Life as a mom can be so stressful. So little time and so much to do! Many women find it so hard to achieve that work-life balance. I am so happy to welcome Jenny from Mom Loves Best with some practical tips. Take it away, Jenny!
When you’re a mom who works outside of the home, you have two full-time jobs. Not only are you expected to accomplish all of the things you need to keep your home and family running smoothly, but you also need to perform your best at a job that may or may not be empathetic to your dual roles.
Time management is always an issue.
There’s no doubt that finding a balance can seem overwhelming – if not impossible. But with a little effort, you can find small pockets of wasted time and use them to maximize your efficiency leaving you with significantly less stress and more time to enjoy your family.
1. Maximize your lunch break.
You’re entitled to a lunch break every day. Use it.
There’s nothing that dictates you must eat during that time – and even if you do, it doesn’t take you a full 30 or 60 minutes. There are all types of ways to reclaim that time – either for productivity or self-care. Here are some ideas.
- Do a short workout.
- Run an errand.
- Pay some bills.
- Clean out your car or your purse.
- Write your grocery list.
- Read a book.
- Catch up on your favorite TV show on your phone.
If it’s hard to take your lunch break without interruptions, leave the premises or sit in your car. That time is yours – stop giving it back to your employer in the form of free labor. Protect it.
2. Pump hands-free.
Are you nursing and pumping milk at work? That time isn’t wasted – use it to your advantage! Invest in a specially designed pumping bra to keep your hands free and allow you to maximize your time.
Return emails or do other computer work when you are pumping in a closet. If you work at a job that isn’t suited to working while pumping, use that time to do some of the items listed in #1 – like paying bills or writing your grocery list.
If a pumping bra is financially out of reach, here’s a tip: cut small holes in the nipples of a sports bra. You can insert the flanges of your breast pump into the holes and – voila – you’ve got a custom-made bra for hands-free pumping!
How to make a DIY hands-free pumping bra by lil-miss.com
3. Run errands before picking up the kids.
I know how much you miss your kids and just want to rush to pick them up at daycare at the end of the day. But if you take just 15-20 minutes and run an errand before picking them up, it will take so much less time to accomplish, actually leaving you with more quality time with them later.
Taking kids on errands always takes longer.
Their little legs don’t walk as fast.
You have to unload and load them in the car.
If kids feel hungry and tired, they may even grumble at the extra stop. Save the time (and stress) by leaving them in daycare for a few extra minutes to accomplish a task in half the time.
4. Multitask during downtime.
After the kids go to bed, it’s finally time to relax.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t maximize your relaxation time, too. Combine an easy, mindless chore with a recreation activity to make you feel good about your productivity.
- Fold laundry while unwinding and watching your favorite show.
- Listen to an audiobook while you load the dishwasher.
- Turn on some music or chat with your spouse while you pack lunches for the next day.
5. Invest time upfront for a payoff later.
Spend an hour or two on the weekend to prep your dinner food for the week.
While it might feel counterintuitive to withdraw from your family during what is typically “prime family time,” the payoff throughout the week will be well worth it.
You’ll spend significantly less time cooking and cleaning in the kitchen, leaving you more precious moments in the evening to spend with your brood.
By finding – and using – small pockets of time that were previously wasted, you can maximize your minutes, leaving more for your family. While work-life balance can feel difficult to achieve, a little pre-planning and a few small changes can make things feel so much more manageable.
About the Author
Jenny is just another Mom trying to do her Best. She loves organizing things into lists and helping others find what they are looking for. When she’s not using her powers to find her kids missing socks, you can find her sharing parenting hacks & tips at MomLovesBest.com or on Pinterest.