Having a job and raising children is no easy feat. Here are some tips that help me:
1. Prep the Night Before
I’m totally victim to this. I don’t feel like making lunch for my daughter or prepping dinner for my 6pm return home. After a marathon work day and getting through the nighttime routine, I just want to plop on the couch and pass out. This results in rushed, cranky and late mornings. There are so many easy recipes that you can make ahead and put in the fridge. I just ask our babysitters to pop those suckers in the oven or start up the crock pot at the appropriate time. It’s easier for them because they aren’t hunting around for dinner when the twins start trying to climb in their high chairs and it’s easier for me because when I get home my twins are usually fed and my daughter has dinner waiting on the table. It goes without saying that packing and making lunches the night before = me actually getting time to make myself coffee and brush my teeth. 🙂
2. Get a House Cleaner
I’m lucky that I have the resources to have a cleaner come every two weeks. I honestly don’t know when I would make the time to really clean the way they do. It’s good for my kid’s health and good for my sanity. If you don’t have the funds then do this: whenever anyone asks you what you want for birthdays, Christmas, etc… ask for cleaning vouchers!!! Or save up and splurge every 3 months or even 6 months for a really deep clean of your house. The other option is to just have them clean the bathrooms, or the kitchen. Whatever you can pull off will be well worth the money to come home to a house that you didn’t clean!! More time to spend with your adorable babies.
3. Don’t be Afraid to Make Big Changes
I recently went through this dilemma. I spend a remarkable amount of time and energy getting my Computer Engineering degree. I have a great job, great benefits and overall am very happy with my career. The problem is this: the minute I had Olivia, all of that seemed less important than raising my kids myself. Of course, I had to take into account finances and medical expenses for three babies. I was not happy with my work/life balance. I hated being away 10 hours a day for my work day + commute and John’s job is very demanding. I was scared at first to make a big change and give up the stability I had with my job. I interviewed at other places just to give me options and actually got other offers that were very appealing. In the end I realized that it wasn’t my job, it was the little faces that I missed every day. I decided I would quit cold turkey. That, for many obvious reasons was terrifying. But, I had to be willing to take that risk for my happiness and for the happiness of my children. They were missing me as much as I missed them. LUCKily (and I emphasize LUCK), my managers are AMAZING and were able to put me on part time even though previously it wasn’t really an option. So far, it has been the perfect balance and already I see a positive change in my relationships with Liv, Ben & Alex. Anyway, the moral of my story is to investigate every avenue. If you are not happy, then make a change. Your happiness will reflect right down to your kids and they will reap the benefits.
4. Be Proud of Your Career
This is a big one. Your mindset when you go to work will drive how successful you are there and in general. If you stay positive and take pride in your work, it will be very rewarding. It is much easier to leave your children day after day if you feel like you are a part of something important. Your impact as a contributing member of the working world can directly or indirectly affect the future of your babies. From innovating to change the direction of technology to simply making money in order to get your kids the best education. It all should matter and you should be proud that you have the ability to do what you are doing. When your children are old enough, they can be proud of you too!
5. Use Online shopping & Grocery Delivery
Diapers.com & Safeway.com save my life. I meal plan and it takes me about 30 minutes to order groceries on the iPad. You can shop sales and use coupons just as you would in the store. Sometimes, it’s easier to compare products from the comfort of your couch as the children are snoring away upstairs. MUCH easier, than trying to drag three kids through a store. Diapers.com is amazing. I find that it’s a little more expensive, but if you keep an eye out they have sales where you can stock up on things. Shipping is usually free, and it comes within a day or two. They also have a partner company Soap.com where you can order household items. I use Amazon all of the time as well for odds and ends. I signed up for the PRIME membership for free shipping and have ordered everything from curtains for our new house to all of the kid’s Christmas presents. My Mom jokes that I keep FedEx in business.
6. Don’t Judge and Ignore Judgment
There is a silent battlefield in the land of Motherhood. On one side are the stay at home Mom’s and on the other are working Moms. SAH Mom’s don’t have enough ambition and working Mom’s don’t love their children enough to stay home. It’s a lose, lose. I don’t get it! Every family is different, every child is different. I’ll say this once, and I hope you take it to heart: Everyone has their reasons for doing what they are doing It’s not your place to decide if they are living their life right or wrong. No one is perfect, so before you cast stones, check out your own glass house. And if you ever feel judged, be the bigger person; smile, nod and know you are doing your best.
7 . Let the little things go
There is no way you can do it all. Let some things go! If you never get to hang up your clothes, so be it. If 3 days out of the week, your meals come from the freezer, it’s OK. Pick and choose your battles. You don’t have to be the perfect housewife and the successful career woman.
8. Take Care of Yourself
This is my final and most important tip that I need to remember to follow myself. Sleep, eat and take breaks. This goes for ANY Mom, not just working. Around Christmas when things were getting crazy and everyone was sick, I was about to lose it. I called in the troops to watch the kids and took a day. I walked around the mall and saw a movie by myself. Don’t feel guilty to do whatever you need to do to unwind every once in a while!
I hope this helps… I know it’s tough, but keep up the good work 🙂