Maybe you woke at 5am today after a long night being up a lot with a sick kiddo. Now you have to make their lunches, not to mention their breakfast, get them dressed, get them to where they need to be, take the dog out… Oh – and please don’t forget to shower and put some make-up on at some point. Your boss just might give you the stink eye if you show up in your jammies.
If you’re like me, you want to put out your best performance at work. You also want to be the best mom in the whole wide world, right? I want a clean house, a great reputation at work, to be on time and send my smiling children out the door in the morning with everything they need in their backpacks. And all of this, of course, would happen the morning after a lovely night that starts with a scrumptious home-cooked meal and ends with book-reading and happy family time.
How in the world can you do it all?!
Guess what, lady? You can’t.
Sorry, my dear, you simply can’t do it all. You’re a woman, so you feel you have multi-tasking down to a science, and you probably do really well at that. But, can we be honest and just say that there are a lot of days that work was hard, and you want to come home to your children making life easy on you. They are darling, but that’s about as realistic as my husband greeting me at the door with a margarita. Do you ever just feel like you want to cry because it’s just.too.much?
I do. And more often than I’d like to admit.
I work out of the home three days a week and those days look a little more like this – I’m up at 5am, trying to shower and get a little work in before my littles wake up. Sometimes this works, most of the time, I let myself get distracted by the Internet before I can actually accomplish anything. Then my girls wake up either early or late – either way, my plan has a wrench thrown in it and we end up frazzled as I throw together their not-so-Pinterest-styled lunches and run out the door praying for no traffic on the way to school so we can be on time. And if I’m brutally honest, I should bathe them more and rarely use more than my fingers to comb their hair before we dash out the door. As for the night before? Tantrums, a quesadilla or PB&J for the kids and salad or leftovers for me and my husband are all par for the course and there are nights we just long for bedtime.
Maybe you can’t do it all, but you can certainly find some balance in your life. You will have to let go of that Pinterest-y dream you love so much, but in doing so, you can find a whole different kind of happiness. One that is much more peaceful.
5 Tips to Survive being a Working Mom:
1. Be prepared. I’m not the best at this, but when I set things out the night before, my morning is 100% less stressful. Many of the things you do each morning can be started at night.
- You can’t dress them at night, but you can set out their clothes. Better yet, have them set out their own clothes and be proud of yourself for teaching them to be responsible. 🙂
- Lunches probably need to be in the fridge, but they can be made ahead and ready to throw into their backpacks.
- If you need to pump before work, set everything you need next to your plugged in pump near a comfy chair.
- You get the idea – think through your morning crazy and figure out what can be streamlined the night before.
Brag about how you are teaching your kids some fabulous organization skills.
2. Ask for help. I used to think that if I couldn’t do EVERYTHING for our kids by myself, I wasn’t doing my best as a mom. I know you’ve heard it before, but your kids need LessFrazzled mom more than they need a SuperMom. This requires letting go of control. Believe me, it will save you some time.
Now you get to be proud for modeling to your kids that it’s okay to ask for help when you need it.
3. Expect less. Expect less of yourself and gain more quality time with your kids. You need to accept that you have less time at home than your stay-at-home mom friends. For me, this is really hard. I feel like I should be able to all of those fun activities, take my girlies to gymnastics, bake cookies, teach them every life lesson and all in those few hours between dinner and bedtime. I’ll say it again: you can’t do it all. Do less stuff and your kids will appreciate the focused time you’re giving them.
Bonus points for teaching your kids to be content where they are.
4. Go OUT! I mean it – plan a girls’ night. Get a babysitter and go on a date. Show your kids that YOU are important and that taking care of mom is just as important as taking care of your kids. It’s tough after a day at work to feel justified in going out and being gone even more, but you need it and they need you to come home refreshed.
Rest assured knowing that your kids will grow up understanding the value of self care.
5. Pat yourself on the back. No, it’s not always easy but you are doing a GREAT job. I promise. Just ask your kids. You might feel like FrazzledMom, but to them, you are SUPERMOM. It’s hard to imagine that it’s true when you feel stretched so far, but you really are doing great. Let go of the guilt and spend that energy loving your kiddos and yourself.
Seriously, pat yourself on the back.
**Just remember, this is a process, so take it one step at a time.