Balancing work and motherhood is no easy task. When I worked full-time I had to find ways to get it all done and have more time with the kids and Jason.
Here are some things I did that helped me accomplish this!
If you like to workout, then do it early before anyone is awake. This way you aren’t going to the gym after work when the kids are awake and want to spend time with you. You can also workout when the kids are in bed at night if that works better for you.
Grocery shop when the kids go to bed
When I worked full-time, I never grocery shopped on the weekends. I always did it during the week, mainly at night when the kids were in bed.
This took one more thing off my list for the weekend which meant more time with the kids. Plus it was a reason to get out and get groceries and do a Target run by myself, if you know what I mean 😉
Use your lunch break to run errands
I used to schedule dental appointments, doctor appointments and other things for myself during my lunch. If I had to return something, I would squeeze it in during lunch break. Whatever you can fit into your lunch break, just eat on the go and get it done!
When I was working full-time, the crock pot was my best friend in the kitchen. I would prepare a meal the night before, turn it on in the morning and come home to a hot meal after work.
I would also prepare a roast or other type of dinner and ask my nanny to pop it in the oven at a certain time so that it would be hot and ready.
Meal planning was a huge time saver which meant less time in the kitchen and more time with the kids in the evenings.
Nanny to-do list
My kids never went to day care, I always had a nanny come to our house while I was at work. I just found that packing and getting the kids to and from day care just took too much time. We decided to pay more for a nanny and not move the kids around town.
I always had my nanny help out by putting the house back as they found it (meaning toys are put away, dishes they used are washed, and house is in order).
There is nothing worse than coming home from work to your house being upside down and you have to spend an hour putting things back.
It is important to set those expectations with your nanny or babysitter from the beginning so they know what to expect.
Clean the house during the weekday
When working full-time I used to clean the bathrooms on Thursday nights after the kids went to bed and I would do the floors and the rest of the house on Friday nights. This gave me a clean house for the weekend and more time to play and enjoy the kids.
Save PTO for nicer months
In Oregon we get a lot of rain from Winter through Spring. I used to save all of my PTO for the summer months when it was nice and warm and the days were longer. This way I didn’t miss out on all the fun play dates, zoo visits and waterpark fun.
You and your husband are a team. Parenting is so much easier when you split the job in half, especially when you are also working full time.
I have friends who work full time and their husbands still expect them to do most of the house chores and parenting alone and this just isn’t fair.
Sometimes your spouse might not even realize that you need help and you may just need to specifically tell them what you need help with.
Jason was always really great about helping me with the dishes after dinner and then he would bathe the kids while I got everything ready for bed. I never had to do it all alone but I have found that I need to be very specific with what I need help with.
I never assume he knows what I need, I tell him and he is always willing to help.
It is hard to do it alone so talk to your spouse about helping out more if you need it!
The number one thing you can do to have more time with your kids is to be present. You can be home with them all day but if you are not fully engaged and present, you may as well be at work.
Talk to them, get on the floor and play pretend with them, and just fully engage in whatever it is that you are doing. They will cherish even the smallest amount of time with you if they know you are really paying attention to them.
Working full time is hard because you are managing a job and then coming home to manage a household. It is a lot of responsibility and it takes a lot! Mom’s who work full time are amazing!
I no longer work full-time and wrote an article on “How to Afford Being a Stay at Home Mom” here!
If you ware hoping to work less or quit completely, read that article for some info on how we made it happen for our family.
And whatever your situation is (working or staying home), keep up the great work! Motherhood is no easy job but it’s the best job in the world!