The number one question I get asked on social media?
Has anyone ever told you that you have Gisele’s body?!
Just kidding. Nobody has ever made that mistake. Even people with bad eyesight can see the junk in my trunk from a mile away. Actually, the question I get asked most often is about time management. In particular, time management for working moms. That’s a whole mega-beast, right? You’re trying to juggle school schedules and play dates and meetings and projects and getting in a workout and a date night and, and, and… it’s no joke. I have been a working mom as long as I’ve been a mom. Tougher still, I’ve been an entrepreneur as long as I’ve been a mom which means it’s really hard to shut off my work brain even when I’m at home. But I have learned some tricks and I thought you might find them helpful.
- 1. Make a List – I’m the queen of the list! I’m constantly making them and then revising them inside my notebook. My notebook is like my schedule and I use the same one for both work and home so “get black t-shirt for Jackson’s class project” is on the same list as “finish sponsored post for Wal-Mart”. That way nothing (ok, almost nothing) falls through the cracks.
- 2. Wake Up Early – What time do you need to be up in the morning? Now subtract an hour… that’s what time you should actually be up in the morning. Some people think my early morning wake ups are kind of crazy. But if I don’t wake up before everyone else, then I wake up in chaos and I carry that with me throughout the day. Time management for working moms is all about finding extra time and that might mean you sacrifice a little sleep. Use the extra hour to enjoy your coffee, pray, pack the lunches and backpacks and, oh yeah, work on your daily list: see #1
- 3. Get a Morning Routine – A chaotic morning, leads to a chaotic day, leads to a chaotic life! If you don’t organize anything else in your world, get your morning routine organized. You can watch this video to see how we plan out ours.
- 4. Ask for Help – From your partner, from a babysitter, from your family members, from your kids themselves. You cannot do this alone, and sister there’s no earthly reason for you to attempt it! So call in reinforcements. My big boys (ages 8 and 7) make their bed and clean their room every single day of their lives. My husband is the king of fix-it projects, school science experiments and bedtime routines. When I’m overwhelmed I ask for help but the key is to lean on others so you never make it to overwhelmed in the first place.
- 5. Prep on Sundays – Sunday is my day for prepping… a key to time management for working moms. Use it to organize your lunchtime box, prep to-go breakfasts and snacks and do grocery shopping to stock your fridge. This way I hit Monday morning as prepared as I possibly can be.
- 6. Plan for Everything – Want to get in a workout? Put it in your calendar. Want a girl’s night out or a date night with your parter? Put it in your calendar. Need your hair done, nails done, car wash? Put. It. In. Your. Calendar. Maybe it’s not like this for everyone but my ability to do anything spontaneously went out the window about eight years ago. If I waited for the inspiration and a magical 45 minute window of free time before getting a nail appointment I would never, ever get my nails done. Anything I want to do gets put in my Google calendar, which syncs to my phone. Anything involving Dave (like a date or a party) gets sent to him as an event so it’s on his calendar as well. I am much less likely to cancel on something (like a workout) if I’ve scheduled out the time for it.
- 7. Stop with the Guilt – Ok, no, this is not actually a tip on time management for working moms. This is just my advice for working moms in general. Ladies, it’s OK to work when you have children. It’s OK to want to have some time out of the house. It’s OK to still want to feel like the person you were before you had your baby. It’s also OK if you want to stay home with your kids and run the PTA. I guess what I’m saying is, whatever kind of mom you want to be is OK. If you love your kids and keep trying your best that’s all any of us can aim for. Stop letting other people’s, or societies, or your mother in law’s opinion affect how you want to live your life and raise your family. You only get one shot at this life, don’t you dare waste one single precious second more of it feeling guilty.