Ask any working mum (no matter how many children they have) how they manage with with work and children and they will tell you that it is a juggling act.
And I couldn’t agree more. However, I have to admit that I am sometimes not the best juggler and I do drop balls. Two hands aren’t always enough. But I am learning that so long as there are no major disasters, dropping the odd ball is fine – you just pick it up again.
Here are my 20 top tips for juggling work and children:
- Accept that there is no such thing as a perfect mother/wife/employee/businesswoman/housewife.
- If you work, get up 30 minutes before your children so that you can shower and have a cup of tea in peace and start the day stress free.
- Keep a changing bag packed and ready by the door at all times. If you use anything while being out, replace it as soon as you get home. It saves a lot of time getting out of the door next time.
- If you start work early, make sure that clothes are out for you and the children, the night before.
- Don’t iron unless it really needs it.
- Plan weekly meals and write them on the calendar. No more getting home shattered at 5pm to have to think of a meal.
- Shop online. You can do it when the children are sleeping and although they charge delivery costs, you will save petrol costs and a lot of time.
- Cook two meals at the same time. For example, cooking a bolognaise and chilli at the same time is not much extra work and will give you a meal for the freezer for a busy day.
- If your children are old enough to sit in the bath by themselves, clean the toilet, sink, shelves etc while they are playing in the bath.
- If you are home with your children in the day, try to go out somewhere every day. Great for all of you especially if they are pushing your buttons. And no checking emails or social media while out. Plus, if you are out, the house won’t get messy.
- Clean the kitchen while you are keeping an eye on the dinner cooking.
- Try to combine trips whenever possible. For example, going to the doctors and the park.
- Set a day and 2-3 hour slot once a week to do a big clean and make sure that you have a treat for yourself for afterwards – maybe chocolate or a film.
- Keep the calendar or diary up to date.
- If you have older children, write up a rota so everyone knows what they are doing and when.
- Don’t stress about mess.
- Deal with all paperwork at the same time, two or three times a week and always file it away so you can find things easily – saves a lot of time.
- Accept help when it is offered.
And don’t forget to have a moment to yourself to rest from all that juggling. You can’t juggle if you’re tired. It can be something simple – like a shower, chat to a friend on the phone or reading a book – so try to find a few moments a day to put the balls down.
Please comment with any other tips on juggling it all to help other mums 🙂