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Daily Archives: May 14, 2016

For the Working Mom…

Becoming a mom is hard! Having to go back to work when all you want to do is stay home with your new baby, is even harder!  Maternity and paternity leaves are horrible in the United States!  Based on where you work determines how long you can take off after you have your baby, whether you have enough vacation and sick time saved up or if you have to take leave without pay.  (Here’s a link for the Family Medical Leave Act just in case you need it.)  Our time off to be with our babies is too short!   Add in the stress of keeping your household running now that there’s a baby!  There are scheduling issues, learning to breastfeed, learning how to handle post-partum depression, and God forbid if you or your baby have any medical issues.  We shouldn’t have to deal with having to hurry up and get back to work on top of all of that….but alas, not many families are able to survive with one income, most homes have both parents working.   So I wanted to share some real and honest advice for you moms facing or getting ready to face this beautiful, yet oftentimes challenging, chapter in your life.

I divorced shortly after having my daughter so I know the struggle of raising a child alone.  I am now part of an amazing blended family and I’m learning how to juggle everything while keeping the balance with my boyfriend.  Keeping things together with your spouse/partner/significant other has to be at the top of your priority list, otherwise you lose sight of each other and pretty soon it will all start to fall apart.  You can’t have a happy home when the 2 heads of the family have lost their connection.  So that would be my first real piece of advice.  Make date nights happen, make a point to talk to each other every single day, connect with each other, even if it’s while you’re doing the grocery shopping together!  Don’t allow the little things to get bottled up…little issues can easily turn into big issues.

I find what helps my family is keeping a calendar of all the events that we have coming up and taking things one day at a time (remember, we have 5 kids living at home!).  There is nothing worse than trying to figure out who needs to be where and what to do for dinner at the last minute!  This is a new one for us and I freaking love it and don’t know why I didn’t implement a family calendar earlier!!

One “baby” tip that I did when Ava was born was I wrote down everything, from when she ate to how often she had diaper changes, seriously!   Lord knows that new moms get very little sleep, so writing things down really helped me stay on track.

I asked 13 (it is Friday the 13th after all!) working moms for their best advice to new moms!

 “Prepare things ahead of time, like the night before. Whether you have a newborn, or a teenager I found that has been my biggest help. I always think out my meals for the family on Sunday, for the entire week. It really helps when I would get home every day after work, and the meal was either already cooked in the crockpot, or the casserole was ready to be put in the oven. When cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, I would make the kids school lunches. In the morning all I had to do was grab their lunch and backpacks, and head out the door. When running errands, I never left the house without snacks, and something to entertain them with in my purse.”  ~Michelle

“As a working mom, I value my time. I have learned to create a schedule with my kids during the times I am not at work. Also, planning events and activities ahead in advance has also helped me with this balance.”  ~Angie

 “Going back to work after having my son was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in life. I missed him terribly, but…I had to work…so away I went. When I was home, I tried to keep up with doing chores, shopping, and other activities, etc. but I soon learned 1). I was over exerting myself and 2). many things were just not as important as giving time to my son. So, I started to put certain things on the back burner and just enjoyed hanging out with my little boy. Another thing I learned was that naps are a necessity as a mom. Take naps whenever you can! Trust me…TAKE NAPS!”  ~Farrah

“I get my kid to help me as much as possible. I want to spend time with him and we have chores to do. So it’s fun to do them together. I make sure that the time we have together is quality time. Phones away. Attention focused on him. I communicate that I’m busy working hard for our family so he understands why I’m not always home. He gets that it’s for his benefit also. We have family night once a week. It’s in the calendar. We don’t make other plans.” ~Jennifer

“There have been times that I’ve had to put my career first to get where I’ve wanted to go but tried to balance it by always having dinner with my family and trying to spend quality minutes with them even if we were just in the same room together watching TV. Now that I’ve reached my dream job and have a supportive boss that emphasizes family comes first, I have a great balance. I know if I need to take care of my family, I’m not going to get a lot of flack for taking the time off. I support my kids in their activities and encourage my husband to follow his passions. I’m rediscovering some of mine too.”  ~Cathryn

