Life as a working mom can be tough.
Regardless if you work one day, two days, or even five days a week, juggling family life and work life can be stressful.
There’s a saying I heard recently: “Women are expected to work as if they don’t have kids and raise their kids as if they don’t work”.
While sadly this is the perception in our society, it’s not realistic.
First off, there’s ALWAYS “mom guilt”. I should be at their class field trip instead of this meeting. I missed them taking their first steps because I was on a conference call. The examples can go on and on but you get the point. We want to be there for every milestone and important moment but we can’t.
Why? Because we are at work! We need to make money to support or family and make a life for ourselves in the professional world. This feeling of “guilt” isn’t limited to family life. Working moms also feel like they are not giving enough time and energy to their job. I know I did even when I was putting in my 40+ hour weeks at the office.
It never feels like an even balance. So what can we do?
Find the best ways to make the most of your time with little hacks, if you will, that can help save you minutes or even hours of your day and your sanity.
As a recent convert from full-time working mom to stay-at-home mom, I still find me using these “hacks”.
1: Meal Prep
Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, making food the day or night before or even the week before and saving it in the fridge can save you lots of time. To make it more fun, I use glass containers to help me stay organized with my meal prep. Plus, they are easy to clean since I just toss them in the dish washer (saving me time there too). I try to make at least one meal per week. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. In fact, simple is easier. I try to make it as healthy as possible however that always doesn’t happen some of my favorite meal prep dishes include these Easy Chicken Burrito Bowls and Greek Chicken Bowls. Knowing that I have a healthy and delicious meal put away in the fridge for my family gives me peace of mind and saves my waistline since I am less likely to stop and grab junk food.
2: Prepare as much as you can the night before (clothes, food, bags)
Lay everything out the night before that you can. The kids clothes, bags for school, bottles for the baby, diaper bag, and homework. Even try to get as much of your lunch food and items that you need to for the day together as you can. I am definitely NOT a morning person. So the more I can do the night before, the less frazzled I am starting the day with the kids. Doing the prep work once they go to sleep the night before also gives me more time with them in the morning to talk about the day ahead and have breakfast with the kids.
3: Wear a Robe
I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve had to change a shirt at the last minute before I head out the door because the baby or my toddler got milk/snot/puke etc. on my clothes. If you want to wait to the last minute to throw on clothes before you head out the door, by all means. However, I found it best to simply get dressed and then wear a robe over top until it’s time to head to the office. Just make sure to take the rob off before you get in the car.
4: TV is your Friend
I don’t just say that because I worked in television. While we don’t want our kids parked in front of the television 24/7, I do allow my son and my daughter to watch cartoons in the morning. It allows me an extra few minutes to myself to finished getting my hair/makeup, brush my teeth or get everyone’s breakfast ready. Plus, I know when they go to daycare/preschool they will not be watching cartoons.
5: Divide and Conquer
Being a working mom is easier if you have a great supporting staff. Luckily, I have an amazing husband who probably does more housework/cooking than I do. He does laundry, gives the kids baths every night and cooks dinner. When I was working, between my commute and time at the office, I would have a 12 hour day so having him as hands on at home is the only way we made it work. However, those tasks can’t fall all to him. Hence divide and conquer! Delegate different household jobs to each of you. If for some reason one of you can’t do something, the other can always pitch in to help.
6: Shop Online
Whether it’s Amazon, Wal-Mart, Kroger, Target, or Meijer, every place has their own pick-up and go and ship and go. I honestly can’t tell you the last time I set foot in a store and bought a dress. I haven’t done any of the grocery services yet but have HIGHLY considered them. I figure it’s only a matter of time. Grocery shopping used to be my “chore” if you will (my husband does the laundry). Really I have no problem grocery shopping. That is at least I never used to. Maybe because I would shop at odd times when it wasn’t super busy and by myself. (Hey that’s almost another hack into itself). Throw in to kids and having to go on a Saturday, that’s a whole different ball game.
This is a godsend for working moms. On your lunch break you can call home and check in. Feel like you are missing out? Five minutes of seeing your child’s face can put things back into perspective. You also are able to catch milestones like when the baby starts crawling or says “mama”.
What’s your favorite “working mom hack”? Please feel free to share in the comments below.