5 Success Strategies For Working Moms Who Do It All
Updated: Dec 17, 2019
If you’re looking for some tips on creating greater success, as a Working Mom, I’ve got you covered. Whether you’re working from home or outside the home, or thinking about embarking on either of these – I’m gonna share with you a few strategies here, that have simplified my life and led to greater enjoyment and a more peaceful working Moms life.
Working Moms Tip #1 – Priorities vs. Standards + Implementing Routine
I returned to work after my first born and did so extremely part time with only a few yoga classes and voice over recordings, here and there. When I look back on it, I remember it being a pretty stressful time for me. Neither of us were sleeping through the night, I was still breastfeeding and a new Mom, with no external source of care aside from hubby. He would race home from work, we’d do the quick swap, I’d race to teach my class and arrive not particularly centered and in fear of leaking through my nursing pads.
So, my hats off to new Moms who are taking on work outside the home. I had little guy number two, 18 months after my first born and that took me out of the game for a considerably longer period of time. Not great for the bank balance, but so lucky not to have missed a moment.
When I did start working again, all of my impossible standards came with me. I tried to keep up with all of my tasks to the degree I always had. With far less time to do it all in. It was a recipe for disaster. Combine impossible standards, with an inability to meet them and a dash of Mom guilt for the sad faces going off to care. Then sprinkle that with the insecurity of returning to the work force and bake at 180 degrees for weeks on end, until voila - a very unhappy working Mom emerges.
So, the first standard I learnt to drop was my standard of cleanliness of the house. Not the easiest one for me by far, I feel great when everything is lovely and clean. So, the sense of satisfaction I get from cleaning is a driving force for me to actually do it. But reality was, there just wasn’t the time to keep my home to that standard any more. If you work out of the home, it can be a little easier as you won’t see the mess till you get home. But now that I work from home, it takes discipline to turn a blind eye until my productive working time is completed.
If you’re experiencing a high level of discomfort, at the thought of what might happen if you drop your standards? If you find yourself projecting to the future and worrying about the possibility of a surprise visitor and what might happen if you were seen not to be keeping up, then you have two choices: A) don’t answer the door or B) read my next working Moms tip #2. First let’s talk about prioritizing.
Kiddo’s have gotta eat and so do you. Get really organised when it comes to planning ahead for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
With breakfasts I find it easiest to figure out some simple smoothies, you can prepare the night before to chuck in the blender in the morning. Even if it’s only your breakfast, its one less thing to think of. And don’t even think about washing that blender, hopefully it goes in the dishwasher just fine, if not rinse and sink it. If the kiddo’s prefer cereals, that’s something that can also be prepped by you or them the night before. With simple lidded bowls you can have the table set for breakfast before going to bed or at least stowed in the pantry for them to retrieve in the morning (I am a fan of a clear table).
Where ever possible prep and pack the night before. My boys are enjoying home made pizza’s for school lunch at the moment. We have a big pizza making party on Saturday nights and then cut and freeze slices for lunch boxes. Super simple and we have a lot of fun trying to make the pizza’s, without everyone stealing the ingredients.
For every other weekday dinner, I use a rotating list of about 8 really easy meals to whip up using fresh ingredients for four nights of every week. I purchase for just the week in advance, buying everything we’ll need and preparing the night before, by cutting ingredients and storing in boxes in the fridge. If people are hungry and looking for a snack before dinner, I offer already cut raw veg or fruit that I’m about to cook or make into a salad – it usually ties them over.
Non Priorities Include:
Super sparkling surfaces – yes who doesn’t love a very clean floor without foot prints, but it’s not going to kill you. If you have animals you may find it difficult, but see how you go dropping a day of vacuuming here or there. Try extending time between mops, unless people are licking the floor (which I know is very possible), it should be okay.
When it has to be done, I’ve found housework a great time to multitask and squeeze in some me time. Where possible I’ll be feeding my mind with some good personal development or an audiobooks, with my ear buds and phone. Me time, might be catching up with a friend on the phone while you clean. Either way it makes the time fly by and kills two birds with one stone.
Working Moms Tip #2 – When To Stop Worrying About What Other People Think Of You + Drop The Guilt
I do talk about this topic quite frequently as it can be such a driving, yet unseen force in our lives. We might not even realise we’ve are beating ourselves over the head, with the opinions of others, or our belief that somebody even has an opinion about us?
Our belief that other people spend oodles of time thinking about us, really is just that – a belief. Now granted some people may think of us, perhaps even in a critical way. They might even be loud proponents, experts on what is best for us. But I’ve learnt the hard way, that the quickest way to get to somewhere you don’t want to be, is to believe other people’s opinions and versions of reality and build your life around it. Even if you do, they’ll likely still remain your harshest critic.
There is also an obvious time suckage factor. By wasting time thinking about what other people might be thinking about you, you’re throwing away your valuable energy and time that could be better spent asking yourself the big questions in life, like – what do I really want to create in my life? Living up to others perceived expectations of us, is exhaustion-orama!
If you’re ready to stop worrying about what other people think of you and serious about building the life you want then click the link, to get you’re Free PDF Guide: 7 Steps To Creating A One of A Kind Life.
Working Moms Tip #3 – Unleash The Planner Within + Find Organisation Pays
Being organised is not just for eating meals. With less time on your hands your going to need to streamline life, so that it’s at your fingertips when you need it. Stats say the average person spends 2.5 days a year looking for lost things, what now? Now it seems way less crazy to be organized!
I am an organization freak – I love knowing where my car keys are, what events we’ve got coming up and when I’ll be available to mentor one of my new online business owners.
So ridiculously simple, I use the every thing has a place and everything in its place vibe. My boys are pretty great with this, which not only helps them be independent, but certainly reduces the stress levels of looking for lost hats & mittens etc. Don’t get me wrong they still lose jumpers, bike lock keys etc, but its still a reduction at least.
Schedules and Planners Oh My!
When it comes to diaries or calendars, I have a bit of a 3 step system.
1. Paint Chip Calendar
Simple frame with paint chips under glass to represent the days of the week and a whiteboard marker to write up the month. This is mostly for everyone else’s benefit, it’s handy for keeping track of dates where everyone can see it. I also use two side cork boards to hold class timetables and special events or invitations. You can find some diy instructions here.
2. Google Calendar
When it comes to organizing myself, I prefer google calendar. I have the app on my phone, as I’m never usually with
out my phone. This means I’m able to arrange appointments on the fly, without the weight or inadequate space of a paper diary. It’s free and it’s also great for color blocking between work and home life. It has so many handy functions like time zones, which is super handy when we travel.
When it comes to organizing my thoughts, I’m in love with Trello! You can create a whole heap of different boards and different lists and tasks on each board.
For example I run an online business and I’m about to embark on traveling with my family and my business, to our next conference in beautiful, but hot Phuket, Thailand. So, on my travel board I’ve have tasks on a To Do List ie; buy a tonne of mosquito repellent, buy snorkels for the kids and another list for ensuring I pack my laptop charger, phone and headphones. I also have multiple other boards for my blog posts and a board for the family. On the family board I have a menu planning section with recipes on cards that I can switch around or move back into rotation.
I find this is a great tool for compartmentalizing. When I’m officially working from home with my boys off to school, I put my head down and stay focused only on my business. I reserve non business related tasks for when everyone is home, this ensures I’m most productive on my business during my most energetic times of day, just as I would be in a job.
When we’re home together – it’s together time mostly, unless my boys are busy or there is a pressing business commitment. When I duck out and run errands, I have the list of things to do and move each task as its completed. Trello is also free and my husband and I both have the app so that we can easily see what’s going on when and where.
Working Moms Tip #4 – Working Moms Who Do It All Can Enlist Help From Others
I feel like I’ve kind of gone a bit soft in regards to my children doing their own chores, but other people might think I’m a bit harsh. My boys make their own beds (which is debatable, it often didn’t look that made before age 9), but it’s the habit and effort. I have learnt not to remake their attempts, unless it’s an unable to be slept in situation.
My boys bring all their dishes to the sink, laundry to the laundry, packing up all their toys, putting clean clothes away, vacuuming their rooms, feeding the cat and cleaning their bathroom sink from time to time.
It really doesn’t seem like a lot in the grand scheme, but it does all add up. These tiny tasks I don’t have to do, free me up to finish up other household duties. It really started, as I wanted to see my children become self-sufficient and have confidence in their own abilities. But I’m pleased now they see just how much love and effort really goes into looking after a family.
Tasks have always been suited to their level of ability and a little bit of time spent teaching eventually becomes time saving. That’s not to say that my children are perfect, by any stretch of the imagination. They are still regular kids who don’t do as they know they’re supposed to and I often arrive out of the shower to find two, still pyjama clad boys playing Lego, with no school bags packed or breakfasts ready. But life is a work in progress after all.
Working Moms Tip #5 – Routines To Have You At Your Best + Find Time For That Workout
Being honest with yourself doesn’t sound like a very practical tip. But facing overwhelm from trying “to do it all” is a very real struggle. We all have different abilities to handle different things. When I get stressed, it goes straight to my shoulders, which then takes out my neck, my jaw, the left side of my body into my hip, followed by sciatica.
