Alright working moms, can you relate to the photo above? The total and utter insanity of trying to work and “mom” at the same time?
If I’m being honest, summer has been a true challenge on the work front. Back in May I had a blissful picture of what my summer would look like: I would have endless hours playing with my girls at home while somehow finding time to work in peace and quiet. I actually remember telling one of my friends (a mom of older kids) this, and she smirked and asked if I genuinely thought I was going to get any work done. I recall feeling slightly offended and desired to prove her wrong.
Well, several weeks in and I quickly realized she was right! Finding time to work from home without a nanny was darn near impossible. I hate being on my phone or at the computer when the girls are awake, so my work hours were confined to before they woke up, during nap time, and after they went down to bed. The thing is though, no day ever went how I planned. Sometimes Abby wouldn’t nap or we’d have a play date or doctor’s appointment. You name it, summer through so big curve balls to this working mama.
This summer has left me feeling like I’m not giving 100% at work or 100% at home. I’ve felt frazzled and plan-less; anxious about answering emails, anxious about spending quality time with my girls, anxious about meeting deadlines, etc. Ultimately, I knew I had to sit down and provide structure into my days if I was going to succeed at being a mom and an entrepreneur. Below is what I’ve come up with and what I’m currently implementing. If you have any tips too, I’d love to hear them!
how to effectively manage your time as a working mom:
- create a “work space” – if you’re going to start somewhere, start with this. Make a space that is just for work. If you’re lucky enough to have a home office, utilize that space. If not, get creative! A little desk in the corner of your room, takeover your dining table, do what you have to! I just recommend not using the spaces you like to lounge in – your bed or couch. If you try and work where you lounge I’ve found you struggle more to focus and stay on task. I usually end up calling it quits earlier too if I’m working from my bed as opposed to my office desk.
- get dressed – I don’t know why, but getting dressed has a big impact. Wake up and change your clothes as if you were going into the office. You will be way more productive than working from your PJs or sweats.
- weekly planning session – make time to make a list. I try and pick one day a week – for me it’s Sunday, to sit down and list out all that needs to happen. Once I have listed everything out, I try and break my list down into a weekly list and a daily list. This helps me see which tasks need to happen first and it makes the week feel less overwhelming.
- prioritize your list – a list can be overwhelming for some; so in an effort not to forego the important tasks or miss a deadline, put your “must-do” items on the top of your list.
- time block/detailed schedule – instead of thinking “I’ll do XYZ this afternoon,” write out a detailed schedule such as “answer emails from 5:30 AM – 6:30 AM.” This will help you to see exactly how much time you will have during your day and plan out which tasks can be accomplished during those times.
- utilize down time – the whole “sleep when the baby sleeps” saying is legit. When there is downtime, work. For me, that is usually from 12:30 – 2ish when my girls are resting/napping. I also utilize small 10-15 minute windows of time to do things like answer emails when I’m in the carpool line for example.
- hire a nanny – this. It is worth the money. We didn’t have any help in June because I thought I could handle it. In July however, we had a woman come several mornings a week and it was such a game changer. Even several hours a day gave me time to get my big projects done and tasks where I needed peace and quiet to focus.
Free product was received from Chicwish for this post. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting those brands that support Fleurdille.
photography: maribel morales