pick something up from one room and take it back to another as you move around the house. If your kids are like mine, you find toys scattered throughout the house constantly. First of all, encourage your kiddos to clean up after themselves when they are done with a certain toy. However, if there are things in the kitchen that need to go back to the laundry room for example, then take them there when you are going to the laundry room to switch the clothes from the washer to the dryer.
- Make your kids help! My 3 ½ year olds can have their playroom picked up in 10 minutes! Make it fun. Set a timer or make it a game to see how quickly they can do it.
- Don’t over schedule yourselves or your kids. Try not to plan something every night of the week for your kids. Try to have a night or two open for your family. It not only gives you a break from running them around and watching different events, but it gives them a chance to relax and take a break, too.
- Eat together! This is so important for families to do (for working parents and parents that stay home). It gives everyone a chance to touch base and reconnect after a long day. This is something that we don’t do enough. When I lived in Spain for six months with a family, we sat and ate together for at least an hour every single day. I’d love to see families set aside their busyness and get back to this!
- Leave work at work. I know it can be hard, especially since we are connected all the time. Just one email, just one phone call.. Do your best to disconnect from work while you are at home (or at least with your kids). Do something fun with your kids instead. You (and they) will be better off for it! They need you.
- Family first. I know I’ve been giving you strategies to help get everything done, but it’s also ok to make those things wait. I’m definitely guilty of this because I feel like I need to wash the dishes or clean before I can take my kids outside after dinner. Sometimes I just need to remind myself that the dishes can wait, and my kids are more important.
- Do something fun for yourself. As a (working) mom, you do SO much. You give 100% all day at work and then 100% when you come home. There is no off switch that we can push to check out from life and watch Netflix like we’d really like to do some days. You can find something for just you though. It might be getting together with your friends for dinner once a month, or going to a coffee shop, alone, to read. Whatever that thing is, don’t forget about it. You need it!
How do you balance your busy life? I’d love to hear any other suggestions that people have!