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Saturday, September 27, 2014

working outside the home - survival tips - part TWO

Part two of our working outside the home series. Here are some suggestions for how to manage your busy days! Thanks to all of you mommas who participated in the discussion. 

GREAT ideas. Here are some things you said:

REAL MOM TIPS: (from real moms in the Mommy Stories Facebook group)
  • Get up earlier than you'd think you need to get up. 
  • Pack lunches and backpacks, etc. the night before.
  • No time for chores mid-week, only on weekends. 
  • Get yourself ready before the kids wake up.
  • Do laundry and dishes right when you walk in the door at home otherwise you'll sit and won't have energy later on.
  • It helps to find a great sitter who you completely trust, that way when you're at work you're focused at work and it makes it easier being there away from the kids. 
  • Helpful daddies rock! That's the only way I can survive.
  • Cook meals so you can eat leftovers the next day.
  • Try to do all chores midweek so that the only chore on the weekends is grocery shopping, that way you get more family time in.
  • Make two huge meals on the weekend and reheat them all week long.
  • Meal plan on weekends. 
  • Only wash and dry my hair every few days instead of daily.
  • Workout right after work before daycare pick up, or when husband falls asleep. 
  • Pick up and clean as we go, a little at a time.
  • Lay out clothes the night before for everyone.
  • When partner leaves before I do, he takes everything to the car that I need (lunches, diaper bag, etc.). 
  • Dress the kids top to bottom - including shoes all in one movement. 
  • Gym during lunch hour. 
  • Take deep breaths driving to work.
  • All chores after kid is in bed. 
  • During commute to work, catch up with family or friends on phone then, so that when at home it was all about the kid.
  • Shaving or other longer showering tasks need to be done the night before, so that morning of is a quick shower.

Fellow momma Shelby Davis shared the following AWESOME advice for working outside the home:

1. Do everything the night before. This includes showering, laying out clothes, making lunches, packing bags, setting out coffee mugs/milk cups, etc.

2. Get up and get myself ready before my son gets up and ready. It’s easier for me to spend the 15 minutes focusing on myself: getting myself dressed, teeth and hair brushed, makeup on and THEN get him up (it takes double the time when he’ll zooming around me), although when he was a baby I would leave my clothes til last in case he spit up on me.

3. Have dad do daycare drop off! This actually has been my #1 life saver. I go to work a little earlier than my husband and he works later than me. So it’s nice that I don’t need to think about getting him there. Plus dad has a MUCH easier time leaving him at daycare than I do. I linger and talk and kiss him a million times, whereas dad drops and goes. On the rare occasions I do drop off, I see this is the norm. The moms linger and the dads get out of there stat. I get the fun job of picking up, the “my mumma!!!” screams and the running and jumping into my arms. : )

4. Have a dinner plan. I meal plan for a month in advance. So I always know what we’re eating and making my grocery list is easier. There isn’t ever a day when at 8am I don’t know what we’re eating that night, so I can take something out of the freezer or start a crockpot or whatever. 

5. Run errands during lunch break if you can. I pay bills, make phone calls, etc. Getting as much done on lunch hour as possible is a huge help. Or work out. Go for a walk, head to the gym. Utilize lunch break in whatever way you need to. 

6. Get out of work early one day a week and do your grocery shopping before daycare pick up. It’s so much easier to fly through the store by myself, and not have to drag my son on errands during the weekend. Because I work full time, I want every spare second with him to be enjoyable. That does not include grocery shopping.  

7. Make sure weeknight dinners are fast and easy. I try to keep them under 30 minutes and under 6 ingredients. I like to be home by 5, have dinner ready by 5:30 and give myself a full hour to do bedtime prep of playing, tubby, teeth and jammies, stories, snuggles and kisses to give him a bedtime between 7-7:30.

8. Teamwork. I could never do any of it without my husband. He’ll clean up from dinner while I’m doing bedtime. Or he’ll make lunches while I’m cleaning from dinner. From 5-8pm we are in constant motion, but that means we get to grab an hour or two of alone time at the end of the day. 

9. Hire a cleaning person. When my husband told me after my son turned 2 that we should hire a cleaning person, I was so surprised. He finally understood that having me spend time cleaning the house takes away from the weekend time I get with our family. There are still plenty of other household chores, but it’s nice to get the floors, bathrooms and kitchen done. It gives me a head start on everything else and I don’t feel so buried and frustrated. 

10. Don’t sweat it. There are never enough hours in the day being a full time working mom, trying to squeeze in household/family responsibilities along with quality time with family and getting personal mom times to grab dinner with friends or get a pedicure. I make sure I do the important things first, like puzzles on the living room floor, or a movie with popcorn on a rainy weekend, before the things that honestly don’t matter, like laundry. 

I’m never going to look back and think, “wow, I wish I had done more laundry”, but I am going to think, “I wish I had said, screw it, and spent more time with my toddler.”

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