“You gotta make yourself a priority. Me time. You can’t give if you’ve got nothing to give. I run. Get pedicures. Lay upstairs on my bed and look at the ceiling; whatever it takes.”  ~Sarah

“It is super difficult balancing being mom and work. Oh by the way, there is your social life of feeling like being someone besides just mom or somebody’s wife. To keep it balanced, I don’t have a clear solution besides I just do. It is something that just happens without you really thinking about it. It takes sacrifice and a “wanting” to do both and make it work.”  ~Lisa

“One of the things that has worked very well for us is Izaac created a shared family calender with google/gmail and we both can add to it and look at it at anytime on the phone. This way we aren’t overlapping appts. I try very hard to have lunches and backpacks ready the night before so I’m not a crazy person in the morning. I try very hard to have a lazy Sunday.  Learn to accept the chaos, the mess, and the nights with no baths.”  ~Kelly

“I think the hardest part for me to be a working mom is that I am a perfectionist and anal about everything. The house has to be perfect every day, my child needs to be spotless, dinner needs to be on the table, laundry needs to be done along with working. I tend to get everything done and everything is perfect but I short myself. I never get to relax, I never get alone time and never get pampered. I also didn’t get to spend much time doing fun things with my son because working, keeping up with the house and by the time I was getting home it was dinner time, bath time and bed. I missed out on fun things. This was all when I was working full-time. Now I work part-time and able to manage better. I keep the house and everything caught up and fun times with my kid but still need to find time to arrange alone time for me. I guess my advice is to always make sure you get alone time if not you will go crazy like me. All the other stuff can wait.”  ~Maria

“As a working mom and a sports mom I have to set dates in my calendar on what events and practices are going on. I also set alarms in my phone to check my sons backpack nightly because I do forget since we’re always on the go. My phone is definitely my best friend when it comes to being organized and not a hot mess.” ~Supa

“My advice for maintaining a work – home balance is organization, communication and sometimes just letting go!  My A type personality works really well on a schedule.  I put everything I can in my calendar and I like it!  I schedule text message reminders and use a list making app (Wunderlist).  Being able to see my week allows me to efficiently use my time.  I do not take it day by day but I look at my full week in advance and insert appointments, errands, playdates, sports, workouts, and even ME times- yes I schedule time for myself.   If I did not treat ME time like this it would never happen.  I also schedule date nights- truthfully this is probably the “appointment” that gets rescheduled the most but we’re working on it!  My husband gets a copy of all of these appointments in his calendar.  Overall, build what you want/need into the schedule.  Also, as hard as I try to stay organized sometimes things fall by the wayside or an unforeseen event will happen that thwarts my masterminded organization chart.  I have learned that it is OK to rearrange and reschedule.  No unnecessary guilt.”  ~ Gina

 This next piece of advice has a lot more to say, please stay tuned for her full response!

“Treat your home like your job.  Sometimes I feel like a good kick in the ass does Moms good.  What if we were to take the exact same language and put in the work force?  Nobody wants to work with that chick.

Hire out.  Why are we not willing to buy less new trendy stuff and instead hire someone to help us out with those things that stress us out?

Treat your husband/family help as co-workers.  Embrace your network the same as your co-workers.  Let your husband be an equal partner at home.  Sometimes this means shutting your mouth and letting him figure out things his own way without critique.

I’ve learned that women are just as powerful at inspiring each other and giving each other the kick in the butt we need too! So let’s all just focus on that piece! Push on girl! We can do this!”  ~”D”

**This next tip is great for weekends/days off so that your chores don’t over-run you and you can enjoy the time with your family!

“To stay on top of laundry, I always throw a load of laundry in right before bed and then first thing in the morning, switch it over to the dryer. I go on with my regular morning, getting my kids ready, eat breakfast and then fold the laundry once it’s done. It’s a nice feeling getting something accomplished within the first hour of waking up and you don’t get bogged down with laundry.”

                 ~ Molly

me and ava
Working moms