Being a mother is a large and time consuming job. Plus, you have many housekeeping tasks to complete. When you throw a full-time or even part-time job in the mix, life can become very hectic. However, you can master this juggling act and do it all with a little effort, planning and help. September 16 is Working Parents Day. This day acknowledges those who do so much to support their families, even though it can be tough. Here are five tips for balancing a family, home and a career.
1. Leave work at work
One of the biggest mistakes a working mother makes is she brings work home to finish at night. If you are gone from your family throughout the day, you need to put time aside each night and focus on them. Talk to your children about their day at school, their challenges, their successes. Help them get ready for upcoming projects and tests. Also, spend time alone with your husband and talk about each other’s day and enjoy regular dates together.
Your family is the most important thing in your life. They should be your number one priority. Even if you take work home just once, it isn’t uncommon for it to happen again and again. Your family needs your attention and love. Keep your work at work and your home life at home.
2. Become an early riser
One of the easiest ways to manage a family, home and career is to wake up early and complete several tasks before your family wakes. When you wake up early you can work out, make lunches, clean the kitchen, put a load of laundry in the washer, shower and more. You will not be disrupted by your children, you will not feel as rushed in the mornings and you will feel more productive throughout the day.
3. Stick to a schedule
It will become hard to complete all of your tasks and focus on your priorities if you don’t have a daily schedule. Use a planner or a calendar app on your smartphone to schedule your day. Make sure you enter your children’s practices and games and allow for travel time. Leave notes in your schedule for upcoming events such as dentist appointments, doctor’s appointments and more. If you don’t write these events down, it is easy to forget to schedule them, and they get lost in the shuffle of daily life.
4. Have a plan “B”, “C”, “D”, etc
As a working mom, you have to be flexible. Be sure to have backup plans when things don’t go according to plan. For example, if your child is sick, have someone in mind who can take care of him while you run to your meeting or a meeting runs late; think of family friends who could pick up your child from practice. Unexpected events pop up all the time, and they always seem to have terrible timing. Plan ahead, be smart and know what you are going to do when these events occur.
5. Become friends with freezer dinners and the crock pot
You can do it all, and still have a delicious meal on the table for your family. Plan ahead and create dozens of freezer meals that you can pull out on those busy days when you just don’t have time. Or before going to work each morning, stick ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low while you are at work. If you place your meat and your vegetables in the crock pot, you can have a full meal all ready for your family when you get home.
It can be stressful and overwhelming to juggle it all, but you can do it. After all, you are a mother. You can do anything.
Courtnie is an editor for FamilyShare.com and has a degree in journalism. She has a slight obsession with running, newspapers and large fuzzy blankets. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband and two sons.