I don’t know about you, but I find that being a working mum has sent me a little bit crazier than I was before! I can’t remember anything these days, whereas before I had an amazing memory. I’m constantly rushing around and have no idea whether I’m coming or going half the time.
As with most things related to parenting, it does get easier with time and I’m definitely handling it better 6 years on than I was to begin with, though obviously I still lose my sh*t regularly!
If you feel yourself struggling with the balancing act of kids, work and life, here are some tips on how to stay sane as a working mum and practice a bit of self-care…
Be an organised mum
Rushing around constantly is my biggest issue with working and having a child at school who does a million after-school activities. Learning how to be an organised working mum, balancing work and family life will really make a difference to your stress levels.
I know it’s boring and easier said than done, but if you have a routine and get organised the night before then there’s so much less rushing around in the morning. Take any bags for after school clubs with you in the morning so you can go straight there after work without having to pop home to get football kits or swimming bags.
There will always be things that go wrong at the last minute or things you’ve forgotten, but on the whole being an organised mum will help relieve a little bit of the stress. Try to be organised at work as well, write things down and set reminders if your brain feels a little bit fried. These are the apps I rely on to help me organise my life a bit better.
It’s so important to take care of yourself as well as everyone else – self-care for mums shouldn’t be ignored. An unhappy or sick mum is no good to anyone so this is really important. Have some time to yourself, eat properly, exercise (if you can find the time!) and get a good night’s sleep. I know sleep can be hard to come by, but if it’s a case of sleep rather than cleaning I know which I’d pick!
Enrolling kids in after-school activities can also give you some time to yourself. Little H does a 2-hour gymnastics class once a week and this gives me time to clean, do the food shopping or sometimes just sit on the sofa and have a Netflix binge.
Work. Childcare. Food shopping. Cooking. Housework. The list for working mums is endless, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. You could try to do it all but you’d probably fail and end up even more stressed out. So why not do less? Does the house really need to be hoovered every day? Can you delay the food shopping until you have more time and just let the kids have chips and chicken nuggets for dinner? Can you have a bath and relax instead of putting toys away that will just be back out by the next morning?
This counts for work too. Don’t be pressured into agreeing to do overtime or work extra hours if you don’t want to. If you’re already stressed and struggling to fit everything in, think about whether the extra money is actually worth it.
Whether it’s getting a cleaner or asking family members to do the school run once a week, don’t be too proud to ask for help. And if your husband doesn’t share the load with you go and give him a kick up the arse! You both go to work, so you both have to share the childcare and housework.
Talk to other mums
Whether it’s socialising with your friends or other school mums, or joining some parenting groups online, I urge you to talk to fellow working mums. I guarantee everyone feels the same and has the same struggles, and everyone feels like they are going a little bit crazy most of the time. You will quickly realise that you’re not a bad mum and everyone faces the same working mother guilt. It might not help you to sort your life out but it will make you realise you’re not the only one who finds it all too much to balance sometimes.
And if all else fails…
It won’t get the housework done or get you all out of the house on time in the mornings, but it will help you forget about it all for a bit!
Share your working mum struggles in the comments below so other mums can see we’re all in the same boat!