8 tips for the working mama
To be honest, I've had this blog post as a draft for over a week now. I've been struggling with a serious case of writer's block until I reached out to my friend Natassia who I bounced some ideas back and forth with. Ba-bam! I realised I've never actually put together a blog post with practical tips for the working mama. Almost a year ago I wrote a post about why I chose to be a working mama - and as much as that blog post was about the WHY, this post is about HOW I make it happen. Here are my 8 super practical tips to make life being a working mama as easy and stress-free as possible (on most days):
- Rise and shine early - I'm not a morning person but if I know that I need to be out the door by 7:45am, then I need to be up at 6am. Trust me, it's not a pretty sight, and my husband is usually the one to get up as the first alarm goes off, make coffee and then come to kick me out of bed. That hour before Lily wakes up is critical to starting the day right. I drink my coffee, eat some breakfast, chat with the hubby, wash my face and get dressed. Then things are all set for when Lily wakes up and it becomes all about getting her ready.
- Alarms are my saviour - I have two separate alarms that go off Monday - Thursday, same time each day. First one is at 7:40am and it's a 'TIME TO LEAVE' alarm. We don't actually have to leave the house at that time, but I find it's a good reminder to start brushing teeth, putting on our shoes and grabbing our bags before we leave the house. Even though I've been doing this working mama gig for one and a half years, it's very easy to get carried away with the time especially if the little one is having a tantrum or resisting getting dressed etc.
The second alarm is at 4:00pm and it's the 'TIME TO GET LILY' alarm. Again, I don't leave work for another half hour afterwards, but it's a good reminder to start wrapping up my day, finishing any last minute tasks or writing the following days 'to do' list. Lily needs to be picked up before 5pm so it's crucial that I have this alarm to remind before I get preoccupied at work.
- Makeup in the car - I'm lucky enough to drive to work which means that my car has turned into a mom taxi/karaoke session/powder room. After I've dropped off Lily & Av, I chuck on some beats and pull out my makeup case. That's right, I do a full face of makeup in the car. I choose very straight-forward products (no egg-shaped beauty blender in sight) and keep things limited to under 10 products. I should probably do a post about this also. Voila - I arrive fresh-faced at work and I don't need to wake up another 10-15 minutes earlier in the morning.
- Strive for sane working hours - I've already spoken about this before but it's super important to have flexible hours at work. Whether that means that you come in early and leave at a set time, or the other way around. Of course, certain times of the year are going to be much busier than others but having some normal working hours is imperative to juggling work life with family life. Set these expectations up front with your manager so there's no confusion.
- Learn to how to switch off - burning out is not fun. I use my time on Friday through Sunday to rest, spend time with Lily, connect with family and friends and get recharged for the week ahead. Switching off work email notifications is a must.
- Get yourself a working mama squad - having yourself surrounded by women going through the same struggles, challenges and on the flip side accomplishments, is the best. I've got myself a great group of gal pals who also work full-time and it feels so amazing to be supported by women who you can just take a moment to vent to about your shitty morning full of toddler tantrums. If you can survive the aforementioned tantrums, then you can survive anything.
- Prepping the night before is key - I always make sure Lily's backpack is packed for daycare, lunch leftovers are in the fridge and I've got anything I need to take to work right at the front door ready to go. Having these things taken care off the night before makes a big difference the following morning.
- Partner in crime - last but not least a big credit to my husband who cooks most of our meals and makes me coffee every morning. He's such an amazing Dad who is super hands-on and helps out in all the areas of life that I'm not good at (AKA making something out of nothing in the fridge). Parenting feels like a 50/50 partnership with you and I wouldn't want to do it with anyone else in the world xx
So that's it from me.. if you have any other practical tips to share, I would love to hear them! I'm always in search of tips that will make my life easier so share away! x Sharday
Photography: Kirstyn Konig