It’s NBA Playoff season, which means for us life is pure chaos. We are living by the Miami HEAT’s schedule (as we always do), but things tend to get just a bit more hectic and out of balance this time of year. There are more last minute promos to shoot, more practices between games to cover, and of course more white hot wardrobe to track down.
And in the midst of this blessing of extra freelance work, we still have our home lives. The beautiful kids that still need our time, love, and attention, and of course the never ending laundry and other household chores.
So how does one find balance?
It’s elusive isn’t it? Trying to find time for everything and everyone? The one thing I’m asked all the time is, “How do you do it all?” I’ve learned as a working mom that life is all about priorities, lists, and making sure we all find a little happiness each day. Between late nights at games, and early mornings for school, I’m proud we’ve been able to hold it together, partly because of this motto:
With 93 percent of families in this country requiring a dual income, finding balance between work and our children is becoming increasingly difficult. Here are a few things that seem to help us keep our lives running as smooth as possible.
5 ways to find balance as a working mom
1. Schedule Everything
Spontaneity is not my thing, I’m a natural planner. So we have a schedule for everyone in your house, in one place. For me it’s a planner in my bag that has each family member’s activities, appointments, nanny’s hours, meal plan and errands. (Yes I like paper planners!) We also keep a calendar in the kitchen that everyone can see so there are no surprises. This is my Saturday morning chore, along with meal planning. You can download my FREE PRINTABLE CALENDARS HERE!
2. Night Time Chores Make Mornings a Breeze
Plan ahead the night before so no one is stressed and frazzled on school and work days. Make lunches, coffee, plan snacks and activity bags, and take the pressure off the groggy morning minds! Also, don’t be afraid to give the little ones responsibilities too! Ours (at ages 7 &4) help make their lunches right after dinner, and pack their backpacks before bed. Teamwork!
3. Build a Stellar Support System
I can’t stress enough how vital it is to have a Plan A, B and C for when things go awry. We have a nanny, and a backup sitter, and friends we can call on if something happens. It’s so important to find dependent childcare that you can communicate with all day. And stay connected with your kids when you’re away! Nowadays with technology you can Facetime or Skype from your phones. Ditch the guilt and have fun showing your little ones what your work space looks like! It’s hard sometimes to be away from our kids, but they love knowing what we do when we’re away!
4. Happy Mom, Happy Life
Happy mom, happy life right? (I LOVE this from Peace, Love, World!) It’s so easy to lose ourselves once we become parents. But doing something you love every day or every week will keep you human. Reading, working out, writing, playing the piano, watching The Bachelor, getting a pedicure, whatever it is… just do it! And if you need help, here are some ways to make “me” time. I sometimes multi-task, workout at the Pilates place next to our girls dance class, or read or blog during their activities. Where there’s a will there’s a way, seriously!
5. Share Your Passions with Your Kids
Remember who you were before you were a parent, and share your passions and hobbies with your kids. You don’t always have to take them to parks, indoor play spaces, or plan play dates. Do the things you love too! We bake muffins together every week, and do cardio with the kiddos! And when I feel like reading my Nook, I grab our girls a few books for quiet time. Kids will be inspired if they see you doing what you love.
Remember if you are drowning… ask for help. And if you still can’t find balance, it may be time to re-evaluate what’s really important to your family. As Ferris Bueller so famously said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Janine Huldie says
Yes to all of the above, especially scheduling things as I have found this to help me more than words can even express with balancing all in my life just a bit better lately. Thanks though for sharing more of what has worked for you, too!! 🙂
Live from the Playroom says
Great tips!!! I almost always feel like I’m drowning!!!
Susanne / The Dusty Parachute says
I love all of these suggestions. The one thing I would add, (with older kids – mine are 10 & 6) is to put the kids to work. Even little things like having the kids put away their own laundry or be responsible for their own snack/water bottles in the morning really help out. Plus, they’re proud of being in charge of some stuff too.
Lol I can feel the hectic chaos in your writing! Keep breathing Kristen! These are great tips, I use a paper planner too. What a fun career you have! I’m sure you feel the guilt a lot especially in this crazy time but you are right in making use of technology and letting your kids in to see just what it is you do. It’s important for kids to understand what their parents do and why. Wishing you the best!
I’m loving the nighttime chores, because mornings are hard enough.
This week has been challenging because it’s spring break. So I have tons of work to do, but it’s the kids’ only spring break this year! With beautiful weather! So I did schedule a ton of things ahead of time, which is more unlike me than usual.
scheduling is everything!! I also love paper planners!!
i am a FULL ON PLANNER! and i love the last one – so true!
I’m a little disappointed that the NBA won’t change their schedule around for you 😉
These are great tips, even for this stay at home mom. I’d be much more organized if I followed them!
Great tips and I really needed to read this. Feeling a bit overwhelmed these days. And I agree with the support system Thank goodness I have my tribe to call upon. My kids are a little older than yours – so I’m now trying get them to help. I think it will make things much more peaceful at home. Oh, and thanks for the calendars!
Rock on sister! Link this one up. This makes me happy. I just started ramping up my PR consulting biz and it is crazy busy! Couple all that with the end of the year and it’s intense. Planning, teamwork and lot’s of love are holding us all together right now.
Wow! I just came across your blog and am loving the concept; and the advice even more. As moms we tend to put everything on our shoulders, so I can certainly relate. It’s nice to find someone so relatable.
Oh thank you! And nice to meet you!
Definitely agree with #2, and wish we had a support system in place. Love the statement to build your life around what you love. It’s far too easy to fit in those you love around everything else.