Let me start off by saying that this is not going to be a post about how working moms work harder than stay-at-moms or a post about my feelings of having to do it all. That’s just not beneficial, and this isn’t going to be a vent or an essay about how one way of mothering is superior to others. I do, however, want to preface this post by explaining my job situation: I work at a private school, my kiddos come to work with me, we leave school at the same time, and I get to work half-days on Fridays. My work schedule may be different from yours, but whether you work 8-5 in a corporate environment or 3 days a week part-time, I think these tips and tricks that help me stay sane as a working mom will help you as well.
- Try to pack anything and everything the night before. Snacks, lunches, homework, my computer, after-school needs (ballet, soccer), etc… It makes the morning much less chaotic if all of the bags are ready to go.
- In order to make packing lunches easier, I use lunch containers that are easy to fill and clean. I have different containers in the pantry to grab healthy lunch options for the kids: think granola bars, peanut butter crackers, popcorn, nuts, crackers, raisins, and fruit pouches. I put the cold items (yogurt, fruit, cheese, meat) in a certain place in the fridge so I can quickly find them.
- As soon as we get home from school, the kids grab a snack and start working on any homework. I take this time to go through their folders and pull out any notes. It gives us a chance to talk about the day at school and to go over anything they need help with. I rinse the lunch containers immediately and pack the next day’s lunches then.
- I do all of my grocery shopping on the weekend. Whether it is a Costco or Kroger run – I plan our meals out for the entire week. It saves time and money so I am prepared to cook dinner and I know I have all the supplies. I try my best to cook 6 nights a week – but if we have a busy weekend or meeting after school – I know when it is time to pick up something!
- I do most of the laundry on Friday afternoons. Since I do get off at noon on Fridays, it gives me time to get started on this chore. I try my best to have it folded and put away by Sunday afternoon. I am great about getting the laundry done and folded, but I dread putting it all away for some reason.
- I may be old-fashioned – but I have 3 calendars… one at school, one at home, and one in my purse/backpack. I use my iPhone for important dates and events – but I still can’t go without a paper planner. It is my go-to and I love it.
- We (kids included) pick out our clothes the night before. It has saved countless arguments and makes the morning routine run so much smoother.
- We use paper plates for breakfast. I know, I know: I know it is not environmentally friendly. It does makes clean up so quick and easy, though. I promise we use washable plates for all other meals 🙂
- Crock-pot and easy meals are go-to dinners during the school year. I used to HATE leftovers – but now I try to stretch a main dish into two nights. We may have spaghetti one night and then I use the leftover sauce and make a chicken dish on the second night. Breakfast for dinner is also a staple at our house!
- Finally – I have learned to let go of the little things and to delegate when necessary. I can’t do it all and recognizing that upfront leads to way less stress and disappointment.
Besides having a much deserved glass of wine when the kids go to bed, what are your sanity saving moms tips and tricks for making this working mom thing easier? We’d love to hear what works for your family!