frolic

February 10, 2012

Life as a Working Mom

Today, Kelly has a post on showing the lives of working moms so we can connect and get tips and secrets from other working moms.

This is a topic I've been desperately seeking since baby #2 came along.  I could not seem to get organized and life was passing me by just trying to survive.

I will not lie.  It is NOT easy.  It is NOT peachy.  It IS work.  You work 8-9 hours a day outside the home but your job is not over until kids are in bed and it really isn't over then.

Just recently I decided that I was going to take control of my life.  Most days I am just happy to be out of the house wearing pants and shoes that match.  But, I've made some changes that have been helpful.

Here are a few things that are helpful for me:
1)  My crock pot.  My beloved.  If it can't be cooked in a crock pot, then I'm not cooking it.  Just ask anybody. I am NOT a chef.  I've never liked or enjoyed cooking.  I just like eating.  The older my kids get, the more I realize they will never be healthy if all they eat is hot dogs and mac and cheese and PB&J.  But, that's soooo much easier.

2)  My calendar.  I have a smart phone, thankfully, that helps me keep up with things.  I bought a small calendar to go on my fridge so my hubby could see what was on the agenda.  About a month ago, I bought a bigger one.  Now I put our meal schedule, activities, and work schedules on the calendar.  I put 1 chore on each day but Wed.  That helps me handle the housework without feeling quite as overwhelmed.  Plus, I know ahead of time what is going to be for supper so I'm not thinking the whole way home from work about what we are going to eat.

3)  Finally admitting that I can't do everything.  I can't be everything to everyone.  I can't let anyone make me feel guilty for not reading to my children every night or saying our prayers.  I take my kids to church and try to live as an example to them.  One person can only handle so much.  I've sacrificed many a night of sleep trying to get things ready for parties, work, church, etc.  I am not even on Pinterest (sp?) simply because I don't have time for any other time suckers. I do prefer to sleep a few hours each night. I know I'm missing out but it will be ok.  Everyone else is on it so if I need anything, I know how to get it.

4)  Do not compare you or your kids to ANYONE else.  Everyone is an individual.  Everything these days seems to be such a competition. I am a competitive person too but I've made a decision to no longer compare myself or my family to anyone else. And, not to care what others think.  For a long time, I was so worried of what others thought of me.  I'm still working on that but I don't have time to care about that as much.

5)  Know that you are NOT ALONE.  There are many other moms out there struggling with working and not working.  While, I don't think being a SAHM would be for me, I admire SAHM's.  I love my kids but I like my 8 hours of no snot, no constant talking and I get to have pretty awesome lunch dates with friends and no kid interruptions.  That's one thing that keeps me going.

6)  Plan ahead.  Each night once my kids are asleep, I pick out their outfits for the next day, as well as for myself.  My older one is getting a bit more opinionated on what she wears so I let her pick.  I do a lot of my preparing for the week on Sunday afternoons.  Sometimes we will pick out outfits for all 5 days.  I pack bags for the next day.  It's all about preparation.  But, some days it seems like a never ending battle.

7)  Make time for yourself.  This is a big one for me.  There is no time for the gym or work out anything.  If I don't do it on my lunch break, it ain't happening.  I don't want to get on my treadmill at 10 pm.  I'd rather catch up on my Words With Friends games or FB or Twitter.  I have to make time for myself by planning what I eat.  More so, measuring what I eat.  I prepackage a lot of things so I can grab and go and not end up eating at a fast food place or out of the vending machine all the time. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but it's the way I've lost my baby weight.  So I plan to continue.  I also have to make time for me in my personal life.  I have to make plans with some friends on a weekend and not feel guilty about leaving my kids at grandparents, where I know they are having a FABULOUS time.  Plus, it wears out the kids and the grandparents!

I said it before and I'll say it again, it's NOT easy.  It's a TON of balance.  MY husband works shift work and does not have hours that are conducive to a normal life.  Therefore, a lot of the childcare, home duties fall to me.  I've started incorporating my 5 year old to help out more with the chores. She loves being able to help and please me.  Even if the job is not done like I would do it, it's done.

The number 1 thing I've learned being a working mom:
It's ok if I don't get it all done, as long as my kids are happy and healthy.  That's really what it all boils down to!

Oh, and make sure you pee before you leave work because who knows when you might get to do that at home!

 You can't tell me that is NOT happiness!

Thank you Kelly for this subject matter! It's all so helpful!
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