We all know Dolly Parton sang about working 9 to 5, but what happens when 5pm rolls around, then you start your next shift as Mom? Sure, being a busy working mom can be a juggle, but it can also be a super rewarding lifestyle that many moms are choosing out of preference, not just necessity. Whatever your reason for being a working mom, it helps to focus on the task at hand, remember your priorities, and work together with the people around you.
If you’re a working mom, or you’re heading back to work soon after having a baby, and you need some guidance right now, we’ve got you. However much you see about the stereotypical working mom running herself into the ground, it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are some of our best life hacks and top tips for working moms.
Let’s start by answering some frequently asked questions on the topic…
In this article: 📝
- How can working moms make life easier?
- How can I be a good working mom?
- How do working moms get everything done?
- How do working moms survive?!
- Time saving tips for working moms
How can working moms make life easier?
To answer this question, it helps to think first about how you want your working mom life to look for you and your family. Discuss your hopes with your partner or family. Your priorities might look different from other moms’ priorities. Once you know what’s most important to you, you can strategize about how to fit those things into your life more easily. For example, if family dinner every night is your top priority, maybe you can prep meals on the weekends to make it easier to get dinner on the table on weeknights.
How can I be a good working mom?
First up, there’s no such thing as a bad working mom! Finding a work-life balance that works for you and your family is an amazing achievement, and often comes down to planning, and having realistic expectations!
How do working moms get everything done?
Spoiler alert! Many working moms would probably admit to not getting everything done. Work out your absolute non-negotiables for the day, aside from your essential work tasks, and anything else you get done is a bonus. If it’s not important, it can wait.
How do working moms survive?!
Chatting with your fellow working moms in the Peanut community is a great way to find out what works for others, and how you might be able to incorporate some other hot tips for working moms with babies into your routine. (And in the absence of any practical advice, there’s always coffee, wine, cheesecake, The Bachelor…. Whatever keeps you going!)
Time saving tips for working moms
Let’s dive into some of the best advice for working moms…
Let’s dive into some of the best advice for working moms…
1. Have a plan for every day
Using a large family calendar that everyone can see means everyone knows the plan for the week, and it can be easily checked or added to when a last-minute invite crops up. If you’d rather keep things between the parents, using an app where you can both add in your work schedule and any other after-hours activities will help you prepare for an occasional solo-parenting evening, or make time for a date night.
2. Choose your childcare carefully
It really helps to be happy with who’s looking after your baby when you’re at work. Tour daycare facilities before finalizing your choice, and check out local nannies and au pairs who may be more flexible with early morning starts or late finishes if you have a long working day. If your family will be looking after your baby, have a chat about your working hours to lessen any chance of conflicting schedules. If your child is of school age, check out what before- and after-school care options are available.
3. Meal prep
When you have time, it’s helpful to do some bulk cooking. Meals like lasagne can be portioned and frozen to whip out at the last minute. If you’re making a salad or pasta dish, make double so it can be lunch the next day too. Preparing lunch boxes and breakfasts the night before will save you precious time in the mornings. A slow cooker might become your new best friend.
4. Keep a to-do list
Unloading your whirling brain onto a daily or weekly to-do list of essentials can help clear your mind and allow you to concentrate on whatever you’re trying to get done.
5. Teach independence early
As soon as your children are old enough, consider giving them some basic household chores. This helps teach them responsibility and takes some of the work off your plate! For the youngest family members, this might mean tidying their toys into a basket when they’re done. Older kids might be able to make their bed or set the table for dinner. All stuff you then don’t have to spend time on. Win!
6. Be realistic with your working hours
When approaching your return to work, dig into your employer’s policies around flexible working so you know what you’re entitled to ask for. Have open conversations with your boss around your working hours, and try to stick to a plan that will make your life easier.
7. Say “No”
Just because you’re trying to be a #momboss, it doesn’t mean you have to sign up for every school committee or attend every childcare activity day. Equally, if a work project will require too much time or travel commitment, consider whether you really need to take it on. No one can do everything.
8. Outsource chores
If you can afford to financially, get someone to do the stuff you hate doing or that takes up precious family time at the weekend. Whether it’s hiring a regular cleaner, or finding someone on an ad-hoc basis to run errands. Shop for groceries online to be delivered. Future-you will thank you for it.
9. Plan things to look forward to
Try to avoid burnout and the daily grind getting on top of you by planning a family day trip, movie night, date night, or some self care. Having something to look forward to will make all your hard work SO worth it.
Everyone needs sleep — it’s a fundamental building block to our ability to function well. Prioritizing your sleep — vs TV, social media, or a late-night work project — is just as important for you as it is for your kids. So grab an early night when you can!
11. Remember you’re only human
On the outside, other working moms might look like they’ve got their sh*t much more together than you, but who cares?! You’re only human and some days will be a hot mess, and other days you will feel on top of the world! Most important thing is that you’re doing what’s best for you and your family.
You got this, mama. Go you!
More from The 411:
From Saleswoman to SAHM: How I Found My Self-Worth When I Stopped Working