Survival Tips for Working Mums
Many of us working mothers need to work or actually just want to work because we’re smart and talented. But we set ourselves crazy high standards of being amazing earth mothers, domestic goddesses and career high fliers.
One of the biggest secrets to be a successful working mum and not losing our sanity is to be honest with ourselves about our limits…we simply can’t do it all.
Or at least not without a lot of money and a lot of help! Hey there’s nothing wrong with paying for that help if you can afford it, in fact I wholeheartedly embrace the concept.
So with the mission in mind of not being a burnt out heap by the end of each working week, I’ve put together some simple, but effective, working mum survival tips to help make life just that bit easier for us working mothers.
1. Know the hours you work
Make sure that you and everyone who needs to know is clear about the hours you work. This is the biggest change post-baby. Goodbye presenteeism, hello super efficient working mother.
2. Be focused
Your working hours each week are more or less finite, employ strategies that allow you to focus and use your time well.
3. Flexible working
Employed? you have the right to ask your employer for flexible working hours. Self-employed – find a pattern of work that suits you and your family.
4. Cleaning and tidying
You may well be CEO of the Household but that doesn’t mean you have to do it all. Divide and conquer, that means kids too as soon as they’re old enough. Use my Easy Cleaning Routine to divvy up the chores around the family.
5. Minimise housework
Try not to save it all up for the weekend, working against the clock in small chunks does wonders for getting it done without it sucking up all your ‘free time’.
Put dry clothes away, don’t leave them crumpled in the clean laundry bag … hang up everything that can be hung and ONLY iron essentials when needed. Hate ironing, got a cleaner? Delegate!
7. Dishwasher rules
Load dirties straight into the dishwasher, this goes for everyone in the home old enough – ‘leaving stuff neatly near the dishwasher’ is NOT helping and does not get stuff clean.
8. Meal plan
It may send a shudder, but meal planning works, it cuts down on brain ache when your bandwidth is maxed and it saves money. I use the meal planning features in Cozi, it’s designed specifically for ridiculously busy mothers juggling family life. It’s FREE and I really can’t recommend it enough! You can get it here.
9. Cook double
Cooking a delicious meal? Make double and freeze half of it. There is nothing more delightful on a tired weekday evening than knowing getting dinner on the table is as simple as defrosting something you made earlier.
10. Slow cook
Particularly great if you work from home. Simply stick the ingredients in the slow cooker, set it and know it will be ready to serve that evening.
11. Online supermarket shop
Not all online supermarket shopping is equal. I’ve used Ocado for years and I swear by it. I pay for the yearly Smart Pass, which allows me to schedule a weekly delivery. I use the App to add to the shopping list through the week, then I spend around 15mins max editing and adding to the list the night before the delivery. That’s it, weekly shop done.
12. Family admin
Open mail as it comes in – bin, file or put in action pile – blitz the mail pile weekly.
13. Hired help
Employ a cleaner rather than pay for child care. Have someone else do the chores so you can spend quality time with your family.
Routine, routine, routine! Have a set time for homework for school age children. Bedtime is sacred, especially on school nights. Kids need sleep. Well rested children are happy children.
15. Set your bedtime
It’s not just kids who benefit from good sleep patterns. Try and stick to a regular bedtime and no tech after 9pm works a treat for quality of sleep and waking up feeling rested.
16. Schedule fun
I know! Yes this sounds sucky! But it’s so easy to get caught up in the ‘doing’ and forget about simply enjoying being with your kids. We have a weekly family film night and Friday after school is always earmarked for simply hanging out together, usually with some kind of foodie treats involved.
17. Tech etiquette
Ban all tech during family mealtimes and family hangout time. Define screen time limits based on kids’ ages and remember that modelling good use of tech is the best way to ensure you kids don’t turn into digital addicts.
It may be a cliché but even just a couple of hours of time to yourself, to do whatever you want with, will lift your spirits. Happy mum equals happy children!
So have a go and incorporating some or all of these into your life and see how you get on.
If you’ve found this post useful I’d love it if you’d share it! Thank you so much!