As Mom’s, we’re used to powering through and ignoring our own needs. The idea of running a warm bath or relaxing with a glass of wine and some non-business adult conversation, might seem a stretch, if your evenings look more like tripping over forgotten toys or paying bills online.
But we all know the adage, that all work and no play make’s Jack a dull boy. How do you think Jill feels? If you don’t make time for at least a little self-care, fitness and fun, you’ll more than likely fall down and break your crown. All that giving out needs to be balanced, with some care coming back in. Of course, the love from those smiling little faces and sleepy child cuddles, can’t be beat. But the physical care for ourselves, will come from ourselves. Think of a credit card run dry and accumulating interest every month vs an investment paying dividends.
I am someone who needs a lot of sleep, somehow a lot more than hubby and at times it feels like I need more than my kiddos.
Whatever you do to relax and have a great bed time routine, will set you up for success for the day ahead. Experts suggest having the same bed time and wake time each day, to have your body clock in a rhythm. But as a Mom it’s probably going to vary from day to day, whether you’ll be getting any sleep at all.
If you’re one of the sleep deprived, you might consider the power of Progressive Yoga Relaxation. It allows the body to get into a deep restful state, that’s been likened to the equivalent of 4 hours worth of sleep. If you’re at the office, you might find a quiet spot, even in the car, but best results come from being able to do 20 mins lying down. Handy for relieving jet lag, also if your work involves travel.
If your feeling super indulgent a relaxing Epsom salt soak with lavender essential oils are a lovely way to ease tired muscles whilst listening to some relaxing music or maybe a meditation you’ve googled. I find the bath itself not particularly relaxing, but I certainly sleep better afterward. You'll find more stress relieving tips, to have you feeling your best by clicking the link to Relax Like a Boss.
I discovered the power of nutrition in my early 20’s pre children. Having being diagnosed with endometriosis, I utilized surgery to try and alleviate the pain, but was soon back to excruciating agony every month. In desperation I visited the health food store, for what I hoped might be a magical herb that could take away the pain. I’d been living on ibuprofen to manage my symptoms and make it possible to get off the floor and leave the house for work in the morning. I never did find one magic herb, but what I did find was magical enough.
After consuming a major course corrected eating plan, that included only fresh vegetables, fresh fruit and meat with an emphasis away from wheat and no diary, I had my first natural pain free month. This powerful diet combined with supplements, allowed my body to heal. I had my eczema and asthma, back under control and I lost 15 kilograms in the process.
When we eat for health, we have the correct fuel to rebuild our bodies and be provided with the energy we need to thrive. We've never lived in a better time to find all the information and nutrition tools, to have us feeling our best. If you’re feeling a lag in your energy, it's definitely worth reconsidering what’s going in the tank.
If you’re not currently attending to your fitness, you might think I’m mad for suggesting you now try to add something extra into an already jam-packed schedule. But the method in the madness isn’t only about our energy levels.
We know that it doesn’t require a lot of exercise and boring hours in the gym to be beneficial. Brisk walking is a great way to exercise and can be easily incorporated into your day. I’m fortunate enough to live close to our children’s school, which see’s me briskly walking/ jogging behind two scooting boys, who are getting faster by the day.
If you’re at work with a long enough lunch break, you might consider squeezing the shopping in that you need to get done at some point, during this time. Parking far enough away to the walk to the shop, shopping and the returning with additional weight in your arms still counts as exercise.
As someone who loves to get the most out of my time, I do yoga from home via Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube. It requires no travelling to and fro or juggling of children. Adrienne is there whenever I’m ready, in the palm of my hand. As a former yoga teacher, I really appreciate nothing more than being taught, challenged a little more than I would challenge myself and my kiddo’s sometimes love to join in too.
Success for me isn’t about finding perfection, it’s about doing the best I can with what I’ve got. The journey of discovering all I can about myself, getting rid of my people pleasing tendencies and dropping the martyr role I lived, have opened up many new avenues in my life.
Working from home online has provided me with much greater time freedom and autonomy to work when and how I want to. You can explore my tips for getting started working from home here. Solutions to our questions and problems exist, we just have to be brave enough to shine the light out there to find them.
Ensuring I continue my path of personal growth and learning, whilst spending time with the people I love is my success criteria. I no longer let the dust on my hall table, dictate if I’m succeeding as a working Mom or not. When I started living from a different point of purpose, life became fun again and I no longer feel like the passenger on an out of control ride, but the creator of an amazing life.
Feel free to connect with me on Facebook and let me know your favorite tip. If you know a working Mom who could use some permission to live her best life, feel free to share.