One question I get asked a lot is
‘How do you do it? How do you find time to fit everything in?’
You see, I am a Mum of 5 and I work full time. Like many of you, my life is pretty chaotic.
With having 4 out of my 5 boys currently in school. There’s the organisation of school lunches, homework, event days etc.
On top of the ‘Mum Duties’ as I mentioned above, I work full time, running a childminding business from home. Which involves looking after yet more children (which I absolutely adore doing, by the way), paperwork, activity organisation and more.
Finally, but most importantly, spending time with your children, family, friends and yourself!
The list of expectations and responsibility is extensive.
I can, hand on heart say that I 100% understand the struggle of juggling all the responsibilities of being a working Mum.
I can empathise with you when I say the struggle is real. Feeling like everything is on your head. That everything is your responsibility. The to do lists are never ending. You’re absolutely tired out! But you need to do everything.
Does this sound like you and your life? See I told you that I understand.
Do you want to know my secret of how I juggle everything?
Here are some of my time management tips for working mums.
- Have a morning routine. Start the day on the right foot, so they say. Try setting your alarm an hour earlier than normal and get up before your family. While the rest of the house is sleeping, start getting on top of your daily jobs such as making school lunches, loading the washing machine etc. Use the extra time to do something just for you. Grab yourself a shower, read a book with a nice warm cuppa and breakfast, journal, organised the day’s to do list or work out. By starting your day with calm and organisation, you will feel so much better than rushing around.
- Ask for help or accept offers of help. I hold my hands up and admit that this is something that I struggle with. Asking and accepting help. I have had to teach myself that I sometimes need someone else to take something off my workload or to do list, otherwise I become overwhelmed and burn out. You have to realise that sometimes you can’t do all of this on your own. Unless there is a valid reason as to why you can’t accept help. Take it. Let your partner take the kids to out of school activities. Book a babysitter so you know that your children are having fun and are being entertained so you can make a deadline. Ask your children to do age appropriate chores and reward them for their efforts and for taking responsibility. Valuable life lessons right there while saving you time.
- Invest in a planner/notebook/calendar system. I personally love using a planner and making lists to keep myself and my family organised. I am always adding to my lists and reviewing them. My planner is mine and my families bible. We would be lost without it! If it’s not in the planner is doesn’t going to get done. Simples! If I am honest, it has taken me a while to find a system that works for me. But there are plenty of planning options out there from diaries, notebooks as well as online systems and apps that sync with different devices and allow you to add family members. (I will do a post on these systems in the near future)
- Plan for everything. As I mentioned above, if it isn’t in the planner, it isn’t happening! Put everything in that planner or notebook. If you want to meet up with friends, Block it out. Need to make an appointment. Put it in the planner. Reminder that you have a delivery. Put it in the calendar. By doing this you will see when you have any spare time and you will be able to utilise it. Use it to take the kids out to the park or realise that you can your partner are both free Friday night so you can book that baby sitter and enjoy a date night.
- Prepare for the week ahead. By knowing what your week ahead looks like, you can prepare for it. On a weekend i will go grocery shopping to fill up the fridge and cupboards. Prepare and batch cook meals. Organise school uniforms. Prepare any paperwork. Organise my working week
- Learn to say no! Now this is something that I really used to struggle with. I am a self confessed people pleaser. But after burning myself out so many times, I saw the light and learnt to say no. The guilt used to really get to me, the thought of letting someone down, not reaching their expectations absolutely killed me. But I had to realise that I’m only human.
One last thing…
Mama, remind yourself that the world is not going to end if you didn’t have the chance to put a wash on or you order a take away instead of cooking a meal from scratch.
Don’t be hard on yourself if something unexpectedly crops up and spoils your day’s plans. Sweep it under the carpet, rearrange your to do list and plans and carry on.
As long as you know you are trying your best and reaching the expectations you set yourself.