The Baggage & Motherhood Guest Writer’s Series gives a space for moms around the world to share their story of what life has thrown their way and how it has impacted them in their role as a Mom. This post by Laura Jafarkhani gives firsthand advice on how to juggle priorities as a working mom!
All of the posts in this series touch on the real life struggles of bringing your “stuff” with you to your most important job: Motherhood.
How to Juggle Priorities as a Working Mom
Being a mom is not an easy job but it is very rewarding. For those moms that either have to work or want to work, we are given an additional set of priorities to juggle.
What happens when your kid is sick and you have a big project due at work? What happens if daycare is closed or your nanny calls out sick?
It is constantly a battle of adjusting priorities. There are no easy answers but here are some tips that can help.
I am a full-time working mom with 3 boys.
My kids are currently 9, 4, and 2 so my oldest goes to the after school program at school and my younger 2 are at a full-time preschool.
It is a constant push and pull when it comes to where I am needed most.
I have some flexibility at my job when it comes to working remotely, but not a ton. My husband works often (including the weekends), so I take on the bulk of kid duties and household responsibilities.
Here are some tips on how I make it work. One of my blog posts talks about How to do it all- Mom Style.
As much as possible, I try to prep and plan ahead. This helps to reduce stress by a lot. The night before I prep lunches, get my laptop, purse, water and anything else I need, ready to go. I try to plan out meals for the week on the weekend so we don’t end up picking up food for dinner every night. I will throw in a load of laundry while putting the kids to bed so it is ready to fold before I go to bed.
Let it go:
My house is not clean nor organized. I really wish it was but I have come to terms with the fact that it will not be. We have a house cleaner come 1-2 times a month to do an overall clean. I take care of more daily tasks like vacuuming, cleaning counters, dishes, etc. With young children and busy schedules, there is constantly papers, bags, shoes, toys, etc. everywhere. We are working on getting the boys to help more but I have learned not to expect perfection.
We have taught our 2 older boys that if they want to watch TV in the morning, they need to do 3 things first. They need to get dressed, feed the dog and get breakfast. This is now routine for them and it makes mornings a lot less stressful. I have them turn off the TV 20-30 minutes before we need to leave so we have enough time to finish last minute things like grabbing lunches, putting shoes on, grabbing a jacket, etc. If they get up late then they miss the opportunity to watch TV. They also know they cannot get up before 6am so that they don’t get up too early just to watch TV.
Ask for help:
Don’t try to do it all yourself. It does not reflect badly on you to ask others for help. We sometimes carpool with our neighbor for school drop off to limit our drop offs in the morning. I will sometimes get a babysitter for a few hours on the weekend in the afternoon so that I can get things done around the house or work on my blog. I ask my husband for help when he is available. It is okay to ask for help and give help to others when you can as well.
What to choose:
When your priorities conflict you will need to choose. Sometimes you will need to miss a day of work because your kids need you. They might be sick or have an important event at school that they want you to go to. Other times you will need to miss a school event or send your kid to school with some sniffles because you have something important at work. They are very tough decisions and you will probably feel guilt, but do your best. As much as you can, choose family first.
One thing that has helped us a lot as a family is sending each other calendar invites on our phones. Whether it is something for the kids’ school, doctor appointments, date nights, trips or reminders for bills, we send each other these so we both have it on our calendars. It helps for not forgetting things and knowing what is happening for the day or week. My husband can’t claim I didn’t tell him about something when he accepts the calendar invite and it is on his calendar. LOL.
What is best for your family:
Every family is different with needs and priorities. Figure out what works best for you and try to limit stress. Life is short so we need to stay focused on what is most important.
About the Author:
Hi! I am Laura and I have a parenting focused blog called Lala to Mama. Before I had kids, I was Auntie LaLa and then my husband and I were blessed by God with 3 boys of our own. My blog is focused on advice for moms, tips, family adventures and family-friendly recipes. Being a parent is hard so I try to provide content that can help answer questions and make life a little easier. It really does take a village.
Keep up with Laura, aka Lala with the other links below!
I want to thank Laura for creating such a helpful post that so many moms can relate to. Not all mamas are able to stay home, and not all mamas want to stay home, meaning there are a heck of a lot of working mamas out there.
