1.It’s important to have “me” time.
Employed mom Donna shares that since she spends time away from her kids working, she often felt guilty about separating from them beyond what was necessary. However, she realized that her identity was not solely in her motherhood, and she found ways to be a mom AND the woman she was before becoming a mom. She encourages other working moms to find balance by taking some time to do things they love, such as going out with girlfriends, taking a walk, praying, or working out.
2. Meal prepping can help save time and energy.
Employed mom Ana meal preps by cooking proteins and chopping fruits and vegetables on Sundays so that during the week, when her schedule picks up, it is easy to throw meals together quickly. Ana also recommends buying easy-to-grab snacks, such as yogurt cups and cheese sticks, to make packing lunches easier. Freezing meals to reheat later helps as well. Some families share meals with neighbors, with each family preparing one meal a week, such as Meatless Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, and Fish Stick Fridays.
3. Preparing outfits ahead of time makes mornings run smoothly.
Employed mom Renee recommends having clothes for yourself and the kids laid out and prepped the night before.
4. Integrating the children in the daily responsibilities saves time and teaches them life skills.
Employed mom Annmarie says that having her school-aged kids help with household chores teaches them responsibility and the value of hard work. Some of her children’s tasks include school lunch packing, setting and clearing the table, dusting, sweeping, and cleaning their rooms.
5. Keeping a calendar prevents things from falling through the cracks.
Employed mom Nikki shares that keeping track of her kids’ activities, her commitments, her husband’s commitments, and her work obligations through both a personal planner and a family calendar help her not to forget anything.
6. Talking to your spouse about what needs to get done helps the two of you work as a better team.
Employed mom Nichole finds that talking to her husband each night about the next day’s chores, dinner plans, and which kids need rides enables the two of them to split the responsibilities, making life easier for them both.
7. It’s OK to forget something.
Employed mom Kelly wants fellow employed moms to know that your brain is always going to be on overload, and you will be overwhelmed and forget something. However, she encourages you to enjoy these precious moments with your children and forgive yourself for your mistakes. You are a superwoman for balancing so much!
8. You can find the time management technique that works best for you.
Employed mom Ariel recommends the Pomodoro and time tracking methods. The Pomodoro time management method is where a timer is used to break down tasks into 25 minute intervals, followed by five minute breaks. After four intervals, a 15 to 20 minute break is taken. Time tracking is where time is logged on a spreadsheet to help the tracker see how much time is spent doing what in order to minimize time wasting.
Employed mom Joyce shares that since she had to use vacation time or sick days to attend her kids’ activities during the day, she found it helpful to schedule as many appointments and activities as possible in one day in order to use her time off most effectively.
9. When applying for jobs, you can consider family-friendly benefits.
Employed mom Joyce considered benefits, such as paid time off and the flexibility of the employer. She chose not to apply to particularly strict jobs, and often valued flexibility above pay. She relied on family, friends, and grandparents to help out as well.
Joyce shares that since she was gone during the day, she tried hard to focus on her kids and be present with them when she was off work. She was exhausted but says it was well worth it!
10. You CAN have it all… in seasons.
Employed mom Hailey learned from her experiences that it is possible to have both success and motherhood, just not typically all at the same time. Sometimes, she had to make professional sacrifices to accommodate motherhood, and other times, she had to sacrifice being the perfect mother in order to fulfill her career. She encourages other working moms, saying, “At the end of the day, every mom is different and knows what is best for her family!”
By Elizabeth Troutman