As I mentioned in my first-ever blog post, I’m a full-time working mama. I work 8am-6pm 5 days a week, every week. It sucks lol!!! But hey that’s life! I wasn’t born a millionaire who can just stay home all the time & unfortunately we’re not in a situation where daddy works a great job so that I can be a stay-at-home mom. Maybe one day, but not right now. Today I want to share how I balance work life with mom life in hopes that this may help you all out. Whether you’re working full-time or part-time, it’s hard to figure out a way to do it all!
The most important thing is to Stop Feeling Guilty.
This is a hard pill to swallow! There will be good & bad days, but you have to accept that you must work & focus on what this is doing for your family. I have to work because until recently it was just Cora & I. If I wasn’t working, how would I support my daughter? How would I buy diapers, food, milk, clothing, and the list just goes on & on?! I wouldn’t be able to without my job and that’s our reality. But it’s not just about money, what am I teaching my daughter from this? I’m teaching her that you must work hard in life to succeed. I’m teaching her that mommy is strong & responsible, and will do whatever it takes for her to have a happy & comfortable life. I’m teaching her strong work ethics without even realizing it.
My mom worked full-time most of my childhood. But the truth is, she used to be a stay-at-home mom. That was the whole plan. My dad had a good job that would support us so mom could stay home, and she did until I was about 4. At that time, something unexpected happened which forced my dad on disability. So mom had to stop being a stay-at-home mom to go out into the workforce to support us and that’s really all I remember. I remember her working hard to take care of our family, and you know what…As soon as I was old enough to work, I went to work because that’s what I was shown to do my entire childhood. I was taught without even being told that you’re suppose to work and to work hard.
Find Child Care that you’re completely happy with.
I am beyond blessed to have my mom&dad just a 5minute drive away, and then just another 10minute drive to work from their house. When I was pregnant, I didn’t initially plan to have my parents be Cora’s childcare. It wasn’t that I didn’t want them to be, I just didn’t really think about that even though they were both retired now. My train of thought was if you work then you’re kids go to daycare, period. So I actually started asking my friends who were moms what daycare they used & how the process went for getting your child enrolled. I will say from the little research I did on it, at least for my town, you better start calling daycares while you’re pregnant. If you wait until you have the baby, or you’re about to go back to work, you won’t find openings in time! So, how it worked out for me was, during a conversation with my mom about some daycares I’d looked into, she acted surprised& even hurt and stated I thought we would be Cora’s daycare. I was surprised by the fact that I hadn’t even thought about it lol. Not only was this my mom & dad who I loved dearly & trusted completely, this would also be FREE!! Of course, I jumped on that fast haha! But the point is, it doesn’t matter if a family member is watching your kids or a daycare is, you must be comfortable with where they are. If you don’t like the daycare your baby is going to, how will you make it through a day at work?! You will be worrying and stressing non-stop. Now of course this is going to happen in the very beginning when returning from maternity leave either way, but I’m talking about once you have gotten used to being at work. You HAVE TO be happy with where you child is while you’re at work. I’m able to focus on my work while knowing that Cora is happy & being taken care of at every point of the day.
Make sure to prepare for each day.
Every night like clockwork I lay out what Cora will wear the next day. This includes shoes, socks, hat, jacket, everything possible I will need for her to walk out the door. I say that because I learned very early on that just laying out her outfit is not enough. Because if I just lay out her outfit then I’m stuck searching for her jacket for 10minutes in the morning which could potentially make me late for work. So I reiterate to make sure to lay out everything & anything your kids will need to walk out the door the night before. This also goes for lunch boxes for older kids, backpacks, homework, etc etc. These are things I don’t have to do right now but it will happen sooner rather than later. And I do the same thing with my own clothing & bags too. Your morning goes SOO MUCH smoother when you’re prepared & organized seriously! And we all know, how the morning starts usually has a big effect with how the rest of your day goes so we don’t want to start out stressed!
Stay connected during the work day.
Since I live so close to work & since Cora is at my parents house, it’s very easy for me to stay connected with her during the day. But it doesn’t matter what your situation is, there is always a way to stay connected. Every chance I get to take a full lunch, I go to my parents to see Cora for about 40minutes. So every day or well when I can, I’m getting to spend some quality time with her in the middle of the work day. This has been such a blessing!! But if you’re not able to visit your child during a lunch break, that’s okay. We have video phones now guys lol! I will FaceTime with Cora during a break if I’m not able to go home. I also have sent my mom tons of different “check-in” videos so that she can show Cora mommy talking to her at any time. These little connections seriously help you & your kids both. If you’re child is in daycare, talk to them about how you can stay connected with your child. I promise you, this will benefit you both!