Thank you for reading along with Lauras’s story of how to juggle priorities as a working mom in this Baggage & Motherhood guest writer’s series.
30 thoughts on “Baggage & Motherhood — A Guest Writer’s Series: How To Juggle Priorities as a Working Mom by Laura Jafarkhani”
It’s always a juggle in priorities and they change constantly. Your advice is great on how to manage some of that.
I see so many mothers struggle with this! Thank you for your inspiration!
Great tips for anyone really!
I dont know how people do it. I could not even juggle a full time job, being married, and keeping up with everything at home. My mom did it as a single parent of 5 kids and i just cannot wrap my head around it!
Parenting is hard especially if you work! I don’t know how you do it. I am older a live alone and work and still struggle to get everything done.
That shared calendar tip is a lifesaver! Now that my kids are all teens, they are also on the shared calendar. No one can say they didn’t know something was going to happen!
simple. to the point. no nonsense. i like it
Being a working Mom is no easy task! Great tips to help a mom out, I especially like “setting expectations”. So smart, thanks for sharing 🙂
It is hard to balance everything! Being flexible is key
Wow, you do a lot. I had to laugh because my children are all grown, but I will bring my dog to daycare so I can have some time to write or just relax. Asking for help is key to raising kids. I didn’t do enough of it. Great post.
It is a juggle – great tips!
Thank you for the awesome tips! Sending these to my daughter!
Great tips and advice! This really is a helpful post for the working Mom!
All really good points. it’s very hard to juggle everything, and planning ahead and letting things go will really go a long way!!!
this is great as I can totally relate in almost every aspect! i too had to come to terms that sometimes i cannot clean the house and with sports and wedding planning added on, sometimes we just have to eat out as well. we cant do it all so planning and asking for him from your family and kids def makes a huge difference.
I remember those days. I would just get to work and the school would ring to come up and pick up my sick child.
Great suggestions for those working Moms out there!
This is a great post! I am a new mom, so this gives me some insight on what to prepare for, and ideas on what to do as well!
Love your “Let it go” section. too often we hang on to ideas of what we must do – not always what we should do.
I can relate to this a lot. I have a 22-year-old and a 10-year-old, and I have been a teacher the whole time. I also am the theatre director and speech coach at my high school. There is so much that I just have to set a timer and let it go when I the timer goes off. Most of the time, the work can wait a little. When I have a show to direct, that gets crazier, but then I put a limit on what classroom tasks I have to get done immediately. Through all of this, my kids had to survive somehow. I think it’s summers. During the summer is when I make up for my crazy time during the school Year.
Great tips! It is hard to try to balance work and kids.
Great tips..My favorite is to set PRIORITIES, everything is not created equal and once that is established, the rest is easy peazy.
The tip about calendar sharing. I am wondering what do you use for that?
Hi Adrienne! I am not sure what she uses, but I know at work I used to use a shared Google Calendar, so maybe it’s that!
Oh, the struggle!!!! I’m a single mom with 7 kids here. I have a huge white board calendar for everyone, to-do lists for every kid morning and evening. Each child has their own laundry day (The Bigs help the Littles on their days, but everyone from 5 years old to 16 years old knows how to run the washer and dryer. And the 4 teens each have a 15 minute chore everyday (a room to sweep and pick up things off the floor). Life as a mom is precious, so we all make it work!!!!
Being a mom is hard, but adding a job outside the home just adds another layer to the complexity. My boys are 18 and 14, so we are getting to the backend of all this. It is a huge balancing act.
Mom guilt is real!! Balancing It is difficUlt.
My house is hardly ever clean these days either with balancing two jobs and 3 kids. I might look into housekeeping as well or offer some money to some kids who want to do chores! lol
Being a mom is tough. Add to it a career and it can be so much more challenging. it’s Tough these days
As the mom of two teens and a twenty year old, I can attest to so much of this. We planned ahead, now have a shared calendar, and set expectations for the boys when they were younger (tasks to privileges, wake up times, quiet times, etc). i do love how you emphasize that family comes first ~ it’s too easy to let go of that in a world where work is so demanding.