Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Five Tips to be a Happier Working Mom


A little background if you're new here: I work three days a week and am home with Ellie the other two.  My mom and my mother-in-law take turns watching Ellie at our house while Tyler and I are at work... which is so, so nice.   Working mom life can be tough, but it's what is working for us right now (you can read more thoughts about working mom life here).  A couple weeks ago, I shared some of my tips for being an even happier stay at home mom and promised to share some of the things that have made my transition to back to work and daily routine a little bit easier.  So, here are a few things that have done just that!

1.)  Wake up early.  Like before the crack of dawn early if you have to.  I get out of bed way earlier than I have to on workdays, but it makes getting ready for the day so much easier when Ellie is still asleep and not climbing my leg while I'm trying to put on my makeup.  Some days she'll wake up shortly after I get in the shower, but at least Tyler is still home and able to attempt to keep her out of my hair for a little bit (although I'm sure he'd rather be sleeping - wouldn't we all?!).  By 5:50 I am fully ready to go aside from packing my lunch, which leaves me with over an hour before I actually have to walk out the door for work.  It might seem a little bit excessive, but being able to get ready without trying to keep Ellie entertained really is worth it.  Plus, I get to spend that extra hour hanging with my girl - we eat breakfast, watch TV, read books and play with her toys all before I have to leave her for the day.

2.)  Meal plan + prep.  More often than not, we completely fail at this one; but, when we do succeed it's a huge help!   Planning what we're going to have for dinner during the week ahead of time eliminates the "okay, it's 6:30 on a Thursday night and we still have no idea what we're going to eat tonight" dilemma.   We usually try to pick two or three things that will last us each at least a couple of days so we don't have to cook every night of the week.  Even if we have to make a double batch of a meal, it might take a little bit more time to prepare upfront but still saves us time in the end.  It's a huge bonus walking through the front door knowing dinner is already ready for us and just needs to be heated up.

3.) Try to get the big chores done before the work week starts.  Depending on what your work schedule looks like, this could be a bit tough.  For me, having a little extended weekend is really nice and allows me to get some more stuff done around the house so I'm not completely scrambling to get things done on work nights.  I do of course still do a general pick up of toys and the Ellie tornado mess each night.  Not feeling the pressure to get a ton of chores done helps me enjoy my time with Ellie after work even more and makes it so I can still have some time to relax after she goes to bed.

  4.)  Keep work at work (and don't feel bad about it).  Everyone's job situations are different, but my job is definitely the kind where people bring work home with them.  I don't check my emails late Tuesday night just to make sure nothing has changed in my schedule before I head back to work Wednesday morning, but that's it.  Work life balance is key and my sweet little girl keeps me so busy, I don't think I would even have time to sit down and work most days.  Being a good mom is always my number one priority and always comes first.

5.) Have a lot of patience.  For everything.  But really, by the time I get home some nights, Ellie is in such an overtired, bad mood.  It's so tough when all I want to do is be home with my happy girl and all she wants to do is fight sleep like there's no tomorrow.  I rush home from work to make sure I get to see her for at least an hour before bed - she climbs all over me while I eat dinner, I give her a bath and that's the end of the night for Ellie a lot of the time.  Sometimes she's as sweet as ever, but other times she's a grump.  It can be frustrating at times but knowing that there's only three nights standing between me and the weekend at the start of my work week helps!

Please share if you have any tips or tricks to make working mom life better!  It certainly hasn't been easy, but being away from her does make my time with Ellie even more special than it already is.

2 comments:

  1. These are great. We do most of the same. I work 4 days a week, and the work week can be long and tiresome! But definitely the biggest help for us is teamwork! As soon as I get home, I throw a load of laundry in. Hubby cooks dinner while I feed Lola and/or play. We eat together while distracting her with anything we can. I clean up while hubby gets his time to play with her. I do bath time and bedtime while hubby gets bottles and lunches ready for the next day, and folds the load of laundry I ran. And definitely LISTS! Chuck jokes that I make "lists of lists I need to make" but he's not joking. (Cause I do). All that time away just makes being with our girls so much better though! Keep up the good work!

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    1. Thank you! And yes, it's crazy how much faster anything gets done when we work on it together. Finding some kind of a routine is so helpful and it sounds like you and Chuck have it down pat! :)

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