I'm a stay a home/work from home mom, so I am able to do lots of stuff that take a lot of time. Time management honestly isn't one of my areas of expertise. Hopefully this guest post by Mary Murphy will be helpful to those of you who are working moms and need to be able to be efficient with your time, while still running a household.
Working mothers face a mountain of demands and challenges that they have to face every day. And being on call for the needs of a family 24/7, makes meeting other responsibilities that much harder as priorities, daily tasks and professional duties are juggled with critical intensity every day. Spontaneity is something of an indulgence, exclusive for people without kids and a full-time job. The thought of an hour of uninterrupted yoga, or the chance to lie in a dark room, and just listen to nothing else except the tap drip, suddenly seem like the most extravagant of luxuries.
The Harsh Reality
Before a working mother even gets to that little part-time gig on the side many people thinks she has – that full-time job – there are is a serious mountain of things that have to be put in place before she can even think about work, or else the rest of the day will fall apart at warp speed.
Things like washing, dishes, ironing, making school and work lunches, paying bills, cleaning the house, making beds and hanging up towels, dominate any busy week day morning. Plans and arrangements need to be made to ensure collection of kids, transport to extra-curricular activities, grocery shopping and dinner preparations have to already be in place, as if something is left to the last minute, it could create extra stress later on.
So looking at just the basics, is it possible for Moms to streamline their chaotic days and actually enjoy a good quality of life, instead of feeling like they are on call or on the go every minute of the day and night? It may be challenging at first, but it is possible to organize a busy day into manageable time frames, and still end up with time in the same day for a long bubble bath, a walk with a friend or a glass of wine after a long day.
Put together a plan for those big chores, assign them specific days and work your other activities and arrangements to fit in in-between them. For instance, washing linen is a big job; aim to do that one the weekend along with any other washing. This way you will only have to do a small load to pick up the slack during the week. Make wash days Tuesdays and Thursdays and do the rest when you have more time on Saturday and Sunday.
Pack everything the night before, don’t leave making lunches for the morning, do it right after dinner – even better get the kids to do the lunches and let them take turns, giving you a couple of nights off every week. Make sure all homework is completed, signed and packed ready in school bags for the following morning – at the front door. Make sure that all sports equipment is ready to go as well. This way you will ensure a good morning every day, your day will run smoother, and you won’t feel so frazzled when you get to work having spent the better part of an hour hunting for school items, books, lunch bags and important items.
Invest in a slow cooker. These are the best things that were invented for any working mother. It is as simple as opening the fridge in the morning, seeing what is in there, chucking it all into the pot, plugging it in and leaving for work. When you get home, your meal is cooked, hot and ready to be eaten and all you will have to do is make rice if you feel like it. You can put anything in – chicken, veggies, potatoes, meat, fish, lentils, and you can make soup, stews, veggie pots – the list is endless. [-This saves money because you're less likely to be tempted to buy fast food or processed, ready made, expensive food. A pressure cooker can also be useful -Penny]
Working mothers deserve to spend quality time with their children when their workday is over and these simple strategies can help improve your chances of this.
About the Author: This article has been written by Mary Murphy, the communications manager for Irish based website www.eumom.ie - Ireland's largest online community website for mothers with over 100,000 members. The website publishes regular articles and guides on pregnancy and articles about parenting. Feel free to visit the website and join our happy community – www.eumom.ie
See my disclaimer.