5 ways to be a better working mom

November 07, 2016, by Shaunacey Bonneville


Being a mom is hard. I'm not here to incite a round of mom-wars because, truthfully, whether you work or not, this mom business ain't easy. That said, at this point in my life (back to work just over 3 months now with a 3.5 year old and a 15 month old) I'm a working mom and the struggle is real. Like really real.

I am by no means at a point where I've got a smooth system going and things regularly go off without a hitch. On the contrary, I am still very much figuring things out and trying to perfect the imperfectable (spell-check is telling me that's not a word but I like it, so it stays). 

As hard as this working-mom gig is, I am quickly learning that there are a few things that are essential to being the best working mom I can be. Hope it helps you too!

without further adieu, 5 ways to be a better working mom

Be prepared - do any and everything possible ahead of time it will make things so much easier. I know, I know, easier said than done. I too am guilty of filling up my hours and days and then having no time to do all the "prep" that make the weeks go more smoothly. If you're wondering what kind of prep you can do ahead of time, fear not, I'm sharing that too. FOOD is the biggie. On weeks where I'm on point (we'll pretend that happens more often than it actually does) I cut up fruit and veggies for the week, boil eggs, plan dinners and pre-cook other foods (pasta, carrots, sweet potatoes). If I had to pick the most important prep, food-prep tops the list. Nothing makes the after-work/daycare-rush better than having a ready made meal. Also, get tight with your crockpot, she'll be a lifesaver.

Let it go - I'm not talking Elsa-style Disney karaoke with the toddlers (although, we actually do have a Frozen karaoke machine - whose idea was THAT?!) I mean those crazy expectations you have of yourself to do and be ALL the things. You know that's not realistic, right? I had grandiose visions of what life would look like when I went back to work after baby numero 2. Ya.... not so much. I would LOVE to have a freshly cooked and beautiful dinner every night. One where we all sit nicely around the table (at the same time) and eat while gleefully reflecting about our respective days BUT that's not realistic for us. By the time I get home the kids are literally scouring the cupboards for crackers while I'm nuking leftovers (or something I've dutifully prepped ahead of time... ya, let's go with that). Do I LOVE that I don't get to cook a nice meal every night or that I am usually and sitting down to eat whatever I've thrown together for the adults long after the kids are done? Not really, but it's what works right now. Instead, we make a point to truly enjoy the meals we get to ALL sit down together (on the weekend). I've let go of week-night family meals for now because it was more stress than it was worth. What can you let go of?

Let someone else do the work - cooking, cleaning, laundry - friends, LISTEN to me when I say this: take, ask or pay for help. If someone offers to help with something that you really need help with, say YES!!!!! I get it, it's hard to accept help but, for the most part, people would offer if they didn't really want to give it. ASK for help when you're struggling. Our partners aren't mind-readers and even though we've said 10473894982 times how much we HATE folding laundry, sometimes we just need to ask, very specifically, for the help we need (aka folding the laundry - yes Brent, if you're reading this, the basket waiting lol). Last, if you can afford it, pay for help. I know this isn't an option for everyone, but some things just might be worth sacrificing for. Would it be worth it to forgo something you don't need in order to have someone come clean the toilets and floors? It just might be.

Take time for you - because we working moms are rolling in spare time to spend on ourselves, right? Oddly enough, for me anyways, when I'm the most short on time for myself is when I really need it the most. It doesn't need to be a girl's weekend away once a month (though wouldn't that be nice?) or a spa day once a week (a girl can dream), it just needs to be something. At the end of the day, every.single.day you should do something just for YOU. Take a bath, go for a walk, paint your nails, read, meditate, read some mom-affirmations - whatever it is that makes you feel like you. It is so easy to lose yourself (as I have) in your roles as wife, mother, employee, friend etc. but you, outside of all the roles you occupy, are still a person who deserves to be honored. Honor yourself! Plus, when you take care of you, I guarantee it'll make you better in all of those other roles you occupy, whatever those may be. If you're not sure where to start, check out my big list of self-care activities and start doing one EACH day! You deserve it.

vacuum or take selfies on the floor with these cuties? no contest


Slow it down - do you ever feel like you're perpetually in a rush? Maybe it's just the nature of this working-mom business, but I constantly feel like I need to be going or doing something. The morning is a mad dash to get everyone out the door on time. The evening is another sprint to the bed-time finish-line while trying to make sure the house doesn't get obliterated (I mean, more than it already is, because there's truly no time for cleaning) and the little people have full bellies and get bathed from time to time. The thing is, we will never get more hours in the day, we will never get all the things on our to-do list done and we will never get this time back. So SLOW IT DOWN. How? Make the time! The evenings are the worst for me. I always feel rushed and stressed and like I don't get to enjoy the few hours I have in the day with my kids. I'm busy trying to feed and clean in a really short time span. It's rushing everyone, quickly, from one thing to the next and it kinda sucks. So I changed it. Don't get me wrong, it's still a rush, but after dinner I head into the toyroom with the kids and we play and read books for 15-30min (depending on how late we're running). It was hard at first, knowing they might get to bed a little later or I'd have to clean the kitchen after they went to sleep, but it's my most favorite part of the day. Now I find myself forgoing little things all the time just to slow it down and really be with my family. Will the kids remember the dog hair on the floor or that we spent the afternoon at the part? Will the kids remember that I didn't put away the dishes or that we chased each other around the house giggling? I know what I'll remember and it won't be dog hair or dishes. 

Being a working mom means less-time to spend with your littles so making the time you have count becomes so important. As I said before, I've by no means got it all figured out, but this mom-life is much easier when we share our experiences, our tips, the ways we all get by and manage to make life just a wee bit easier. Feel free to share your working mom tips in the comments :)

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