Monday, July 12, 2010

10 ways to find success as a working mom

 {photo via The Pink Cake Box}

I will be going back to work full-time soon as my husband will be getting prepared for Paramedic school. I know there are times as moms when our priorities just get all out of order and we forget about the things that really need our attention. Can be overwhelming at times for moms with more that one child in different sports and activities. How do you stay on top of everything?? I know I am gonna need these steps!
Here is a guide  for 10 steps to finding success as a working mom:

Becoming a mom is a full time job. Period. There are ongoing debates regarding stay-at-home moms and the level of responsibility they hold, but if you are a mom, it will take little persuading to get you to agree to the previous statement. So when it is time for Mom to return to work, or get a job to help provide for the family financially, you will find that your entire family will experience a period of adjustment. You must find a balance between work, your spouse/significant other, your children, yourself, friends, and all other activities you enjoy (be it traveling, crafting, cooking, working out, etc.) If you are a working mom, or soon-to-be, look over (and memorize) these suggestions...??
10 ways to find success as a working mom:
  1. Define your priorities. With only so many hours in the day, you must prioritize those things in life that are most important to you. It is about finding a balance and making it work for the entire family. Once you define those things that are most important, you can then begin organizing your life accordingly.
  2. Get organized. Now you can organize your life based on priorities. Get your home, you office, and your life in order. This means de-clutter your life--have a yard sale, give extra items to local Salvation Army, hand down your children's clothing to friends or family--do what it takes to clean up shop. This will lay the foundation to get, and stay, organized.
  3. Stay organized. If you have not been a "list" person in the past, it may be time to take a quick lesson in list making. Start prioritizing by categories (i.e., family, home, personal, work) and keep a visual log (list) of the tasks that need to be completed for each category. It may be useful to get 4, 12"x12" cork boards and assign one for each category. You can then place it in a convenient location so that you may review it throughout the day. As each task comes up, place it on its designated board, and remove each task as completed. Keep the tasks short, sweet, and direct so that you can eliminate unnecessary steps.
  4. Eliminate the extras. Find the tasks in you current (pre-working day) routine that are not NEEDED. Tasks that either don't need to be done as often, ever, or that maybe don't need to be done by YOU. That's right, decide which of your daily duties can be handled by another member of the family. Now that you won't be home as often, you can vacuum once a week instead of daily--as with many of the daily chores.
  5. Delegate tasks. It is time to delegate the household chores more evenly amongst ALL family members. Do you think your three year old is too young? Chances are that they will love the structure and the opportunity to help out. Make it fun, offer rewards to teach them that hard work will pay off. Start with small chores of helping out and lead into "making the bed" or putting away toys. While the bed will not look the same when they do it, they will learn quickly and will be so proud when they get it right.
  6. Prepare/Plan your meals in advance. When dinner time rolls around you want to keep your family on schedule and eating healthy. So often, when both parents are working, the family tends to eat based on convenience. Sadly, convenience often means fast food, pizza, or processed foods. Don't feel bad if this sounds familiar, some times it is inevitable, but you can take steps to help avoid it. Spend a couple hours on the weekend preparing meals for the week. You can also use this as time to get the entire family involved and spend time together in the kitchen. Getting the family involved makes everyone a little more excited to sit down at dinner time to see what they have accomplished. For your pickier eaters, you may find a little more willingness to try new things. You may also want to try Fresh & Easy for quick, reasonably priced, healthier meals throughout the week. If you stop by in the late afternoon and evenings you can find clearance items at amazing prices. You can have Mystery Monday and determine your meal at the last minute, based on the clearance items for that day. Dinner MyWay is another option that allows you to plan meals in advance, or call in at the last minute and pick up a full meal on the way home (based on availability). While it may seem a bit costly, the food is fresh and tastes more like a home-cooked meal than you will find with most other warm-and-serve options. Check local listings to find the closest Fresh & Easy (they are popping up all over Fresno), and find Dinner MyWay on the NW corner of Herndon and Clovis.
  7. Make an effort to reach out to your friends. While you will find that your head is spinning as you try to balance the working life, the mommy life, the friend life, and the married life, you must make a huge effort to keep in contact with your friends. They will always be there for you, of course, and they will understand when you are overwhelmed, but a quick phone call on your lunch hour or afternoon break will serve you well. It sounds crazy to pencil in a call to a friend, but you don't want to take your friendships for granted. Heaven forbid that you don't call your girlfriend for three weeks, until you are in a bind and need a babysitter at the last minute. While your intention is not to avoid or ignore them, you will have much explaining to do when you finally have a chance to get together. Even an email or a Facebook message reminding them that you appreciate your friendship is better than nothing at all.
  8. Set aside time for your kids. You are swamped at work and bogged down with household chores, and all the kids want is their mommy...sound familiar? Of course it does. Here's the trick. Don't consider it family time when you sit on the couch paying bills or catching up on your emails as they watch TV or a movie, or as you read on the toilet while they take a bath. You need to designate time to focus 100% on your children. This means dressing up and having a tea party, or putting on a cape and playing super heros. No phones. No texting. No Tweeting. Just you, the fake cookies, and the kiddos. Make it a point to read a book every night before bed, or find something consistent that you can plan on every day. Depending on your work schedule and flexibility, take a morning off (once a month or every other week, whichever works for you) and take the kids to the Chaffee Zoo. You can check out the animals and head over to Storyland and Playland for interactive fun. Your little ones will love the small water area at Playland, so be sure to back a bathing suit or change of clothes! *This is a really important step in maintaining and developing a strong relationship with your children.
  9. Set aside some intimate time with your spouse. After a long day at work you are probably completely exhausted. The last thing you want to think about is getting intimate with your spouse. Uh oh, it's time to make an effort. Find what works for you. Mentally prepare yourself for the fact that you are not going to go to bed and go to sleep, don't let your body come to expect that. Make yourself make an effort and do different things to help set the mood. Light candles, do whatever works for YOU. This is one of the first things to go when women or overwhelmed at home and in the workplace so just make sure you don't forget to make an effort to keep things intimate with your partner. Even if this means time alone with one another discussing your day, or watching a movie--as long as you are doing something you enjoy together.
  10. Don't forget to take care of YOU. You will probably be the first thing to drop off the priority list. Most women will take care of the family, work, and home and quickly lose sight of what they need themselves. Don't let this happen to you. You must take care of yourself, take a daily breather to regroup and do something for mom. Don't stop working out if it is already a part of your routine, and even if it is not, you may want to consider squeezing it in. Set aside a couple hours throughout the week to do something you love, whether it is by yourself or with you girlfriends. It is amazing what two hours can do for you when you are overwhelmed with responsibility at work and home.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails