Ask a Working Mom- How do you manage the madness

The answers I always have are make a schedule, get a support staff, and let go of perfection.  I never realized how much work it takes to work when you have kids. I also never realized how hard it is for me to work inside the house full-time as the stay at home mom only. I honestly couldn’t do it so I had to find a better balance. I have a huge amount of respect for moms. We truly are amazing.  I currently work part-time from my house which I often think is more difficult then leaving the house because I am still the stay at home mom and the primary care giver so work takes a backseat to the whims of my little angel,  cherub, and baby surprise (expected May 19th).

This is how I handle work. I have a good relationship with my boss. I was very clear on what I could do in terms of employment responsibilities. I set up clear expectations. I will work 2 hours a day. I will be available during 10 am- 12 pm for out going calls and I can be available after 3:30pm if given notice. I am also employed via odesk so I can log in and out of work as my schedule permits. I have learned to schedule all meetings during naptime or when I can hire a babysitter. I have also learned what techniques to implement when I need to get some work done. I have found play dough, painting, and coloring will keep my daughter busy for about 30 minutes. Yes, it then takes me 30 minutes to clean up afterwards but that is the price I am willing to pay. I am excited about the warm weather because we can do these activities outside and a quick hose down will do the trick. I do an activity with Margeaux and then I find something for her to do on her own.  We like to get dinner started together, make muffins, read books, sing, dance, go play on the swing set, and of course blowing bubbles is a household favorite. If it is ugly outside we will often fill up the bath and she will go for a swim.

How do I manage my house. I am lucky to have a husband who does more than his share. We work together to insure our family is successful. We are truly a team although I am very spoiled and I have figured out how to get rid of the jobs I hate. Yes, honey you are truly a good sport. I hate cleaning the house because I never have a four-hour block to have it all look good so I have hired someone to clean the house. I spend Sunday night making a couple of meals for the week so I do not have to stress out over what’s for dinner. We also have pizza one night a week. It is only $10 and my kitchen stays clean. I try to make a roasted chicken after my Sunday meals run out because it takes 10 minutes of preparation.  I do almost all the grocery shopping. I have begun to purchase almost all of my coupons to save time and money. I order from the coupon hunter on Saturday evenings and I get my coupons by Thursday. I only buy coupons for items we already use. I have been following Renae’s tips so I know what coupons are the best to buy and the quantity we will use. The coupons come clipped and sorted and go right into my Madame Deals Coupon Solution.

The last thing that I have done to make working at home less work is I have let go of perfection. The only thing that is important to me is my family. I took a job to insure that I am happy which makes for a happy family. I also took a job to take some pressure off my husband. In the current economy where lay offs are running rampant it is nice to know I can help with some of the unexpected expenses that come up.  It also allows us to splurge and I hope it will make the transition from two children to three children more economically seamless.

What tips do you have for the working mom inside the house and out? How do you stay sane or appear to be sane?

Comments

  1. JoAnne says

    Amee, would you mind sharing with me who you work for? I already work from home PT, but I’m looking for other WFH opportunities to bring in a little extra money. I also watch my daughter while working and I feel your pain!

  2. Molly says

    Amee, this is great! Thanks for posting! I especially enjoyed the ‘letting go of perfection’ topic. It just has to be done, if not, every little piece of life’s enjoyment will be tainted by the pile of laundry needing done or the paperwork left unattended. I hear you!

    My best tip to offer on this subject is the book “Your Work, Your Life…Your Way – 7 Keys to Work-Life Balance” by Julie Cohen. It details the 7 barrier and 7 keys to juggling our professional and personal lives and really stresses self-care and empowerment. I just love it, and it’s easy and quick to follow without losing any depth of scope! Here’s the link – http://www.7keystoworklifebalance.com/book/ I highly recommend it!

    Thanks for the post, and keep up the great work! Cheers!

  3. D says

    My kids have an early bedtime. They go to bed at 7:30 during the school year. That not only gives me a couple of hours in the evening to prepare for the next busy day before I’m too tired to function, but it also helps ensure they get adequate rest (so they aren’t cranky in the morning when it’s time to wake up early). I work outside the home so preparing as much as possible the night before helps the morning go much more smoothly. I try to spend as much quality time with the kids during the weekends since they go to bed so early during the week. I also make sure no matter how busy the weekdays are, I always read to them before bed. it’s a nice way to spend some quality time with them during those hectic weekdays. Finding that home/work balance is definitely a challenge.

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