Many working mothers need to work or actually just want to work because they’re smart and talented. But they set themselves crazy high standards of being amazing earth mothers, domestic goddesses and career high fliers.
One of the biggest secrets to be a successful working mum and not losing our sanity is to be honest with yourself and about your limits… you simply can’t do it all.
Or at least not without a lot of money and a lot of help! There’s nothing wrong with paying for that help if you can afford it, in fact I wholeheartedly embrace the concept.
So with the mission in mind of not being a burnt out heap by the end of each working week, I’ve put together some simple, but effective, working mum survival tips to help make life just that bit easier for us working mothers.
Make sure that you and everyone who needs to know is clear about the hours you work. This is the biggest change post-baby.
Your working hours each week are more or less finite, employ strategies that allow you to focus and use your time well.
Employed? you have the right to ask your employer for flexible working hours. Self-employed – find a pattern of work that suits you and your family.
You may well be CEO of the Household but that doesn’t mean you have to do it all. Divide and conquer, that means kids too as soon as they’re old enough.
Try not to save it all up for the weekend, working against the clock in small chunks does wonders for getting it done without it sucking up all your ‘free time’.
Put dry clothes away, don’t leave them crumpled in the clean laundry bag … hang up everything that can be hung and ONLY iron essentials when needed.
Most Nigerians don’t use dishwashers. But if you do, tell your family to put dirties straight into the dishwasher, this goes for everyone in the home old enough – ‘leaving stuff neatly near the dishwasher’ is NOT helping and does not get stuff clean.
8.. Cook double
Cooking a delicious meal? Make double and freeze half of it. There is nothing more delightful on a tired weekday evening than knowing getting dinner on the table is as simple as defrosting something you made earlier.
Particularly great if you work from home. Simply stick the ingredients in the slow cooker, set it and know it will be ready to serve that evening.
Employ a cleaner or maid to help you out with the mess around the house. Have someone else do the chores so you can spend quality time with your family.
Routine, routine, routine! Have a set time for homework for school age children. Bedtime is sacred, especially on school nights. Kids need sleep. Well rested children are happy children.
It’s not just kids who benefit from good sleep patterns. Try and stick to a regular bedtime and no tech after 9pm works a treat for quality of sleep and waking up feeling rested.
It is so easy to get caught up in the ‘doing’ and forget about simply enjoying being with your kids. Have a weekly family film night and Friday after school, usually with some kind of foodie treats involved.
Ban all tech during family mealtimes and family hangout time. Define screen time limits based on kids’ ages and remember that modeling good use of tech is the best way to ensure you kids don’t turn into digital addicts.
It may be a cliché but even just a couple of hours of time to yourself, to do whatever you want with, will lift your spirits. Happy mum equals happy children!
So have a go and incorporating some or all of these into your life and see how you get on.