Being a mom is hard, trust me. I joined the club almost two years ago. I admit it, I still feel like a newbie. I am a working mom (not that all moms aren’t working moms), but I work outside the home, and to be completely honest it’s a juggling act. I have so many balls up in the air that I can’t even remember which balls go where. I don’t know about you, but I love organizational skills. It keeps me sane as a new mom.
If you are like me and hold down two jobs while trying to raise kid(s), then you are probably running from one thing to the next. It’s a chaotic life, but it doesn’t have to be. There is a way out of the chaos!
Let’s be honest, this motherhood thing is hard, no doubt about it. But, with these tips and tricks it can be a little less rocky. You won’t have to feel like you are running from one thing to the next wondering what you forgot or WHO you forgot!
Along this short journey of mine with my family, I have found a few tips and tricks that work for me and wanted to share it with all of you.
So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get started……I know you have work to do and babies to take care of.
8 Organizational Tips and Tricks for Working Moms
1. Carve Out Time for Yourself – I know you may think you don’t have time, but this time for yourself will give you back time during the week. It will rejuvenate your spirit. Believe me, it really does!
Putting time into yourself gives you more time for everyone else. What that time does is to fill up your depleted tank so you can be there for your family. Remember….put your mask on first before anyone else.
As you start running through all the things on you’re to do list…wondering how you could possibly take time for yourself I want you to remember one thing:
You have kid(s)….you’re not dead
Remember, this is your life too! Just because you had kids or a demanding job, doesn’t mean that you come last. You still have needs and wants too, so own them and take them.
Schedule your me time on your calendar and don’t find excuses not to follow through. This could be a pedicure, gym time a run or just reading a book at your favorite coffee house. Its whatever you want to do.
2. Get Organized and Set Your Priorities – If you are a working mom, you are probably somewhat organized already because if you weren’t, you probably wouldn’t be able to get thru the week. But, if you are reading this, then I’m sure you have room for more.
Organization and kids don’t really go hand in hand. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Get the upper hand and take back your life. Get organized!
I start out my Sunday with a cup of coffee and my calendar. I go thru in my head everything I still need to add to my calendar. I talk with the hubby to see if he has anything important to put on the calendar. Next, I will make a to do list for the week. I put everything on the list that is a short term item. I equate short term with anything that I can try and get done within the week. Bigger projects or goals will go on another list (long term goals). Next, I will prioritize my list, which takes the thinking out of it. And trust me, the less thinking I have to do during the week the better. I number them according to their priority.
Another great tip is to calendar your workouts. Workouts are important and deserve a spot on your calendar. If you aren’t serious about it, then you will probably skip it. So, get it on the calendar.
Organization doesn’t stop there. Oh no….I keep on organizing. I have a few systems in place……where I do the same thing every day. This eliminates the thinking process. I am on autopilot for a lot of things I do. I prep lunches for Madeleine on Monday nights. While making dinner on Monday nights I do my prep work. I prep the coffee for the next day, unload M’s school bag, prep lunches for the week, and prep my gym bag on the night before my workout.
I also have set processes that are delegated to my hubby and myself. For example, I make her lunches and set out Madeleine’s clothes for the day and the hubby will dress her every morning. I feed her breakfast and the hubby feeds her dinner. I do the drop off and he does the pickup. There are certain things we are each responsible for. We don’t have to ask each other who does what……we just do it. This saves a ton of time and energy.
3. Create a Village – I think you have probably figured it out by now….that you can’t do it alone. Sure, people do, but it’s hard. So, I suggest you create your village. If you are lucky enough to have parents or in-laws in close proximity oh how lucky you are. We aren’t lucky in that respect, so I have really had to work at finding my village. We are blessed to have Madeleine’s teachers at school watch Madeleine when we need a respite or a date night. I also have my closest friends that I trust on standby to watch Madeleine in case I need something or help with Madeleine.
Your village will be there for you when you need it. Don’t doubt it, but trust it and utilize it.
