The most important lesson I’ve learned about time management since becoming a working mom is that we cannot do it all. I have a hard time letting things go and accepting that not everything will get done on my timetable.
If I had to choose one thing that keeps me sane it is making lists. I love To Do lists! They give me the freedom to tuck a thought safely away without using extra brain power worrying that I will forget to accomplish the task. Once I write it down I am confident it is somewhere I can go back to reference and I can let it slip from my mind for the time being.
I had to learn very quickly after maternity leave that if I wanted to stay sane, I would have to stay organized. Over the last year I’ve learned a few valuable lessons that I hope can help fellow working moms out there.
My tips for managing a family while being a working mom
- Utilize your lunch breaks: I get five 1 hour lunch breaks a week. That is five hours without a child clinging to me to get errands done! I often map out my lunches based on my To Do list and make a plan on how I can accomplish as much as possible during those breaks. Today I went to Target on lunch with coupon match ups I did the night before. I replenished our stock of baby food, formula and cat food! I also managed to get a few nice smelling candles for the house 🙂
- Use technology to your advantage: I wrote a blog post called Five Must Have Productivity Apps for the Working Mom that I highly recommend reading for some recommendations on easy apps I use every day to make life easier.
- Plan the night before: This was a hard one for me. Who has the energy after working a full day, wrestling with the baby over dinner and bedtime, and cleaning the dishes to plan for the next day?! I particularly don’t like this part but it makes the morning SO much easier and I am always thrilled with myself when I do it. My husband and I try to make sure dishes are done, lunches are made, clothes are set out and bags are packed for the next morning before bed.
- Delegate: No one can do it as good as you right? Right! It’s true. My husband does not clean the kitchen the same way I would and sometimes I get irritated when he puts things that should be hand washed into the dishwasher. Guess what? Oh well. Let it go. You have bigger problems, like getting to bed on time. Take any help you can get!
- Let go: You are human. You cannot possibly always be on point all the time. It is okay to not start that load of laundry or let your child play on the carpet which hasn’t been vacuumed since the weekend. Try to slow down and appreciate that your family will only experience these moments once.
I’m still learning every day how to be more efficient and survive the constant demands that are put on my time. Some days I feel defeated and discouraged and others I feel like I finally got the hang of this working mom thing.
What do you do to manage your time better?