How to: Survive Life as a Working Mom
Working moms probably deal with more chaos in a single day than most people do in their entire week. And I don’t say this to minimize your efforts if you’re not a working mom. I only say this because working moms are spread very thin more often than not.
I’ve learned a few helpful tricks during my first year of life as a working mom, and I’m here to share them with you. This isn’t going to be a generic list of things that you need to do, because you have enough on your to-do list. This is my tried and true method for surviving the day-to-day grind of life as a working mom. It helps me enjoy life, enjoy my family, and keep my sanity…and it’s going to help you too!
1. I try to eat healthy food.
As part of my survival method, I really try to fuel my body with nutritious food. If I’m in a hurry, a nutrient-packed smoothie is quick and easy to make, and it gives me enough energy to get through a few hours of hard work.
2. I try to keep a solid schedule…and you should too!
Okay, so maybe this article does have some advice on what you need to do, but it’s for the best. It’s hard to keep a solid schedule when everyone is telling you that you need to be flexible as a mom. There are some things that require flexibility, and there are some things that need to be scheduled.
Appointments, homework assignments, conference calls, cleaning, grocery shopping, secular work days. It all needs to be scheduled. Maybe you won’t get it done at exactly 9:30 like you planned, or maybe you won’t finish scrubbing the bathroom or working out until baby’s nap time, but don’t let that keep you from starting! Schedule what you need to get done each day, and be flexible about when and how it actually gets done.
3. I keep a daily task list on the fridge.
This falls in line with my second rule, but it takes us a step further. Having a schedule is important, but having a list of daily tasks clipped on the fridge is my visual reminder to get things done. The most important stuff goes at the top of the list, other stuff goes below it. I usually have about 10 tasks on my list, and I make it my goal to get a few things done before my baby even wakes up. We’re working moms; we’ve got a lot to do!
4. I pick my poison, and I enjoy every minute of drinking it.
I’m a coffee drinker and a major fan of caffeine. So I make myself a hot cup of coffee every morning before the baby wakes up, and I force myself to relax and enjoy it for a few minutes. No phone, no Netflix, no computer, no social media. Just my quiet thoughts and my delicious homemade coffee. If you’re not doing this already, I highly recommend it.
5. I take some time for myself, even if it’s just a few minutes.
This one is probably the hardest to do, and one of the most important. If you’re a working mom, you’re busy and tired and pulled in a lot of directions. You need to take some time for yourself, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
Some days, it just won’t be possible, and that’s okay. But most days, you can and should manage to schedule a few minutes of time just for you. My morning coffee is my me-time, and once each week, I take a long bubble bath while hubby watches the baby. Find a way to make time for yourself.
6. I delegate some tasks to others.
Sometimes, I just don’t have time for everything, and I’m sure you don’t either. If the baby gets sick or my boss wants me to work overtime, then something is going to suffer. This is when I have to make myself delegate something to someone in my support group. It’s hard to ask for help, but we have to do it sometimes.
I ask my husband to do the grocery shopping or I ask my mother-in-law to help with the baby for an evening so that I can get the house clean or the bills paid. Ask for help, and take advantage of every moment of it.
7. I indulge in little pleasures often.
I love walking and hiking, so if I’m not at work, I strap my baby into the carrier and try to take a short walk every day. It’s a simple pleasure, but I enjoy it so much. I enjoy my coffee, my bubble baths, driving with the windows down, listening to music, walking on the beach, helping someone in need. It’s the little pleasures in life that help us get through and help us stay strong. Even if you can’t take the whole weekend off, find a way to indulge in little pleasures daily.
8. I practice gratitude.
I’m genuinely thankful for what I have, for what I’ve accomplished, for what I’m capable of, and for my support group. Even when things get complicated or stressful, try to show appreciation for your people and be grateful for all that you have.
As an example, if my mother-in-law watches the baby during a quick errand, I’ll buy her a coffee on my way home, as a simple thank you. If my husband does something extra around the house or yard, then I make sure he gets his alone time or his ‘guys night out’ that week. Do your best to be thankful, and show that gratitude in your words and actions.
9. I focus on the positive.
There are so many positive things to focus on as a working mom, so I’ll mention just a few in case you are struggling to think of them today. You have a job, girl! You have a paycheck that you earned, which not everyone can say. You are setting a good example for your child. Our kids need to learn to work hard and take care of themselves.
You’re also building a foundation so that your kids can have a safe, happy future (think school clothes, first cars, college funds, family business opportunities, retirement funds, insurance policies, etc). You’re doing a great job, so give yourself some credit.
10. I limit my time on social media.
This one comes with an exception, because both of my secular jobs require me to use social media regularly. But, social media can suck up so much of our valuable time, and a lot of it probably isn’t all that productive. So, stop doing this.
Catch up with family and friends for a few minutes, post a few pictures, and then turn off that phone. Be sure to turn off your notifications too; you’re going to check your accounts at some point today anyway, so you really don’t need your phone buzzing 24/7, or beckoning you for an immediate response.
If you’re required to engage on social media for work, use your time wisely, use automation, and remember to keep working on balance. If you’re not at work, then your family needs your attention more than that phone does.
These are just a few of the big ways that I manage to survive life as a working mom, and I hope that they help you to manage too! Working secularly is rewarding, and it’s worth all of the challenges that come with it. You just have to find your groove and create a method that works for you and your family.
So tell me, what are you doing to make life easier as a working mom? What is your survival method, and what are your tips? Share in the comments!!
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