Everyone has their plate full these days, however, if you are a working mother, chances are that you left ‘busy’ waving at you as you drove away from the hospital after having your first baby. To say that working moms are busy would be an understatement in its entirety. As a working mom, staying on top of your game is challenging, to say the least. While most women are working these days, whether remotely or from an office, unfortunately, the responsibilities that come with being a mother often stay the same. Just because a woman is working does not exempt her from being a mother, a wife, and a homemaker.
Being a working mom means that you have a lot to think about and a lot to do. You are not just building a career, you are also responsible for the upbringing of a few tiny humans. While there is office work to worry about, there are also meals to be cooked, laundry to be done, kids who need to be helped with their homework and a house that needs to be looked after. After a full day of work at the office, or working-from-home, working moms still find their hands full; there are toys, which need to be picked up, grocery that needs to be fetched and errands that need to be run. And then there is also your family who need you around for their emotional well-being, not to mention social commitments.
But do not worry, there is a silver lining to all of this. Good news is that despite rushing from one minute to the next, you can still carve out some semblance of order to your routine. While working mothers have their routines choreographed to the second, the key is striking a balance.
To avoid being overwhelmed and consumed, below are a few home management hacks for working mothers.
If there is one key to successful home management for busy moms it is this: Being consistently organized with your schedule, routine and chores is how you stay on top of your game. There are a few key areas of organization. For starters, keep a planner; make a habit of jotting down any upcoming appointments or commitments for the week. Making lists is your new best friend. Go over tasks for the next day a night before and make lists accordingly. It may take some time for one to really get in the groove of being a pro ‘organizer’ but once you have the technique nailed, time management will become a breeze.
Block-scheduling is a sample schedule or time allotment scheme, which has worked well for a lot of people. Assign a time slot and duration to chores around the house. Give anywhere between fifteen to thirty minutes to different household tasks. Having a defined ‘block’ of time reserved for a certain task helps getting one thing done and then moving on to the next one. Instead of juggling too many tasks at the same time, move in a linear fashion; finish one in thirty minutes and then move on.
Be Practical with What You Can Do
There is no point in being overly ambitious and setting unattainable goals. Nobody is a superhero and should not try and act like one either. Keep your house management goals for the day or the week attainable. Let yourself breathe instead of hopping from one thing to the next.
Know When to Multitask
The secret to multitasking is knowing when to do it. Multitask simple chores, which require your focused attention. You can catch up with family or friends over phone while running a load of laundry, talk to the kids about their day while you work around the kitchen, make appointments whilst folding laundry and catch up with your spouse while laying out things for the morning. But, multitask only when you think you can handle it.
Make Meal Plans
A huge frustration for working moms is often dealing with the kitchen when they are back home. Most women do their cooking for the day either the evening before, early morning before they leave for work or the first thing when they are back. Kitchen is a full-time duty on its own and slaving away in front of the stove, cutting and prepping can truly drain a person.
Meal planning can help make this frustration take a backseat. Pick a day of the week to make meal plans for the coming week, take the family’s input, make a list for bulk groceries and stock up the pantry. You can also prepare large batches of basic curry and freeze them to be used later as the base for various meals. Similarly, reserve a day of the week for any prepping, cutting, marinating, grating, and blending that needs to be done in advance for the upcoming week. Already knowing what to cook for the day takes half the stress out of it. Having a meal plan also means that everyone knows what they are going to be served and there would not be any last-minute refusals to eat (especially by the kids).
Reserve Different Days for Different Chores
It makes no sense in doing the same chores every single day. Not only is it time consuming but it is also bone-tiring. Instead, batch process your chores. Keep days of the week reserved for a certain chore, for example, laundry, dusting, deep cleaning, ironing, folding, setting the closets, organizing the pantry, etc. You will find yourself to be more productive when you batch process and will also have more free time on your hands.
Get the Kids to Help
Someone once said that if their little one is old enough to unlock an iPad all by himself then he is old enough to lend a hand around the house. Assign tasks, which are easier for the kids to undertake. Kids can help pick up their toys, tidy up their rooms, help around the kitchen, lay the table, clean up after meals and fold laundry, etc. This teaches them responsibility, shows them that housework is not just for one person, inculcates empathy and the willingness to lend a helping hand.
Dish it out. It is not possible for you to shoulder every responsibility. Everyone around the house needs to pull their weight. Assign certain chores to kids as well as to your spouse. Asking for help will not make you any less perfect. Whenever you feel overwhelmed ask them to chip in. If you are running behind on your schedule always ask to see if someone else can pick up the slack.
The Power of Saying ‘No’
Working women are mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, and friends as well. Remember that you do not have to do everything you are asked; it is okay to say ‘no’ for the sake of your own sanity every now and then. It is not the easiest thing but sometimes a little tough love is required to keep yourself from being spread too thin. Lean in towards your priorities and say no to time-consuming demands, which are not absolutely necessary.
Nobody is Perfect!
We live in a time where social media has set unrealistic standards of life. We scroll through our Facebook and Instagram feeds and see women who seem to have it all together: booming careers, clean and sparkling houses, gourmet meals all made from scratch and kids beaming with joy. What we do not see is that it is simply an illusion. Nobody is perfect, perfection does not exist. In obsessively chasing after the ideal of being ‘perfect’, do not run yourself into the ground. HH
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