As a working mom, we are often too hard on ourselves, expecting to do it all and be that Pinterest perfect super-mom. I’m going to let you in on a dirty little secret, that super mom, she takes short-cuts. She simplifies where she can simplify, and she is unapologetic. She embraces a simpler way of doing things, so she can do the things that matter most to her.
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Here are ways you can simplify life as a working mom:
1 – Ask for help
To simplify life as a working mom, you need to ask for help. Ask your husband, your kids, your daycare providers, anyone that can help you survive the day. More often than not, you have a village of people willing and able to help, but many of them have no idea how to help you. Just ask. You may be pleasantly surprised.
This is where I failed most often as a working mom. I failed to ask for help. I am independent and strong, so I must be able to do it all! Boy, was I wrong! It all changed one day when I met a lady, at work, who had six kids and ran a successful side business. I asked her “How on earth do you get it all done?” She said simply, I ask for help and expect it in return. Even her two-year-old was charged with helping fold washcloths and picking up shoes.
2 – Adopt a cleaning schedule and post it
Adopting a cleaning schedule that is attainable is important when trying to simplify life as a working mom. Even more important than adopting a cleaning schedule is to post it somewhere visible! Something magical happens when you post a cleaning schedule. You have now communicated what you want to be accomplished every day. Now everyone knows, we vacuum on Tuesdays. Even better, your husband now has a list of what they can accomplish on a specific day if they want to be helpful.
3 – Set up a chore chart for your kids
Your kids, from a young age, are able to clean up and accomplish small tasks. Even better, children often want to help you out more than we give them credit for. They just don’t know how. In the beginning, teaching your kids how to accomplish a chore can be a chore in itself. Be diligent. It will pay off.
You can even give your kids a chore chart to help them track their progress. My kids still don’t fully understand the value of money, so we work with other non-monetary reward systems, like stickers.
4 – Utilize a service
Money can’t buy happiness they say, but money can buy you time. For me, time equals happiness. The more time I have to spend with my family or doing the things I love, the happier and less stressed I feel. So, I started to look for services to buy me time. I had to work, but I didn’t have to be miserable.
I hated the thought of hiring a house cleaner as a working mom. For me, hiring a house cleaner made me feel like a failure when it came to cleaning our home. However, I took full advantage of other paid services, like meal planning. Find chores you hate doing and don’t mind turning over to someone else. If you can’t afford to hire out the service regularly, look for a Groupon or other similar coupon site and get yourself a one-time break. You won’t regret it!
5 – Meal plan
It’s no secret, meal planning can save you time, money, and help you simplify life as a working mom. The problem is meal planning takes time. Use any tool possible to help you meal plan.
There are a ton of services out there. I have used meal planning services, free online meal-planning tools, and a simple pen and paper. Pen and paper meal planning is one of my favorite methods, using amazing tools like Pinterest and a bookshelf full of my favorite cookbooks.
My absolute FAVORITE meal planning service is with eMeals. They make it super easy. They create a meal plan for you based on any diet plan, create a shopping list, and they even upload the list to a grocery pick-up for you! EMeals is AMAZING!
6 – Use grocery pick-up or delivery
I feel like grocery pick-up was my dirty little secret. I would go to work and load my shopping list into a store’s online shopping cart. Next, I would schedule my pick-up time sometime after work or on the weekend. Then, I would tell my family I HAD to go to the grocery store. It was a painful chore, but someone had to do it. (Insert evil laugh.)
First, I would swing by Starbucks and get my favorite drink, then I would go and sit in the grocery store pick up spot. Fifteen minutes tops, and groceries were done. No need to rush home. The groceries will be fine while I sip my drink. I only feel a twinge of guilt with my new-found freedom!
Related Post: Save Time Grocery Shopping
7 – Prepare everything the night before
Preparing everything the night before a work day will simplify life as a working mom because it will make your mornings a little less crazy and a little more possible. Get everything ready, down to outfits and your caffeine. You won’t regret it.
For any new mom returning to work, the biggest piece of advice I have to offer is to prepare everything the night before a work day, down to the smallest of details. I had my children 11 months apart, and my husband was out of town often. The only way I survived going back to work after the second was born was preparation. Everything from my bag sitting by the door, clothes picked out for everyone, and my lunch bag packed already in the fridge. I even set my tea bag on top of my travel mug the night before. No stone was left unturned. It sucked doing all this every night, but it sure made the chaotic mornings worth it!
8 – Divide and conquer your laundry
Laundry seems to never end when you have kids. Where does it all come from and where did all the matching socks go?! Don’t let your laundry pile up to be done on one big washing day on the weekend. You don’t want to spend your Saturdays folding and putting away. Divide and conquer. Do one load of laundry every day, and get back your weekends!
9 – Declutter your home
When you declutter your home, you have less stuff to clean every day. Dishes, laundry, and toy pick-up gets so much easier. You also get to come home every day to a house that isn’t full of clutter, which can make you feel anxious and overwhelmed.
Check out the Happy Clutter-Free Home Series for 7 days of challenges to a happier and cleaner home. You deserve a break mama!
10 – Have dates with your kids
Don’t get so caught up in catching up in the evenings or on the weekends that you forget to have fun with your family. If you have to, go as far as scheduling a date with your kids. You can look up local events at Macaroni Kid’s website or do something as simple as go for ice cream. Leave your phone in your purse, and soak up every moment. That’s something I appreciate most as a working mom. Those moments together are so precious.
11 – Let go of the working mom guilt
Guilt will consume you as a working mom if you let it. Moms work for a host of reasons, and whatever your reason, embrace it. If you work because you need the money to pay the bills, relish the fact that you are contributing to your family’s well-being, and they see what a strong woman looks like. If you work because you love it, embrace that feeling of empowerment you get from going to work every day, and show your kids their passions matter. The most important thing you can do simplify life as a working mom is to let go of the guilt. Your kids appreciate you, and you are doing the absolute best thing for your family, regardless of the reasons you work.
Give yourself a break
You can simplify life as a working mom if you give yourself permission to take short-cuts wherever you can find them. There are only 24 hours in a day, and you need to sleep mama! You don’t have to be Pinterest perfect. Just do your best with the time you have given. Your kids love you, even if dinner is a little burned or the laundry is piled up.
What have you done lately to simplify life as a working mom? Please share your tips and experiences!