Ready to have more time and calm in the New Year?
By Jenny Benedetti
Groundhog day should be added to the job description for busy moms. It always seems the same. Get up before the sun, get the kids ready for daycare or school and then it’s off to work. After battling the commute home, it’s time for dinner, homework, baby play, chores, and a bit of rest and relaxation – if you’re lucky – and then off to sleep for eight hours – unless your baby doesn’t sleep through the night – only to do it all over again the next day.
Sometimes you find yourself stopping and wondering, “Is this really my life?”
Feeling stuck in a cycle of no sleep, endless chores and trying to maintain a career in the midst of it all can make anyone get the blues. But there are a couple of things to remember. First, it will get easier and second, we have some amazing tips to help you get through it.
- Your Other Half Needs to do Their Part
Taking care of a house and a baby and having a career is equal to having two full time jobs with no time off – ever. If you’re buried in laundry and the floors have been sticky for days, it’s time to speak up and ask for help. Raising kids is the hardest thing you will most likely ever do and doing it in a clean and organized house makes it at least a little bit easier. The same goes for transporting the kids to school and daycare. Ask your husband to help take care of that responsibility as well to take some of the stress off of you.
- When You’re at Work, Forget about Home
Of course you can answer questions about your beautiful kids but try to keep yourself present as much as possible when at work. Don’t think about what you’re going to prepare for dinner or about having the house sprayed for bugs. When you step into work, leave home at the door and vice versa. This way, you’re only tackling one thing at a time. Being present also helps you enjoy the little things in life.
- Get Your Kids Involved
Instead of waiting for the kids to go to sleep to get things done, involve them. There are so many chores that even little kids can get done, such as cleaning up their toys, matching socks, and vacuuming. Come up with creative ways to motivate them, like using a responsibility chart. Make it fun by adding music to chore time and dancing while cleaning and organizing.
- Keep a Flexible Schedule
Whether you work for yourself or someone else, request a flexible schedule so you can get things done when they need to get done. You could consider working from home a couple of days a week to save time on the commute or you can consider working part-time until your children are older and can do more things for themselves – like go to the bathroom!
- Utilize Hacks to Save Time
There are so many ways you can save time to make your days easier. Some of these hacks include:
- Preparing and freezing meals in advance.
- Doing errands and scheduling doctor appointments on your lunch break.
- Instead of struggling with what you’re going to wear to the office every morning, wear the same thing everyday. Simply buy five pairs of the same pants and five pairs of the same shirt and you now have an official work uniform.
- Maintaining a low-maintenance haircut is another way to save time. Just tousle and go.
- Outsource anything you can, from house cleaning to writing your company’s blog posts. Paying someone else to do these tasks will save lots of time.
- If you have a long commute, use this time to schedule calls and talk using a bluetooth. You can also use this time to catch up on your reading with a good audiobook.
- Working out at home rather than adding a gym commute to your schedule is another way to save time. There are lots of programs you can pay for monthly and can even get the kids involved.
- Take Some Time Off
Taking time off from work isn’t such a bad idea, especially when your children are babies. This is a special time to bond with mommy. It’s also a time you should devote to yourself. Going through pregnancy and birth takes a toll on a woman’s body and some women need more time than others to recuperate. If you’re feeling burnt out and incredibly overwhelmed, it might be time to consider taking a bit more time off, finding easier work, or finding a job closer to home if your commute is long.
- Remind Yourself That it Does Get Easier
Kids grow up and soon they’re just as busy as you. And once they reach a responsible age, they can help with even more chores, especially if they want money for the movies. Now, that’s motivation. However, when they are babies, they need your constant care and attention. As hard as it might seem at times, you will always cherish this time you spend with your baby. If you’re feeling really overwhelmed, write down a list of things you look forward to doing when the kids are older, such as traveling, starting a business, writing a book, or fostering cats and dogs. Whenever you feel your day getting away from you just stop and ponder this list. It will take you to a happy place and give you something to dream about – besides changing dirty diapers.
- You Don’t Have to do Everything All the Time
Don’t strive for perfection. Sometimes the house will be a mess, sometimes you will be late for work, and sometimes you are a going to feel crazy and overwhelmed. But those are the parts of life we need to accept will happen as we ride along on this amazing parenting journey.
About the Author
Jenny Benedetti is an entrepreneur and self-proclaimed “Supermom” who has mastered the art of the work-life balance. Being a mom and also co-owner of a successful maid cleaning business in Washington DC has been a challenge at times, but has been largely rewarding and taught her many lessons about balancing work and home life. In her free time she loves to cook, read, blog, spend time with her family, and surprisingly… clean.