Gone are the days when moms stayed home to look after their families. With the current tough economic climate and ever-changing world, today’s super busy moms are juggling work and home life like never before.
According to recent statistics by the Static Brain Research Institute, 85% of working moms say they feel stressed, while 40% report feeling rushed all the time. So although the majority of super busy moms admit that they’re happy to be working, achieving an ideal work-life balance is a constant work in progress.
We asked a few super busy moms to share their top secrets on how they manage to run the house, work and spend time with their kids.
Kate Kearny is a wife, mom to an adorable two-year-old
Between looking after her toddler (and husband), working as a full-time marketing manager and running her blog and photography company after hours, Kate is one super busy mom!
Kate’s top tips:
- Planning and prep is key. I’ve learnt the hard way that if I leave things that could be done the night before to the morning, I will run late for the rest of the day. I pack all my meals, gym bag, my son Carter’s school stuff, work stuff and anything else I need in the car the night before. You have no idea how much this seemingly little task helps me avoid hitting panic mode during the morning rush.
- Maximise your quality time. I miss out on a lot of fun stuff, because I work seven days a week, so I always make sure to schedule at least two hours per weekend to do something just with the family. My husband trains for Iron Man, so it’s important to share diaries and find gaps. When we do, I like to do chilled family activities like going for walks (and bringing the dogs with, which also lessens that guilt!), going to a child-friendly restaurant (no cooking, bonus!) or playing games with my son. It may not seem like a lot of time but I’m trying hard to make them count.
- Share duties with your partner. I feel so strongly about this. My husband and I share all duties 50/50. You don’t ever hear a man say to a woman ‘Oh, I see you’re on mommy duty today?” So why is it OK to treat fathers as if they’re hired help? My husband and I will each do one school run a day – which means the other parent has ‘permission’ to use their free morning or evening to gym, socialise or work late. The parent on duty is then also responsible for the bed and bath routine. Sure, it means we are like two ships in the night, but it’s not forever.
- Fit your baby into your routine. Take them out, let people visit, go places. Do stuff! The more socialised they are from an early age, the less limited you’ll feel. Most places are happy to accommodate kids – even the gym. Never feel guilty about dropping them at a Club V for an hour – even if you don’t go to exercise, but simply go to blow-dry your hair and enjoy a hot cappuccino.
Follow Kate’s blog here (www.rupertapproves.com), or visit her website here.
Danielle Strehler is the owner of Jerikoh Marketing, a wife, and mom to three boys – eight-month-old twins and a toddler.
Danielle runs her own marketing business, which involves a lot of client meetings and event planning. So, if she’s not with clients or writing pitches, she’s home with her family cooking up a storm.
Danielle’s top tips:
- Be as flexible as you can. Because I run my own business, it’s important for me to be flexible and I remind myself daily not to be too rigid or stuck on certain goals or deadlines. Some days I travel for work, attend long meetings or sit in the office all day, and other days I’m able to take time off and be with the kids for the most part. Just recently, they were all sick and I had to clear my work schedule to care for them and just be at home. I’ve learnt to be OK with whatever the day brings.
- Ditch the mom guilt. It’s counterproductive and a waste of valuable time and energy. I don’t indulge mom guilt. Instead, I make sure that my children are always well looked after when I’m not there, and I give them my undivided attention when I get home. We play games, read stories and I love to just sit and watch them interact with each other.
- Have a support structure in place. If it wasn’t for my amazing family and nanny, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do. If you want to have a career and be a dedicated mom, it’s near impossible to manage it all alone. It takes a village to raise a tribe in my opinion.
Roxanne Harrison is a wife, designer, mom to three girls under six and the owner of a mom-and-baby Décor Company, CherrydotStudio.
With three girls and a husband at home, Roxanne’s hands (and heart) are always full. Her days are packed with school runs, homework sessions, designing custom-made items for kids’ nurseries and rooms and client meetings with local store owners… and that’s just the half of it!
Roxanne’s top tips:
- Write to-do lists and stick to them. I plan my days when the kids are asleep and I can sit down in a quiet space with a cup of tea and just put pen to paper. Not only is this therapeutic, it helps me sleep better too – as all my thoughts and ideas are down on paper, instead of swimming around in my head.
- Plan, prep and cook meals in advance. I shop on weekends and plan meals for the week ahead or even a month ahead. Then I ask my housekeeper to help prep the meals for dinner so that I can also spend time with my kids when they’re home from school. We love spending time outdoors, so I try to take them for regular walks or just sit with them while they jump on the trampoline or play in the garden.
- Take time out for you. There’s no truer saying than “A happy mom equals a happy family”. A mother sets the tone in the house and if she’s stressed, anxious or tense, that often filters through to the family. Rather than spending hours away from my family, I take smaller “time outs” during the day. This often means window shopping for 30 minutes before fetching the kids from school, or listening to music in the car. I also love sitting down with a cup of coffee and dark chocolate at the end of a long day. These small daily rituals keep me sane.
- Get plenty of rest. I go to bed early and wake up before everyone else the next morning. Again, this allows me some quiet time to just think and ease into the day or wind down at night.
- Learn to say no and prioritise. As women, we always feel like we need to help more, do more, be more, but who we are is enough. I don’t have to say yes to everyone and everything. I feel I have more balance and control over my life and my children’s lives if I say no more often. There’s nothing more stressful than having to rush from one social event to the next, or spending hours in the car between extra murals and activities. Take time to slow down and enjoy each moment with your kids.
Tammy is a wife, mom and freelance writer with 15 years’ experience in the media industry. She specialises in general lifestyle topics related to health, wellness and parenting. Tammy has a passion for fitness and the great outdoors. If she’s not running around after her daughter, you’ll find her off the beaten track, running, hiking or riding her bike. Learn more about Tammy Jacks .