To all of our hard-working mamas out there, I know you feel tired, and I know you feel spread too thin more often than not. So take a deep breath and give yourself a moment to skim these tips on time management. I promise they will make you feel better, whether you’re employed secularly or not. Take it from a fellow full-time employee, freelancer, and mother: there are some simple ways to manage your time and keep your sanity, and they will make your life so much better.
Forget everything you have been taught about prioritizing, and listen to this: do whatever it takes to complete the tasks that are essential for your health and sanity, and push all the rest of your tasks to the bottom of your list, far away from today! And I mean it.
Most of us have to work a secular job, so that has to be on our priority list. If we don't work, we don't get paid, and our kids don't eat. Work, doctor appointments, school, laundry, light cleaning, meal prep. Some of these things are absolute priorities to make the family function, so put them at the top of your list.
What else is on your list? Remember, anything that isn't absolutely essential to your family's health and sanity can wait. Sometimes, you just have to order pizza instead of cooking, use paper plates instead of dishes, skip the deep cleaning to take a nap, skip bath time and put everyone to bed early...just do it. Your sanity is important and your time is precious! Focus on what truly matters, because the rest really can wait.
Second, Get Organized
If you're organized, everything in your life will flow more smoothly. Make sure that everything has a place in your home and office, and train the family to put things back where they go when they aren't being used.
My darling husband has struggled with this for years, and he is finally putting it together that organization makes life easier. You'll never lose your wallet, your phone, your keys, your pen, your homework...it will always be right where it belongs, which will save you time and sanity every day.
Third, Practice Efficiency
Back to the priorities that keep us sane for a moment: I absolutely have to keep a clean house. I hate crumbs on the floor, overflowing laundry, dirty toilets. These things really make me feel crazy, so I have to squeeze some cleaning time into my priority list. How do I manage my time for maximum cleaning power? I clean efficiently.
Make the bed as soon as you wake up, wipe counters as you make breakfast, sweep floors as the kiddos clean up their rooms, vacuum before you head out the door to work. It really only takes a few minutes to tidy up the house, so if this is part of your priority list, practice efficient cleaning, and it will save you so much time.
Whatever you have on your priority list, it needs to be managed efficiently. Use that crockpot for easy dinners, have a regular laundry schedule that the whole family follows, squeeze important errands in before your daily school pick-up, and so on.
Fourth, Set an Alarm
Seriously, set an alarm for everything. If you are struggling to manage time as a working mom, then alarm clocks are your friend! Give yourself specific blocks of time to do everything, and when the alarm sounds, just allow yourself to move on guilt free. You can do the same for your kids, and it will encourage them to stay scheduled and help out around the house.
Set an alarm for the morning routine (when the alarm goes off, ideally everyone will grab their backpack and get in the car). Set an alarm for cleanup (when the alarm goes off, everyone gets to quit cleaning and go play). Set an alarm for homework, for screen time, for bedtime routines, for reading, and so on. You will be so surprised at how much you can get done when you block off time for specific tasks throughout the day.
Fifth, Ask for Help
Sometimes, there just isn't enough time to do everything. Like I said in the beginning, a working mother is spread too thin more often than not. There will be times that you have to ask for help, so just do it and don't feel bad about it. It is part of managing your time wisely.
Your husband, your friends, your siblings, and your parents should all be ready and willing to help you when you need a hand, and when you need extra support, hire a babysitter or a nanny to help you pull some weight.
Of course there are lots of other little time-management tips out there, like waking up 15 minutes earlier each day or spending less time on social media...but the thing that I truly want to emphasize is this: your time and your sanity are precious, so use time wisely and protect your sanity at all costs…and of course, follow my tips, because I’ve got this “working mom” thing on lock.
written by VHS contributor// Cate Rosales