For working moms, busy is an understatement–especially with the added pressures and uncertainties of the pandemic. The truth is that moms have two full-time jobs, and one of them is 24/7. Moms have some pretty stressful demands on their time, with a constant pinging from bosses, spouse, kids and parents throughout the day. Having even 15 minutes a day to be still, to breathe, feels like a luxury.
“While there is no such thing as work life balance, there is work life management,” said Momentum CEO April Benetollo. “It’s called maximizing limited resources to meet desired outcomes, just like you would do on the job. The difference with work and life is that sometimes we don’t look at those objectives together. When we separate them in our heads, and then try to ‘balance’ the resources, we can’t make that square up.” April was introduced to the idea of work-life management by her Momentum classmate, attorney Anne Marie Seibel at Bradley. Anne Marie has a published essay on the topic in Her Story: Lessons in Success From Lawyers Who Live It.
As chaotic as being a working mom is, here are some tips to help make every day easier.
Set up a schedule
Making a schedule for the everyday creates a system that is easy to follow. Understanding where you are supposed to be at a specific time takes a little bit of stress out of the day and week. Planning a schedule also makes the time for you to do things you want, and actually do it. Being able to physically see your schedule for the week helps you visualize which days would be better for what and how you can get everything done in the week.
Create simple chores for the kids
After a day at work the last thing you want to do is household chores such as doing the dishes or taking out the trash. A way to get help with these tasks is to assign certain chores to your kids. Young children can pick up toys or tidy their room while older children can do things like the laundry or cleaning the bathroom. A way to make this fun for the kids is creating a chores chart and earning a fun sticker for every time they complete a chore. When they get a certain number of stickers, they can win a prize.
Prep or plan meals
Having meals prepped or planned is a great way to save some time throughout the week. At the beginning of the week, cook however many meals you please and put them in the freezer. After work just simply heat up the meal in the oven, stove, etc… and dinner is ready. If you prefer not to meal prep, simply planning out meals to make every week is also a great way to save time.
Befriend other working moms
Having a good support system is imperative as a working mom. It might get hard to see your friends who stay at home with their kids doing activities you wish you could do too. It is important to connect with other working moms because they are the people who understand what your day-to-day life demands. Having these connections to women who can relate and offer ideas or resources is not only therapeutic, it’s practical.
Setting boundaries as a working mom is a must. Managing your time between your kids, work, and social life can be tricky. Speaking with your family about what you need is a great way to set boundaries between work and home life. Setting boundaries can also mean blocking out personal distractions when you are at work or turning off your work phone when you are with your kids. Being able to say no and set the boundaries you need is empowering and can make you feel more in control.