I am sure you have read many articles on how to balance a professional life along with work. But what I have found is most of those articles are posed at the working professional mother and not the blue collar every day average mother. All moms are important. It does not matter whether you are the Executive in the board room, the teacher in the classroom down to the bank teller or waitress you come in contact with every day; we are all moms and need realistic pointers on how to manage life with children.
It is possible to manage life with children with a little planning.
If you consider the pointers given, adjust as needed, should allow you to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Get organized. Becoming more organized should eliminate a lot of small stresses that tend to come up during the course of the day.
- With babies, organize the diaper bag the night before and set it near the door to pick up on the way out along with your keys and purse. For small children, lay the clothes out the night before so there is no guess work during the morning hours.
- You should check all homework the night before and don’t just ask about homework have the child(ren) to take out all papers for you to view the evening before to eliminate the morning rush of signing papers and viewing missed homework.
- Make a to do list of things needed to do such as grocery shopping, for some hair appointments, doctor’s appointments and the like.
- Use a calendar to keep up with any needed school conferences, activities, afterschool programs or school trips.
- Clean as you go if possible. Always encourage small child(ren) to assist you. Make it a game of helping Mommy. When possible complete household chores after child(ren) has been put to bed. Don’t stress about occasional toys lying on the floor when you are too tired to clean up. Just retire for the evening and restart the next day.
Toys on the floor are expected in the home with children.
- If you made a menu for the meals a week in advance this will cut down on the stress level of what to cook and you are able to ensure you have healthy meals for the family. If you have small children it eliminates what will they eat and what can be prepared in a short period of time.
- Plan your day from morning to bed time. This should allow you to time to get dressed in the morning before waking the children, nap time during the day if you are home, to allowing down time in the evening after the child(ren) has been put to bed. You should also include a weekend schedule; since most parents are a little more lenient during these days.
- Schedule play dates or special times to go to the park, movies or anything that may be fun for the child(ren) on weekends.
- Pack the child(ren) lunch after dinner for the next day when you are packing your lunch for work if necessary.
- Your day planner should also include a schedule for the child(ren) from breakfast to evening dinner. With the meals already planned this should eliminate what to cook so meal time should run relatively smoothly and allow time for you to interact with the child(ren) earlier with dinner, bath time and bed time. Please include a bed time schedule and stick to it as much as possible. This allows you much needed down time in the evening and adds structure for your child(ren) and it ensures the necessary hours of sleep time needed for school age children to do well and school and eliminate unnecessary fussiness in small children because they are tired.
- If your job regularly requires overtime, plan ahead as much as possible for the care of your child(ren). When possible place these times on a calendar or request an advance notice from your employer.
- Have an emergency plan in place if necessary for unexpected illnesses of child(ren). Who will pick up the child(ren) besides you and if this person is listed on the emergency contact list?
Take care of yourself. As moms go, everyone gets taken care of except mom. Well, this should not be the case. Take time out to do small things for yourself. Such as a bubble bath after the children are put to bed or maybe put in the workout tape for a small workout before bed time if you don’t have a gym membership. If necessary include the hair and manicure appointments in your to do list and put these times on your calendar so your children will know what to expect on these days.
Schedule a date night. Everyone needs time to blow off steam and just have fun. Whether you have a spouse or not, you need to have time to go out to just be you and forget about the child(ren) for a couple of hours.
Ask for help when needed. You don’t have to be super mom. If you have family and friends that you trust and know they care about you, reach out for additional support when necessary. It does not make you less than a mom because you needed help so don’t be afraid to ask before becoming overwhelmed.
Of course it is not possible to foresee every possible event that may take place but you can prepare for the reoccurring events of your day. Don’t try to be perfect and supermom, those moms do not exist.
Most of all enjoy your child(ren).
They will not be young forever and before you know it they will be young adults and you will wonder where did the time go?