Designate a special time before or after work to spend quality time with your child/children.
There are tons of things that need to be done every night after I get off work. I have to pick Cora up from grandparents to go home, figure out supper, pick up the house, do laundry, prepare for the next day, bla bla bla the list never stops….right?! But at some point during all that, you should set aside some quality time with your kiddos. For me, it’s associated around bed time routine. Because of my work schedule, we don’t get home until 6:30 or so & at that point I need to feed Cora because soon she will be ready for bed. It does suck because I get a total of like 2 hours awake time with Cora on work days, but that’s why its so important to set aside quality time with her. After supper we have a little play time then it’s time to take a bath. The bed time routine is definitely OUR thing. We don’t just take a bath, we sing & play in the tub spending quality time in the bathroom, door shut, alone, just us 2 with no distractions. I let her stay in for as long as she wants, at this age its about 15minutes max. We then get ready for bed with our lotion, jammies, etc etc but while doing all this we’re still spending our quality time. This isn’t a normal diaper change or clothing change where it’s just get it done & get it done as quickly as possible. We are having fun, learning new things, and enjoying this time together. It’s then story time & off to bed. It’s probably a total 30-45 minute process, and if I had more time it would be more but this is what works for our family & schedule. When I leave that room I’m complete. I’ve had my quality time with Cora with no distractions & I know it was special for both of us. Depending on your schedule & your children’s schedule (sports, clubs, etc) will determine when this is best for your family. It may end up being a morning thing, after dinner thing or even a Friday night/ weekend thing. Just figure out whatever works for you & your family.
Plan your days off every week.
My work schedule is Tues-Saturday so every week I’m off 2days together, Sunday & Monday. On Saturday night, after I get Cora to bed I plan out the next 2 days. I try to make it where one day we get all errands and work done, so the 2nd day is more of a relaxing day. It doesn’t always work out like that but I do try to plan it like that. Especially since I also influence on Instagram, I have deadlines for photos that have to be met and my days off are really the only time to get this done. So I must plan out my photos for these days. But this could apply to any work that you need to get done, for example cleaning the kitchen or putting up winter clothes etc. We all have stuff we have to do & I’ve realized planning them out definitely helps me spend less time on them and MORE quality time with my family. I do have to add in that it doesn’t matter what “work” I must get done on my days off, Cora is being included. As you have found out I work a lot, so if I’m off there is a 99.9% chance she is with me & we’re doing whatever together. We can clean together, we can take photos together, whatever work I must get done, I’m going to make it fun for her because then it’s fun for me!
Be sure to take “Me Time” in addition to spending time with your partner.
I’ve had trouble with this one and I still do at times. I work so dang much that any chance I have to be off with Cora especially while shes awake, I want to spend it with her. And that’s good, I’m not saying that its not. I’m a good mom that loves my daughter of course I want to be around her as often as possible. But one thing I have to remind myself is to take a little “me time”. For example, you could call a sitter(or ask your partner) to watch your children after they are in bed so that you can go out for couple hours to have some time with friends, go shopping, work out, whatever it is that you enjoy to do. Also, get a sitter every once in awhile so you & your partner can have a night out. I can say at our house with our schedule, nights are a little hectic even after Cora goes to bed, so Eric & I don’t get too much quality time. Then on my days off, I’ve got everything planned around getting things done, spending time with Cora, and us all doing family activities together so there’s not any alone time there really either. So every other week, I have my parents keep Cora overnight. Instead of picking her up after work, I will stop by & see her (because I just can’t help not to) and then Eric & myself will have the night to go out or stay in, it doesn’t matter because it’s just us! Seriously we need this. I don’t think anyone doesn’t need this. Do this!!! Do this for time for yourself & do this for time with your partner. It totally refreshes me!!
Again, like I’ve said in every blog post- I’m no pro. I have days that are messy, I have days I’m unprepared. I forget to do stuff I’m suppose to do ALL THE TIME! That’s life & that’s reality lol! But I have tried to figure out a balance & I hope this helps you too. No matter what, don’t ever think your child will not love you as much because you work a lot or resent you because you work so much. I used to have those thoughts when Cora was a little baby, but the more she grows and the more interactive she is able to be with me, it really shows me she loves me. And she KNOWS I’m her mama!