4. Get Some Balance – Balance can mean so many things. Take stock of your life and look to where you need balance. I really needed balance with my electronics and social media. I was trying to focus on my phone or computer while trying to connect with my baby. That just doesn’t work. They feel that you are not fully present, and I knew I didn’t want that. So, now when I come home I put down the electronics and focus on Madeleine and my hubby. We will cook dinner, play, go for walks all being unplugged. Once Madeleine is sleeping than its back on.
What I like about this step is that it helps you live a more present live. We need to put our heads up and start smelling the roses. Life is great, but computers and email is not what’s important. Building connections, nature and friends/family is and should be your priority…..even as a working mom.
5. Start Shopping…..Online – Another way that I stay really organized is to delegate. No, I don’t have a personal assistant, although I wish I had one…..I delegate my shopping. What I mean by this is to use any services in your local area for grocery shopping and delivery via the internet. My time is valuable, as I am sure yours if too….so don’t waste it by running from store to store. I use Whole Foods as my delivery for fruits, vegetables and meats. I provide my list on Sunday and the delivery happens on Tuesday. It’s so great….they even put the food in my refrigerator! It’s like Christmas morning when I get home. I also use Diapers.com for last minute diaper delivery and certain baby items that I need last minute. If you order by 6:00 p.m., your items are delivered the following day. I also stay organized by using Target. I order online and then in an hour your order can be picked up at the service counter. So, if I have Madeleine with me, we just run in get the stuff and we are out of there. It also saves me money as I am not wondering around the store happy shopping.
6. Get On the Sleep Train – This was my number one priority when Madeleine was born. I read one book and made it my bible. I read, read and re-read this book while pregnant because I was on a mission. I knew that I loved my sleep more than anything. I also knew life would be way too hard if I didn’t have sleep. So, I had to have Madeleine sleeping in her crib for 12 hours before my three month maternity leave was over.
I encountered so many people that were cynical about my sleep training. I was told that it wouldn’t work, I was delusional and out of my mind. I gaffed at them and wondered why? How hard could it be?
It wasn’t…and I am being completely honest. Babies that are of a certain age or weight have the natural ability to sleep 12 hours. But, it doesn’t happen without a schedule and consistency. Those two factors were key, but it was doable. It worked and I have had a sleeping baby ever since.
If you have a newborn, I suggest you talk with your doctor to see when they are ready to start sleep training. If you follow this, and I MEAN really follow a sleep training program, it will work. If you cave in or don’t stay with the schedule, you will be a sleep deprived mom and that’s the worst! Being a working mom and sleep deprivation don’t mix. Do yourself a favor and stick to your sleep plan.
This gave me the freedom of life. I was able to gain the sleep that I needed as a working Mom. Madeleine is 21 months and has always been a great sleeper. She never wakes up during the night and loves to go to bed at night. It works!
7. Encourage Your Partner – This is something I have done in the past, but I am not great at. Let’s say I am a work in progress on this tip, but I have tried it and it does work.
This tip gives props to all the dads out there. Reason being……we all know how to get a guy to do something. Praise and thank him. That goes a long way, trust me. Men are hard wired the same and encouragement helps. I know, they don’t do it the way you would and there are areas that they can improve on, yes. But, get them involved and support and encourage them. If you critique them on something they did….like feeding your toddler, do you think they will want to do it again? No, and then the weight goes back on you. Take what you can get….its help and they are involved. It’s a win anyway you look at it. Just say thank you.
8. Stop Being a Perfectionist – I really want to focus on this one because so many of us working moms try to be perfect. We will work eight hours, go home and work and then try to bake a dozen cookies for the bake sale at school. We can’t be both….it’s just not possible. So, stop it and go easy on yourself. Buy instead of homemade. Hey, that’s what Etsy is for, right? Nobody will ever know you didn’t stay up late working on something….Etsy did.
If you put some of these tips and tricks in place, I truly believe your life will change for the better. It’s always been said that working moms can’t have it all, but we can at least try, right?