I often get asked, “How in the world do you do it all while being a wife and mom?”
I never quite know how to respond to this question.
I immediately feel guilty and judge myself that I should be paying more attention to my husband or son. And then I shift and know I could be doing so much more for our brand and business. It’s a tug of war.
My typical response, “I just do.”
But a friend of mine urged me the other day to write a post about it because she really did want to know a few tips, so here I go…
I am a wife, mother, business owner, home renovator, DIY-er, social strategist, contributor for Twin Cities Moms Blog, Remodelaholic, Wayfair, Social Media Examiner, brand ambassadors for Wayfair and Qalo, and I always make time for my friends and family (I have a serious FOMO). When I just wrote all of that out there, I’m honestly not quite sure how I do it all, but I do and I don’t give it a second thought.
I was raised working at a very young at at my parents’ restaurant. I basically grew up there. Being my parents were always working, I was working. Probably even before it was legal. I was washing dishes because I was just simply bored. When I was old enough to get a job, I immediately found a few and since then, I have never settled with just one. I thrive on being busy. The busier I am, the more I get done. If I have a few hours to relax and chill, there goes the rest of my day or night and all of my motivation. It’s weird, I know.
I recently read a blog post about how when you’re a mom you will no longer have a life, you will no longer put you first, there goes all of your social life, etc. Although I did agree with a lot of the points in the perspective it was written, I had to feel a little sad at the end that sometimes as moms, this is what we choose.
The life we live are from choices we make.
We choose to put our kids before our husband or ourselves. Don’t get me wrong- there are times when we need to do this! But it all boils down to the best yes. Every decision we make points us into the life we are living.
So here are my 10 tips for working mothers that want to do it all to help balance work and family.
1. Get a Good Planner
The one thing I can never leave home without, my paper planner. Being I work in a digital marketing agency, I get made fun of a lot for this. But my planner is my everything. A planner that immediately makes you happy is also key. You can find me staring at my planner for minutes on end with a big smile on my face. I’m not joking.
I buy my planners and notebooks from Erin Condren and they are the bomb. From making daily lists, to monthly goals, to yearly to-do’s, to planning out my meals for the week helps me stay organized and gives me an idea for what my month looks like and where I might need to slow down, say no- or my best yes, or get some friends and family help. I also spend time reflecting on my day, month and year. I am always striving to take some action every day that is going to help reach one of my goals.
2. Think Strategically
I think I got my strategic thinking from being a server for over 15 years. When you go out to tables one and two, you always think about what you can do at three, four, and five before you go back to one. You never run back and forth. You alway make a swoop and glance over every table and see what they need, drop something off, or take a dish away.
Same goes for my life, I am always thinking strategically when balancing my days and weeks. When looking at my week ahead, I see where I am going to be at different days of the week and if I need to grab something somewhere I don’t go out of my way. I grab it on the day I will be passing by. Thinking strategically saves you a lot of time and money in the end.
3. Meal Prep
Every Sunday afternoon, I meal prep for the entire week. I typically make three meals throughout the week having enough for leftovers for a few nights and we usually go out once a week. Meal prepping for the week saves a ton of time and energy throughout the week when you’re on the go. It’s relieving to know that when you get home you have everything you need to get dinner made quickly and easily.
And did I mention Amazon Prime has become my new best friend!
Do you use your notes on your phone? You need notes. My husband and I share our notes on our iPhones. Anytime we run out of anything, we add it to our notes so once a month I know exactly what we need for the next month and place my order within minutes. This saves a ton of time shopping in the store and money because we all know how much extra things we put into the cart that are calling our names in store. And if you have a few babies on your hips, we all know how much additional time and energy that takes!
4. Time is Money
Sometimes money is worth your time. I am all about productivity and thinking smart. Time is my best friend. And by paying a little bit more, I can be spending that with my family. I’m always looking into the latest and greatest apps and devices to save me time and even make more money. Being productive is key! When things take me too long and I’m no longer getting value from it, I will find an alternative, such as outsourcing. Have I learned all I can with social media marketing? Well probably not, but the things I’ve learned enough of I know to hire out for our personal business so I can use that time with my family or learning something else.
Thanks to my sister-in-law, I am also a fan of time blocking. Within my planner I block off 30-60 minutes of the day for different tasks and I am fully dedicated to that time. I turn off my alerts, devices, television and get things done. If I have the time blocked off in my planner, I’m getting it crossed off. Do you love crossing things off in your planner as much as I do? Sometimes I just write stuff down that I already did, just so I can cross it off. haha!
5. Be Flexible
No matter how much you plan, sometimes things just don’t go according to plan. Be ok with that. Learn to adapt. Have backups for when emergencies arise. Know who you can call when you need an extra hand. Since before the day Greyson was born, I just went with the flow and listened to my momma intuition. There are so many do’s and don’ts out there when raising a child and working, and at the end of the day, every baby and family is different and so are their needs. Listen to your gut and never second guess it!
6. Work from Home
I know not all jobs allow this. But I know that I couldn’t be doing it all unless I was working for an organization that put family and life first. Within my first interview at Snap, they told me that family and personal life come first. I thought they were full of it, but they truly let you put family and your life first. When needed, I am able to work from home and I take full advantage of this. There are days when I have a lot to do and working from home really helps me focus in on what I need to get done that day with no distractions. If your job allows for this, take advantage.
7. Wake Up Early
Wake up early or stay up late. My girlfriend the other day told me, “I can’t believe you go to bed at 9 for all you get done in a day!” Well, my friends, it’s true. I go to bed every night at 9pm and wake up at 5am. For me, waking up early and getting stuff done within those two hours before my son wakes up is the most productive time of my day. As you know, it’s extremely hard to get out the door in a hurry with your kids. These two hours allow for me to wake up, drink my coffee, check my emails, get dressed for the day, pack lunches, and load the car all before my son wakes up. So when he wakes I’m 100% focused on spending time with my son and getting him out the door seamlessly. This also sets my mood for the day. Having that time to myself to mentally prepare for the day ahead helps me start my day with the right attitude!
And yes, there are days I want and do just sleep until he screams and I don’t wake up with the same attitude! haha!
8. Stay Positive
No matter how many hours you’re going without sleep or hours you’ve put in at the office, stay positive. It’s really easy to let the mom guilt sink in when you’ve put too many long days in at the office, and no matter what you have to remember that your babies and family love you. It takes a village to raise a child and sometimes you just need to lean on your people.
9. Have a Rockstar of a Partner
I have come to hate when people tell me…you are so lucky to have Jamie. Getting married to my husband was not luck, it was a choice. I chose him as a partner for life because we wanted the same things in life. We made a promise to have each other’s backs and do what it takes to help one another achieve our goals. I chose a man that not only wanted to be my husband, but also my partner. And a dedicated father. He is just as much a dad as I am a mom.
Having a rockstar of a husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, friends or family for help is key! We can do it all, but we can’t do it alone. We need our people!
And no, we’re not perfect. We definitely have our days… haha…
1o. Be Grateful to Your People!
Give thanks. We can never do it alone! Lean on the people that love you and your babies. Say yes, when they are willing to step in and help. They, after all, want to build a relationship with your babies and spend some quality time with them as well. I am so thankful for my tribe- my husband, friends, and family. I would never be able to do all that I do without the help and love from all of them. Make sure your people know how much they mean to you.
Now, go concur the world, mommas! You got this.