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3 Secrets to Help Working Moms Look Good While Doing it all

Wearing black a lot is one secret to success

“All of you are perfect just as you are... and there is still room for improvement!”
- Shunryu Suzuki –

Working moms struggle with finding time to do everything.  It's not a time management issue. Rather, it's an over commitment issue.  Most working moms will tell you, regardless if they have a spouse, that they are the primary caregiver and household manager. True, there are exceptions. I even know women married to men who do 1/2 or more. However, not every mom is that lucky. Many carry the entire mental load of managing the home and perform most mandatory yet mundane tasks.

The Reason Working Moms Are Exhausted: The "Mental Load"

I have long said that there is something infinitely different about being a "manager" and a "helper". Being a manager is time consuming, even when you are not actually "doing the work" because you are always thinking about the work and you are planning how the work is supposed to get done.
When you are a helper, you do only what is asked. If nobody asks you, you don't feel the responsibility to do it. Sometimes, you perform tasks voluntarily, but if you don't "no biggie" because you're just helping. (Fora link to another post discussing this concept, click here.) The other thing that helpers don't have to do is devote any thought time whatsoever to planning how the work gets done. Unless they are performing tasks, they are not thinking about the work. Being a helper is infinitely easier than being a manager. At work, managers get paid more. At home, managers just get more work!

The Mental Load Is Burning Women Out

Here's a cartoon from an Australian writer that nails what it is like to be a working mom, perfectly. 

While it would be nice to motivate husbands and partners to feel like they own the responsibilities equally instead of monitoring how much they "help out", most mom's lack the time to do that because we are frigging busy all of the damn time. Also, psychologists tend to believe that you can't change people, they have to change themselves.  So, perhaps your husband will have a "road to Damascus" type of transformation. For your sake. I hope he does. However, in the meantime, I recommend you find tricks to make your life easier instead of wasting time trying to motivate him.

Working Mom: Shoes Under My Desk

Three Secrets to Ease The Burden on Working Moms

1. Organizing Your Closet and an "Insurance Policy"

One trick involves your wardrobe. Unless they have a plan, working moms can waste a lot of time in the morning trying to figure out what to wear. I have organized my closet by color and separate the items by shirts, dresses, pants, etc. to make it easy to scan. When I am incredibly busy, my default is all black. I also keep shoes under my desk (as an insurance policy against late mornings) so that I am always prepared, even if they aren't my best stilettos. I also have my makeup and hair routine down to about 15 minutes. I may not always be magazine ready, but I am polished.

2.  Finding a "Go To Dress"

If you're looking for a "go to dress", some lawyer and doctor moms swear by "The Dress" from Lands End. (For a link to an article about it. Click here.)  I don't own this particular sheath. However, I have long relied on sheath dresses as my answer to look polished in a pinch. If you have this dress or purchase it, please let me know! (I know that Leah Bojnowski swears by it. Perhaps, she'll share what she loves about it in the comments?)

3.  Wearing a Uniform

I have been impressed by my routine for years. However, I work in healthcare and always admired women who wear uniforms. I thought my life would be infinitely easier if I could actually wears scrubs to work. Since I can't, I didn't explore the concept. A working mom in DC in real estate invented her own uniform and she is thrilled with the time savings she's earned. Below is a link  to the article. 

So, what do you think? Could you wear the same outfit every day for a year?

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