All moms are working moms, and all moms face the challenge of prioritizing how they spend their time. Time management becomes absolutely critical, though, for mothers who must devote 40 to 50 precious hours a week to a job. For women in such situations, it’s crucial to streamline and simplify pretty much every imaginable area of life. We have sticky notes, and schedules, carpools, and PTA Meetings….sporting events- little league, soccer, volleyball games….when did it end?
I’ll tell you when…..
When they turn 16 and got a drivers license…that’s when! I handed them the keys and said GO! The day my son got his driver’s license he could have driven to China with his sister and I would have paid for the gas gladly! ……(jokingly that is just an expression my folks used to use…) truth at hand is, for the first time in years I was able to relax take a deep breath and get some chores and house work done….something I wasn’t used to getting done until after 9 pm at night. I didn’t become a single mom until the kids were 14 and 12 when I divorced…..that was difficult for me,…not sure why, they were pretty self-sufficient and they packed their own bags to go to Dads, or to go to school and grabbed their own lunch stuff. I have NO idea how women with small children do it. I applaud you, truly I do! I see women at the airport when I am on business trips with strollers packed full and holding kids under their arms while chasing the toddler and I think to myself…..”I have a hard enough time packing ‘me’ and getting here!” Women today are like Wonder Woman! We are built with super powers to do it all.
These are just a few things that we Moms do……we knock them off the list one at a time;
- clean the house;
- do laundry;
- shop for groceries;
- take care of errands, which may include paying bills and handling financial matters;
- help kids with homework;
- be present at kids’ activities;
- spend time with partner;
- spend time with friends and family members;
- pursue personal interests of any kind;
- and “maybe — just maybe — sneak in an hour to go to the gym or to soak in a bubble bath.” (this was always an added bonus for me..) now I fall asleep in the tub with a glass of wine, soooo relaxed! Don’t think that there are not times where I missed the days tha tmy kids were young. I thought of it tonight as I sat with a friend outside of Dairy Queen watching all the soccer kids pile into and out of the mini vans and SUVs.
Hmmmm. No wonder so many women I know are so tired! When our heads hit the pillow we are out like a light!
Get in a “Time Management” program at home: The following tips may not solve every time-management challenge that confronts you, but hopefully they’ll help you think about ways to simplify and save time as you manage your own unique schedule and circumstances.
1. Have places that things go and know where the keys are always! If you’re constantly tripping over shoes, losing library books or running late in the mornings because your kids can’t find their backpacks, homework or school books, something’s got to change. It may be time to institute a system for packing up backpacks with all necessary contents and leaving them by the door before bedtime — no exceptions. Baskets and low-cost storage bins also can help you organize the most troublesome items in your life.
2. Smooth out the bumps in your mornings….no one wants to rush! Mornings are exceptionally rough for many working moms. It can be hard enough to get yourself ready, out the door and off to work on time, right? Well, that whole process becomes exponentially harder when you have to wake, feed, clothe, pack for and transport a small human being in addition to yourself. Do as much as you possibly can the night before.
Wake up one full hour before your child does. This will allow you to drink coffee, get dressed, take care of your own pre-work tasks and get breakfast staged before the kids get moving. Plan to arrive everywhere 30 minutes early. (Note: You’ll probably never arrive anywhere 30 minutes early.) But this mindset of trying to arrive early will give you a much better shot at showing up where you’re supposed to be on time. Plan your meals a week in advance and grocery shop for all meals at that time. It saves time, energy, worry, and cash!!
Pack a bag with everything in it, and pack the car, snacks, bottled water, goodies. baby wipes, diapers, band-aids, toys, books, etc.
Learn how to juggle kids “after school time” …..Ok, seriously, this can get tough….especially if one is at soccer practice and the other has piano lessons. I only had two kids and I had a difficult time…..what do people do with 3 or 4 or 5 or more? Keeping up with work at the office might get tricky but without the job, you wouldn’t have all of these added luxuries, nor would the kids.
Society today is so wrapped up in go go go and do do do, that we forget to slow down. Take time, enjoy your family because one day you’ll be sitting in an office at 10:00 o’clock at night in silence writing an article and realize how much you miss the good ole’ days!