Being a working mom is like having two jobs. Your real job, where you get paid for your work and hen your other job where you get all of the rewards but none of the pay, raising your children. But managing both work and being a mom is not easy. So here are my 20 things every working mom need to have.
Easy Weeknight Recipes. I love to cook but during the week, as a working mom I’m short on time. Easy weeknight recipes ensure you have the time to prepare dinner at home, can eat healthy foods and not spend extra money and calories on eating out. My favorites are tacos, and anything in the Instant Pot. Pre-marinate meats when you buy them so they are already marinated when they are defrosted.
Meal Planning. As a working mom one of the things that puts a serious wrench into my week is having to make an unexpected stop at the grocery store. Especially if the trip involves taking one or both of my kids to the store. We all know there is no worse torture than taking kids to the grocery store after work. So avoid it by meal planning. Meal planning ensures you have everything you need to prep your meals and lunches during the week.
Mid-Week Shopping Trip. Even though you’re going to be meal planning, we all know kids eat a lot of food. It’s hard to get through an entire week with only one trip to the store. So plan a grocery store trip mid-week at a convenient time. My favorite time to go is right after drop off in the morning. The store is empty and well stocked. You can get in and out of the store quickly, put your groceries away and then head off to work.
Make Lunches at Night. When you are already in the kitchen making dinner, make your kid’s lunches for the next day. You’re already in a grove in the kitchen, and it takes only a few minutes to make lunch. Toss the lunchboxes in the fridge and it makes mornings that much easier.
As A Working Mom Pick Out Clothes the Night Before. One of our biggest battles in the morning is what the kids are going to wear. My son doesn’t care what he wears, but my daughter often likes to pick out her own clothing. We pick out her clothes for the next day in the evening the night before so mornings are a breeze.
Set Out Any Uniforms or Gear for the Next Day. My kids do jui-jitsu, soccer, gymnastics and dance. We make sure all gear and sports uniforms and leotards are set out the night before. This ensures we aren’t scrambling to find things right before we leave for practice or a game.
Make Mom Friends who You Can Call In Emergencies. Have you ever been driving to pick up and all of a sudent waze says there’s an accident in front of you. You’re now going to be 10 minutes late! You NEED friends you can call in these situations who can let the teacher know, and ideally they’re on your list to take your kids with them to the park or a playdate at their house. I cannot tell you how many times I have needed this in my life, and how many other parents I’ve covered for too. These don’t have to be your besties. Just moms and neighbors who have kids in your class or in the same grade who are reliable and can be there. Bonus if they are a stay at home mom, they are always early for pick up unlike me running there right when the bell rings!
Pack Snacks and Water in Your Car. My afternoons are often spent with kids jumping in and out of the car. We do a lot of impromptu activities like park playdates with friends. Always keep water in your car (hidden from the sun of course) and snacks. Refresh those snacks often!
Pack Wet Wipes in Your Car. Even when kids are bigger, spills and sticky fingers happen.
Always Leave Your Purse in Your Backseat. This will get you in the habit of always opening the back door. If, heaven forbid, you were unaware your child is in the backseat, tragedy will be averted.
Use the Child Passenger Feature on Waze. It alerts you at the end of every drive to check your backseat to see if a kid is still with you.
Pick a Fun Voice in Waze with Your Kids to Make Driving More fun. My kid’s crack up when Cookie Monster (who just left Waze), Colonol Sanders or R2D2 give us directions in the car. It adds a moment of humor to drives and gives everyone something to look forward to happening on their drive
Pick a Music Station with Your Kids in Spotify, Pandora or Amazon Music. Add songs to your playlist together. We have several in my family. The kids get to choose which list they want to listen to as long as they are behaving and treating their sibling well.
Create a Rigid Bedtime Routine. This gives structure to your evening an helps get your kids into bed and then asleep faster. Kids thrive on routine and structure. And the earlier they are asleep, the more alone time you get!
Have Your Vent Squad. Have a squad of moms who can be there for you on those rough days. You don’t need to chat all of the time. That’s mom life with friendships. But you have each other’s backs whenever one of you is having a bad day. Bonus: if they have kids the same ages as yours or have had kids at that stage so they can understand the F You Four and the Big Feelings at 5.
Nightly Skincare Routine. Carve out 15 minutes either before or after the kids go to bed to pamper yourself. Moms need nightly facials more than anyone! Put on some music and maybe light a candle. Wash your face. Maybe do it again. Slather on your oil. Then serum one. Then serum two up to whatever number you do. Rub them in with your hands or with a tool. Apply eye cream and then night cream. Be sure to hit your zones (if you’re say 25 get those eyes, if you’re in your 30’s the backs of your hands and your neck).
Bubble Bath Soak with Facial. Once a week, tell your partner you need an hour of alone time or after the kids have gone to bed, draw a bubble bath. Turn off the lights and light a candle. Put a face mask eye and maybe one just for your eyes. I like to also deep condition my hair at this time and I add my favorite Olaplex to my hair as well. Sit and read a book. Play games on your phone. Meditate. Sometimes I call a friend who I haven’t had a chance to connect with in awhile. This is all about YOU! Cover your body in lotion or oil when you get out.
Simplify Where You Can. Do you spend hours every day cleaning the house? Can you afford to hire a cleaner? Start using one every other week. Then see if you need them more. We have one every week. But I could use someone to pick up and prganize almost daily. I literally cannot work until the house is in order. Which means I waste so much time not working, ugh!!
Workout Routine. Do you workout? If not, now is the time to start. You can listen to music pushing a stroller. I put in my airpods while scootering with the kids (I keep music low or only have one in so I can hear traffic well). Find a routine that suits you, whether it’s mat pilates or yoga with your kids before bed, a class, a Peliton, whatever you need!
Vacation Time! Okay this isn’t a real vacation, sorry. This is what you regularly need every month. You need a vacation from your kids and from your spouse. You get that at Mom’s Night Out. Make friends who have kids and plan them. Once a month. Go out so no one has to cook or clean. No one has to worry about sleepy kids. And then alternate witha date night with your spouse. You also need time to connect with your spouse as well.
I hope these tips helped you be able to add more sanity and balance into your life as a working mom! If you have any tips you would love to share with me, please comment below!