Let’s talk real live and getting things done. I’m often asked how to I manage my family, working full-time outside the home, volunteer service at church, as well as venture out into the mompreneur world.
My best answer: Only by the grace of God. In my opinion, there is no such thing as work/life balance. Life is life and we all have the same 24 hours. I’m not perfect, but here are my current top five working mom hacks that help me get stuff done.
I know most all mom bloggers will tell you to menu plan. But guys, it works! If you aren’t menu planning, creating your grocery list around that plan, and shopping at least weekly, you are just wasting time. The weeks I don’t do this are chaotic.
If you do menu plan, take it a step further and try to standardize your menu. Currently, I have three lunch options in rotation for my kids and have a list of go-to options that are all budget-friendly and quick for family dinners. We are creatures of habit. There is nothing wrong with using the same menu plan each month.
I have a lunch station. One cabinet holds all the quick snack items (fruit snacks, crackers, assorted nuts, baby bottles, sippy cups, etc). A drawer holds all my plastic containers with lids and the cabinet below holds all our lunch bags. I also bag all my breastmilk at work for the baby. This saves me a lot of time.
This station is an important part of my after work routine. As soon as we get home we take our lunch bags to the kitchen and unpack. My sitters are wonderful and usually clean all my lunch containers. If that’s the case I will just leave everything packed and ready to fill with the next day’s food. If I’m in a hurry, I always put the lunch bags straight in the fridge (in case there were any leftovers or milk). If I’m feeling ambitious I’ll start packing things for the next day, but usually, that is after dinner or in the morning.
Reminder App (iOS):
The Reminder App on my iPhone is my saving grace. If it’s not an event and it’s imperative that I remember, it goes in the Reminder App. I can also access it via iCloud on my Mac at work and home. The app allows you to create individual lists as well as set a specific time and date for your reminder notification.
The Work Bag:
The past six months I have embraced “the work bag”. Previously I was a lunch bag and purse kind of gal. When I returned back to work after my maternity leave with K I needed a place for my breast pump. So I took a cute Vera Bradley bag I had and… viola! I store all my supplies and even my personal planner and laptop in this bag. It has been a lifesaver to not have to search around the house for everything. I definitely see myself using this even after I’m done pumping (because my lunch bag will fit in there then!) I may even ditch the purse and just keep my wallet in there as well.
A Rocking Support System:
It takes a village to raise a family. I couldn’t maintain my work/life balance without my support system. My husband, family, and friends have been there every step of the way. While we have no issues with daycare, we do feel blessed that friends and family watch our children while we work. It’s the best system for us. Our family is always willing to run errands or even cook for us when we have extra busy days. We also know they pray for us often and we do the same for them.