Spring Break Gratitude

The Keys to Succeeding As a Working Mom

Working mom at school breakfast

Like the new Netflix show Workin' Moms illustrates, raising young children and maintaining a full-time a job is a lot! It only gets more complicated as you add more children. Last year we had our third and it has been real. Still, we have transitioned to accommodate our growing family. Along the way, I have found the keys to success and decided to share them with you. 

The Keys to Succeeding As a Working Mom

Keep everything where you can find it. Lots of people have said that “organization is the key to success” because it is true. Not being able to find your things is absolutely maddening. It is also a huge time suck. One thing that working moms don’t have is extra time. So, working moms, develop  a system for keeping track of your things and the kids things. For the kids, as it relates to clothes, assign separate drawers for underwear/socks, pajamas, shirts and pants/skirts. That will make putting laundry away a breeze and allow your kids to pick out their own clothes much easier. For your clothes, try organizing them by color in the closet (and within the colors by item). This will allow you to get dressed my quickly. Know it may result in your being a walking advertisement for monochromatic dressing. That said, that isn’t boring it’s chic!  The truth is, you don’t have to adopt my systems, just identify one that works for you. And for those who love working moms, don’t mess with their system. You don’t have to understand it. If it works for her so be it. There's no award for who has the "best system". 

Everything is easier if everybody contributes. Delegate chores to older children and your husband. Delegation is easier with the kids. You may have to inspire your husband to expand his view of home life participation so that it doesn’t seem like nagging or like he’s your employee. My husband hates when I treat him like “the help”. Funny, how I never feel like "the help" when I am performing those same tasks though… OK, back to the tips!!! LOL In addition to engaging everybody, you may need to do some things less frequently like dusting, vacuuming, or cleaning your base boards. You may also need to do some things more often to keep them from piling up. For me, the "more frequent things" have names. Let's call them laundry and kitchen cleaning. I hate both. Still, I don't want to ever be in a position where a kid doesn't have clean underwear in the morning. I also don't want to come home to a pile of dishes every night that seem to scream my name. I have found that staying on top of those tasks is the only way to stay sane.    

Yell if you need help. Even be prepared to pay for it if you need to. Raising young kids is so overwhelming and you need help. I am not just talking about finding someone to watch your kids during the day. Of course you need that if you work full time. However, you need help in your life because there is more to life than work (housework and your job) and kids. Sometimes, you need a break from both. If you can afford outside help—buy it. It’s money well spent. Good uses of household dollars are cleaning help, grocery delivery and/or pick up, paying someone to pick up your kids and take them to activities or help you get ready in the morning. Also, don’t be shy about accepting any offers of from your extended family or friends. It definitely takes a village to raise multiple children while working full time and maintaining your sanity. Repeat after me, “I can’t do it without help!”

Sleep when you can. Over the past year I have learned that there is nothing I want to see badly enough  on TV that will make me stay awake. There's nothing that I need to do more than I need to sleep. NOTHING! In a word, after caring for my kids, sleep is the most important thing in my life. Here's why. I legitimately don’t know when my sleep will get interrupted, but it is bound to happen most nights. First, our one year old doesn’t sleep through the night yet. I know he should be “sleep trained”. If you feel so strongly about it, feel free to move in! Second, while the other kids do generally sleep through the night things happen. There are viruses, accidents, and monsters who apparently exist to eff up my sleep schedule. So, I have learned to take sleep where I can get it. It generally means that I go to bed when the baby does, which is often before 9:30 PM. I’m not ashamed about it either. My job is all about making good decisions. I can’t do that if my judgment is clouded. Also, sleep is good for your looks and weight maintenance!

As we said at the beginning of this post, being a working mom is hard. Still, with a few keys--planning, thought, and strategy--you can do it and enjoy the journey!!!