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.