9 Tips for Making Your Life as a Working Mom Easier
Posted February 5, 2019 by Prairie Wife - 5 comments
Slowly but surely over the last year, I’ve been tiptoeing back into the life a working mom. Yes, I’ve had several work from home jobs over the last two years, but it was all work I could do sitting at the counter in my jammies while holding a toddler or nursing a baby.
Our regular readers know that about 8 months ago I began working at two of our local radio stations. The hours were flexible and worked perfectly with my crazy life. I announced last week that I am now half of the My Country 95.5 Morning Show: Doc and Prairie Wife in the Morning 6-10am every weekday.
This is not my first time being a working mom.
Before we moved out here to the prairie and I stayed at home with the Cowkids for 10 years, I was a teacher. I worked up until the day (literally) our second child was born. I did not go into this recent decision blindly. I already had an idea of the chaos that comes from trying to look nice every morning and absolutely having to be somewhere by a certain time 5 days a week. Thankfully, The Cowboy is 120% cheering me on and willing to help where needed.
As I mentioned in this post we put a lot of planning into how to keep things running smoothly. Below are a few things that I have found instrumental in helping me to stay sane and balanced. I’m not saying I won’t have any days where I’m feeling completely behind and stressed…but I DO know that these tricks and trips should keep those “what have I done” days down to a minimum.
NOTE: Even if you’ve been doing the working mom gig for years it’s never to late implement these tips.
Hold a Family Meeting
First and foremost hold a family meeting. Before I began this new job we sat all 5 Cowkids down and explained my new schedule (5 hours at work 4 days a week and 12 hours on Thursdays) and what it meant for our family. We also talked about why I was working again and specific ways they would need to step up and help.
I never was a huge fan of making lunches for my kids, and now they are having school lunches every day. The time and stress I save myself by never having to worry about making lunches is well worth the cost. I have lots of friends that work full time and have a house cleaner come in once a week to deep clean. As far as I’m concerned this is genius and if your budget allows for it DO IT! I’m even considering using Walmart Grocery pickup to save myself some precious time.
I went digital with my calendar a few months ago, and now The Cowboy and I share one that is for family things. We are now on the same page with who has what when and where…and it has saved a lot of “wait I didn’t know that” stress.
I’m not a plan what’s for dinner every night kind of person, but I DO take 5 minutes each week to create a general schedule of what we will be eating each night. We all know that Monday is leftover night because I tend to cook big meals on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Also, Monday night we have 5 kids in 2 different activities at different times, in differnet towns, so it’s easier to get everyone a healthy meal this way. Thursdays are my long days and I’m at work for at least 12 hours, The Cowboy knows that it’s his night to cook. NOTE: At least 5 days a week we sit down and eat dinner together as a family, even if it’s at 5:00 or 7:30.
No Tech In the Morning
Part of my word for 2019 “PAUSE” was spending less time on my phone. It was pretty clear to me that my time was NOT being used wisely when the first thing I did before I got out of bed each morning was grab my phone. I realized I was wasting precious time (we all know 10 minutes can easily fly by when you get sucked into the comments on a post) and spending my mornings stressed yelling at everyone to hurry…I now don’t look at any social media until I walk into the radio studio in the morning. If I had to pick any ONE thing that has made my life as a working mom run smoother it has been this. Try it, even if you’re a SAHM, don’t check any social media until you get the kids off to school. I promise it will make a difference.
Plan Your Outfits
I like to dress based on my mood…anyone that follows us on Instagram has seen that I can be boho chic one day and rocker mom the next. So, this was something I fought against at first. It has now saved me so much time and stress that I absolutely do it every day. Take a few minutes every night to not only plan your outfit but lay every aspect of it out. I’m talking undergarments to shoes and jewelry, have it ready. And stick with it! Even on Wednesdays, which I have dubbed “No shower or makeup workout Wednesday” (there are some perks to working at a radio station), I lay out my workout clothes and pack my gym bag the night before.
Schedule ME Time
ME time is usually the first thing to go for working moms, and it’s probably the worst thing you can do to yourself and your family. I’ve learned if I don’t schedule my workouts and/or time hiking/skiing/snowshoeing they won’t happen. Same with time reading or watching Netflix, nail and hair appointments. And I make sure that I keep these commitments even when I’m so so SO tempted to bail on myself. It’s some of my favorite advice from Rachel Hollis “Blowing off a workout, a date, an afternoon to organize your closet or some previous commitment to yourself doesn’t seem like a big deal—but it is. It’s a really big deal. Our words have power, but our actions shape our lives.”
Schedule Fun Mom Time
I struggle to be the “fun mom”. Most of the time I am so focused on the Cowkids basic needs and schedules that I forget to actually enjoy my time with them. Going back to that word “pause” I have begun scheduling in fun mom time. It’s not always something big like going to our local trampoline park, sometimes it’s renting a newer movie from Amazon Prime, staying up late and eating popcorn. It’s weird to say, but consciously creating this time for our family has really helped all of us truly enjoy life more!
Create a Back-Up Plan (or 6)
We have 4 Cowkids in school, which means that LittleMiss H goes to a preschool/sitter 4 days a week. I am blessed to have an amazing person caring for my kiddo, but sometimes she is ill or other things come up. The Cowboy and I have formed a plan for this and have two other people we know we can ask to bail us out if something happens. I even have a back-up plan with my boss for the inevitable time when the plague descends upon our house or we are snowed in.
Alright fellow working moms, now it’s your time to help ME out!
Drop your favorite staying sane tips or tricks below!