Since the past 2 years, the most often asked question to me has been; how do I manage time being a working mom? And my answer is always this: be it a working or a stay at home mom; all moms have more work than they can manage and to survive we have to device our own Time Management strategies. And I have also learned and come up with my own Time Management Tips for Working Mothers which help me manage both home and office and keep my sanity intact.
I went back to work 3 months post partum. I breast fed my son while working full time. Expressed milk is the same as breast milk is the same as formula milk. Whatever way you feed it is tough work and sleepless nights in the first year. I spend quality time with my child even while working and my son doesn’t hate me. Neither has he gone through any neglect and his development has been very well rounded. I love him to the moon and he understands and helps us achieve everything as a family. Not all days are same. My house is clean but not everyday. Some days are bad, real bad too. And some are as smooth as butter. But yes, everything needs a plan. Here are my Time Management Tips for Working Mothers
15 Time Management Tips for Working Mothers
1. Don’t rush them while waking up
We all leave the house early morning and here is the biggest challenge. Waking up a small baby early in the morning is tough. So we don’t drag him out of the bed and just rush yo get him ready. We spend at least 20 mins in the bed waking him up gently. This involves a lot of cuddling, the tickle monster coming and waking him up. I don’t rush and We snuggle and we talk. This gives him time to wake up gently and he is neither cranky nor angry. Yes this needs extra time, but trust me this makes the rest of the morning much easier to handle. This also gives us precious family time in the morning which prepares us to face the day ahead
2. Wake up 15 mins early
15 mins before you normally would or need to wake up. Allow yourself the time to make the coffee and drink it. The 15 mins is a huge cushion that will help you smoothly finish all your morning chores easily. And it will also provision for days when you get late.
3. Set all the clocks 5 mins ahead.
Believe me, even if you know that it is 5 mins you will go by the time showing and inadvertently you will avoid being late for everything
4. Work as a team
My husband helps baby A brush his teeth while I pack the lunches, juices, coffees to go etc. He gets him dressed while I finish up the morning chores around the house, set the breakfast table and get ready. I feed baby A while hubby gets ready. It’s so much easier if everyone knows what they are supposed to do rather than all of us running around like headless chickens
5. Delegate Work and don’t try to Multitask
I have said before and I will say it agin, this whole noise about multitasking is a bore. As a woman, I don’t want to and I don’t try to do more than I can. I need help and I delegate. Yes, I love to do things a certain way but I am happy to let the hired help do it. Ans I don’t fret about it. Don’t fret about how your maid is not doing it right. Let go of perfection and you will be a relaxed person.
6. Invest in appliances
My minutes are precious and I save them by investing in useful appliances. A coffee maker for the morning coffee, soup maker for dinners, slow cooker for quick pot meals, Juicer for the morning juices and smoothies.
7. Put things back in place
This one is so important. Make sure that everything in the house goes back to its place everyday, this will save you many minutes in the morning looking for things. Trust me when you are in rush, things have a habit of not being found. For me the peaceful time is at night when baby goes to sleep. I put everything where it belongs, his toys in his playroom, the bags in place, the keys, purses, watches, belts, lunch boxes, sippers, all in their places
8. Let them be independent
The first thing baby A does when he is back home is opens his shoes on his own, puts them in the shoe cupboard and washes his hands. He has been doing this since he was one year old. After changing, he puts his clothes back in the cupboard, yes he can’t fold them and just shoves them in, but he does that much and I let him. He wants to do things on his own and we let him. Yes under our watch but if I don’t let him grow, he probably won’t.
9. Set expectations at workplace
How much are you ready to invest at work? For me my work is very important but so is my family. Thus, I chose the sector of my choice and the job of my choice which gives me job satisfaction along with a work life balance. Set the expectations at work in the beginning. Clarify what is expected during the interview itself. Don’t commit that you will be able to work weekends, if you can’t.
Don’t worry, just because you are a mom, you don’t need to compromise on your terms to get a great job. There are plenty of great opportunities out there. You need time for the family too and make it clear that you will not let either work or family compromise each other. This may mean that you will not be suitable for all jobs so make your choice sensibly. And give 100 percent to your work when you are at it.
10. Prep on the weekend
I marinade, grill and bake stuff over the weekend to keep them ready and handy for the week day lunches and dinners. We run the washer on Friday night so that the clothes are washed, sent for ironing on Saturday and back in the cupboards on Sunday.
11. Remove unwanted things
Remove unwanted things, people and habits from your life. You don’t need to go to every party. Or attend all functions or spend time with people you don’t like. You don’t need to watch all serials. You don’t need to be updated with all available social media news.
Choose and prioritise. I watch only what I love on TV or fav movies. I don’t have watsapp notifications turned on on my phone.
12. Sleep properly
You need to sleep to be completely rested
Here is how I ensure that my son makes Healthy Eating Choices
13. Arrange for me time
Whatever it is that relaxes you, read, workout, listen to music, do it. I go to the gym daily to spend some time on me. It is the one thing that I do for only myself and it is the reason for my energy
Plan vacations and weekends. Relax and take time to do things that you love. Don’t carry over work to your me time or family time. Go out or chill at home with family and friends. Relax and give yourself the push that will sail you through the week
15. Make a to do list
Plan to achieve what is realistic and don’t over aim. Check the things that you need to do and achieve and make a daily goal. Spread your tasks over the week and put only achievable daily goals for yourself.
I hope these Time Management Tips for Working Mothers that I practice are of help to you too.
Enjoy the time that you spend together rather than thinking that you don’t have enough time.
Cherish each moment and let go of stress and guilt and you will be able to enjoy the beautiful journey.
Until next time, love, Smita