Guide for Working Mothers
Updated: Oct 4, 2021
As a working mother, you can feel overwhelmed sometimes. There are always things to be done, yet so little time. Your life feels out of control sometimes……other times you feel exhausted and mess up even simple tasks.
In this article, I share some of the strategies I have learnt as a working mother.
Prioritise and Get Organised
I often find myself in multiple roles. Mother, daughter to aged parents, employee, boss, teacher, housekeeper, chauffeur, family secretary…there are many things that I must do… yet there is only limited time. Hence, it is important for me to prioritise.
These are some questions that I ask myself in coming up with my priorities. How ambitious am I? How many hours a week do I want to spend at the office? How many evenings a week am I willing to work late? Sometimes the answers to these questions get too much in my head…so I get a journal to jot things down in a little notebook. In that way, I can keep track of what I am thinking about. By journaling, I am writing down my reasons and priorities for choosing one task over another. I know the first step towards success is to at least know the kind of person I want to be.
Once I know where I want to go in my life, I set my priorities, I have a plan and I get organised. I list down the things that must be done to accomplish my goals.
Here are some goals that I decided for myself and my family.
Travel together. It might not seem feasible now, yet it is still one of my long-term goals to go for a long trip together with my family, to spend long periods of time together😊 Other goals include wanting my child to learn a skill such as swimming or bicycling. Sometime back, I signed my children up for piano lessons – I wanted them to learn how to play a musical instrument.
I would also like my daughters to learn some housework. I am a firm believer of this adage...
Tip: Once I set your goals, I think about I am going to accomplish them. Often, I work backwards and write down the steps that I can take to achieve my goal. I make it a point to make small, incremental steps towards my goal.
Early preparation is often the key to success. Prepare as much as possible. Have the work done before you have to rush. For example, pack the children’s bag the night before, not on the morning itself. For more information on what to pack for childcare, check out this article.
Tip: Take time to make time. I usually input schedule information into my calendar the minute I know about it.
Every weekend, I will go through my children’s bags, which will have notices that are going to be communication about events and calendars.
As the family secretary, I will enter vacation dates, school meetings, appointments into a shared family calendar.
Execute Your Plan
Once I have my goals and lists...it is all about the execution next…the most important and hardest part!
I have found this to be useful when I get home from work. Before I step into the house, I take time to compose myself and “switch” my mind to my family. I focus on my children! They deserve my attention – the housework and my work can wait. My children know when my mind is elsewhere and they resent it. When I am with them, I try to be with them, in body and mind!
Learn Quick and Easy Recipes
No matter how I dine, I still have to bring the food into the house and prepare it.
I might be making a nice living, but I certainly am not going out for dinner or have takeaways every single night.
Like everything else, this calls for a system and preparation. Figuring out in advance what to eat, how to make it and how to get it to the table saves me time in the supermarket and anxiety.
Talking to older mothers who cook, I have learnt more about nutrition. I also specialise in a few dishes by seeking out easy recipes from the internet, relatives, friends, television cooking shows and cookbooks.
Tip: Get a slow-cooker and learn to use it.
Know When to Ask for Help
We need support from a variety of people. It can be family, childcare or even a coach to help us from time to time.
Don’t skimp on childcare if you can afford it. If you are working full-time, ensure your children get the best care you can afford rather than saving every penny for a rainy day. Do go through the subsidies available for childcare and apply for them.
One way of finding a reliable childcare centre via word of mouth is also a reliable way to find a centre. After that, be sure to check out the centre for yourself . Make sure the childcare centre is clean, organised and well resourced.
Do you like the principal you meet and the teachers you see? Do the children look happy and attended to or do they have running noses and smelly diapers? Do the staff look happy? Is the centre properly accredited?
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