5 Survival Tips for Working Moms in the New Year - Baby Steps in High Heels

Friday, January 9, 2015

5 Survival Tips for Working Moms in the New Year

Remember last week when I posted about options for my New Year’s Resolutions? My Goals? My word for 2015?

Apparently, I meant none of it.

Because when I was recently, and unexpectedly, asked what my New Year’s Resolution is, I immediately -- and without thinking twice -- answered …

Plan more so we stress less.

What the? Did I not just blog several times about completely different goals?

Sometimes, y’all, the mind of this working momma just moves on so quickly, I can’t even keep track.

So, I decided to write down a few specific ways to stay organized, focus on ALL of my goals, and keep from losing my mind as we plunge forward into 2015.

1.       MEAL PLAN. As a working mom, I find that meals are the hardest part of the day. And I work from home fairly often. Technically, I could thaw meat or throw something in the slow cooker so the evenings are a little less hectic. But, emails and conference calls add up, and it’s time to pick up the kids before I know it. So, this month, I’m cooking in bulk and freezing extra fully-cooked meals that I know can be ready with very little time or forethought.

2.       MASTER CALENDAR. Before kids, I could tell you the date, time, and location of any event, appointment or meeting that was scheduled in the coming year. From memory. I could probably even tell you what I planned to wear, given that I would not yet have to worry about spit up on my collar, snotty kisses on my knees, or a fluctuating waistline. Now, though, I’m lucky to remember that lunch is usually sometime around noon. So we have a master calendar. I typically print out a 3-month plan. You don’t need a fancy planner. Just use Excel or Publisher, enter your info, and print. Then print again once you’ve updated by pen everything you forgot to list on the first version. Do it, because it will be a lifeline.

3.       PLAN TIME FOR YOURSELF. You really do have to plan it. Put it on your master calendar, and do it. Whether it’s daily exercise, meditating or praying, a date night, or time with your girlfriends, make sure it happens on a fairly regular basis. It can be easy to get bogged down in work responsibilities and chores at home, but taking care of yourself is the first step to keeping everything else on track. I hear it every time I board a flight for a sales meeting: put on your own oxygen mask before assisting other passengers …

4.       MOTTO or MANTRA. We working parents have such few precious moments with our kids each day, before and after work. And, inevitably, no matter how much you really really really want those moments to be full of joy and fun …. Well, you end up cleaning your car because the baby had a diaper blowout. Or the kids spend the evening in time-out thanks to the somebody-had-a birthday-at-day-care cupcake overload attitude. So sometimes I have to tell the universe: YOU WILL NOT STEAL MY JOY. No matter how many bodily fluid-filled messes or sugar crazed fits we encounter. These are my babies, dang it. We will enjoy our time together.

5.       LET IT GO. I’ve heard the song a dozen or more times a day for the past year, so I should probably let it sink in. I read THE BEST post from Momastery about how you can’t miss your own ship: It won’t leave without you. So if you do happen to miss a deadline or are late for an appointment … or if the meal planning and master calendar and all else fails, just let it go. Live in the moment and enjoy it.

Do you have a tip for surviving the new year? Please share!

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  1. I love #1! I used to be very good about meal planning, but I got off track during the holiday season. I'm ready to remedy that this month. :)

  2. The wheels kind of fell off the cart on our meal planning this week when my little guy got sick, but I'm hoping to get back on track and really stock up this month.