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Take it from me, being a fulltime mom on top of working fulltime is no easy task. When I was young, my mom stayed home with 3 kids while my dad worked. So, while I learned most everything I know from her, I never learned just quite how to juggle career and motherhood. Over the course of my 6 years as a working mom, I have stumbled upon some strategies that give me back the most hours each work week. Try it for a week and see if your Monday-Friday seems less chaotic. I’d love to hear how YOU balance the work/family life!
1. Dinner Plans
This doesn’t have to be difficult. Take 10-20 minutes each Sunday (I usually do this while I drink my morning coffee) to decide what the family will eat each night for dinner.
Groceries, household needs, the supplies your kid needs for that science project, snack for girl scouts, etc. The less you have to stop on your way home from work each night, the faster you’ll actually get home!
3. Dinner Prep
We have ALL heard of meal prep and many of us do it in a variety of different ways. This doesn’t have to be hours and hours of precooking and freezing all of your food. When I think of weekly dinner prep, I think of the things that are most time consuming during the week.
I like to chop and separate all of my fresh fruits and veggies on Sundays. This way, I have baggies or containers of veggies ready to go for whatever meals I need to add them into and I have fruit cleaned, cut, and ready to eat! Depending on what is on the menu that week, I may also go ahead and cook my proteins. It is so much easier to make shredded bbq chicken sandwiches on a Tuesday night if the chicken is already cooked and shredded!
4. Laundry/Outfit Choices
I HATE laundry. I typically do whatever I can to avoid it. So, regardless of that, I try to have laundry MOSTLY done by Sunday (a couple loads Friday night and a little bit Saturday) and then on Sundays I like to plan outfits for the week. If I don’t have to think about what I am wearing in the morning, it is one less thing on my mind each night. Also, I have a 6 year old boy who is NOT exactly in any hurry ever (are any kids that age quick when it’s time to go?) so having outfits ready is a big help! I have a hanging shelf organizer in his closet with 5 shelfs which I stack outfits for each day on. This makes mornings much more seamless.
Most of you probably do this anyway, but weekends are the perfect time to set the tone for the coming week. The less clutter you have lying around at home, the less clutter you’ll feel weighing on you. When I come home from work in the evening to a messy/undone house, it doesn’t feel like my “haven” as it should. I typically set down my purse and briefcase and immediately start folding blankets and picking up dirty cups. If you make a point to spend a few hours organizing each Sunday, (and 10 or so minutes each night before bed) your week will feel much calmer!
6. Catch up on Social E-mails/Phone Calls
When you’re a working mom, weeks always seem more packed than we can possibly find time for. In the evenings, I feel like I hardly have time to cook dinner, eat, and clean up before it’s immediately time to get my little one doing homework. From there, it’s straight to the shower and bed by 8:30. I get up VERY early so I try to end my own night by 9:30. Handling any kind of business with a hectic schedule like this tends to seem impossible so I find it best to do what can be done on Sundays!
7. Relax with family
This is the most important one of all. I try to have all of my Sunday tasks completed before dinner time. This allows us to eat dinner, clean up, and have the rest of our evening together as a family. Not only is this so important for us to have time together but just relaxing with a movie, all together in the living room, really helps us to wind down from busy weekends and prepare for our week ahead. This lets us clear our minds of clutter, fill our hearts with love and togetherness, and energize ourselves for another week!
Preplanning for my weeks and accomplishing anything I can in advance of Monday has always been very helpful to me. I hate the feeling of being stressed and I know firsthand how harmful it can be on our bodies. When I know exactly how my week will look (or at least how it is supposed to look as of Sunday night) I am able to mentally prepare and be the best mom, girlfriend, and employee possible!
Alway’s remember: Mama’s can do anything, but not everything.