As a busy working mom, you have many things going on. You have work, the house, the kids, your husband. And don’t forget about your friends and the fun things that you like to do.
With everything going on, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But there are ways to streamline your busy life so that you don’t have to be stressed.
I talked to Julie from Fab Work Mom Life about how to make life easier as a working mom.
Check out the podcast episode above or check out the blog post below.
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One question with many answers
Julie asked a straightforward question and got many interesting responses. She wondered, what would make your life easier now?
The response was pretty impressive. Julie got back answers like:
- I want someone to cook for me.
- I want someone to clean for me.
- I would love to have a nanny so that I could work without distractions from the kids.
- I want a day off during the week to run errands.
We basically said we need to be able to clone ourselves or like a wife. Somebody to take on some of the responsibilities that we have. And also the responsibilities that we wanted someone else to help us within the house.
So people were happy with their jobs. They didn’t need a personal assistant at work necessarily. They needed the personal assistant at home with their errands, with chores, with meals.
Things that maybe we don’t like to do as much, but also maybe don’t require us specific, maybe not our skills. They could require somebody else’s, something that can be done by another person.
This helped Julie to identify the struggles of a working mom so that she could help with routines and systems so that we can learn how to make life easier as a working mom.
How to make life easier as a working mom
As busy moms, we have a lot going on a day to day basis.
There are many demands and constant changes. And it’s hard to remember everything.
One way to make our lives easier is to have systems or routines in place.
Julie gave several tips or hacks to streamline your life so that there is not a constant struggle.
Write it down
First things first. When something comes to mind, write it down.
Let’s be real. You don’t remember everything, even though you have a good memory.
Plus, our minds aren’t storage devices. Our brains are process information and find solutions to problems.
So instead of relying on your memory, write it down.
Have a routine
Whether it is a morning routine or evening routine.
Have a routine so that every day you do the same thing. This makes it less likely to forget something important.
If it’s something that you don’t do on a regular basis in the morning, you’re more likely to have that slip by. And then later be in a rush or you know, forget to bring something to daycare or to school.
And so what I like is kind of a systematic routine where you know what you need to do in the order, you need to do it at a particular time of day.
Start by taking a survey of everything that you are doing on a typical day. Then you will start to see patterns.
These are the things that you want to establish in your routine. When having something that you do weekly that is not apart of your daily routine, put a reminder on your phone.
Remember, you don’t want to rely on your memory.
So reminders or writing things down in your calendar will help you to remember the things that are not apart of your daily routine.
Set up autopay
Many things need to get done around the house that doesn’t have to be done by you. These are the things that you need to streamline to make your life less chaotic.
Paying bills is one of those things.
Nothing gets me more worked up then when I forget to pay a bill. If you have all of your recurring bills on auto-pay, you don’t have to think if an invoice is paid or not.
Make sure to set up notifications in case something happens, and the bill doesn’t get paid for some odd reason.
So it doesn’t require me to think, is my bill due? Have I paid my bill this month? No, it’s just done. It’s already done. And if something happens, if something is missed, then they send you an alert.
Not having to be at the grocery store with a child is wonderful. Shopping with a screaming toddler is probably my worst nightmare.
I have a confession. I hate shopping with my kids. I seriously get anxious when I have to take my kids grocery shopping.
If you are like Julie and me, and don’t want to take your kids shopping, consider a grocery delivery service.
So while we were still living in Texas at this time, I discovered Shipt. They had just rolled out.
We were living in the Houston area. They had just started their service. I signed up for it. And then what I would do was, which was beautiful, before I left work, I would order groceries for delivery. By the time I drove home, long commute, picked up my son, got home, they were ready to deliver.
Shipt is a same-day grocery delivery service. You use an app to pick your groceries from your store of choice.
Then someone picks up the groceries on your order and delivers them to your home within 1 hour.
Sounds fantastic, right?
There are other grocery delivery apps that you can use, like Instacart. Now many stores have a grocery pick up that you can utilize.
I use the Wal-Mart Grocery app.
Just like Julie, I pick out my groceries on an app. The only difference is I schedule a pickup.
Then, I drive to a designated area at a prearranged time, and the beautiful people at Wal-Mart load my groceries in my car without me even having to get out.
Other stores have rolled out with this option like:
Next time, utilize a grocery app and put items in your cart.
Then throughout the day or week, when you remember things, add them to your cart.
This can act as a digital shopping list for you during the week.
Do you remember, Oh he needs this one thing, stick it on the app. Then when you’re ready to order, your stuff’s already there. You don’t have to remember, Oh, what was that going to buy.
One phrase I don’t like hearing and not knowing the answer to is what’s for dinner?
Have meals prepared and ready makes the evening time buy so much smoother. But what if you are not good at coming up with meals or don’t want to?
There is help with that.
Some of them send food to your house and give you a recipe, and all you have to do is select throw it together.
If you can’t come up with real ideas on your own, there are these many different programs that will do it for you
You tell them what kind of meals you’d like to eat, whether you’re low carb or whether you’re low calorie or whether you’re gluten-free.
And then they send you meal ideas and grocery lists. So all you do is you take their grocery list, put it in your grocery store app, go pick up their groceries and it saves you so much sanity
Here is a list of some free and paid apps to help you with meal planning:
- Allrecipes Dinner Spinner (Free)
- Veganized (Free)
- Mealime (Free)
- FoodPlanner (Free)
- MealPlan+ ($4)
- MealBoard ($4)
- Eat This Much (Free) – Use this one if your primary goal is to lose weight
- Paprika ($5)
- Yummly (Free)
- The Dinner Daily ($4)
- eMeals ($5) – Works with Instacart
Amazon is amazing.
If you aren’t utilizing Amazon Prime, I highly recommend it.
Amazon has everything that you need from pantry items, clothes, furniture, car parts, and so much more.
With Amazon Prime, you pay a yearly fee of $199 (or $12.99 per month or use this link to get it for $5.99 per month) and get:
- Prime Delivery: Unlimited Two-Day Shipping and One-Day Shipping and Same-Day Delivery in over 10,000 cities and towns as well as 2-Hour Delivery with Prime Now in select cities.
- Prime Video: Unlimited streaming of movies, TV shows, and Amazon Originals
- Prime Music: Millions of songs, always ad-free and on-demand
- Exclusive Deals and offers, just for Prime members
If you have specific items that you buy once a month, you can set up a subscription to have the articles automatically shipped to you at a particular time, so you never run out.
Cleaning and other chores
If an activity doesn’t fulfill you, it frustrates you and it doesn’t need to be done by you, give to someone else. Whether it’s an app or someone else.
This includes cleaning.
Now it depends on your budget, but you can have someone come and clean your house once a week, every other week, or once a month to make things easier for you.
Also, get help from the kids around the house.
There are some age-appropriate chores that your kids can help with that will eliminate you from doing everything and help them become more responsible.
As moms, we tend to say yes a lot. It is nice to help others and play with the kids, but when you say yes to one thing, you are saying no to something else.
You can’t do everything and be everything for everyone.
When you agree to help with another project at work, you are only making it difficult when you already have two projects with the same deadline.
Work on saying no more often when things don’t align with your priorities.
How to better handle the mental load and stop being forgetful
Have you ever walked into a room and forgot what you came into the room for?
Or maybe you find yourself forgetting tasks around the house.
Julie likes to call this Momnesia.
The forgetfulness that seems to increase after having kids is momnesia.
Julie has tips for battling momnesia so that you remember.
Write it down
Julie found that she could combat momnesia by carrying a notepad and writing everything down.
I’ve learned this mental load of motherhood is the term and it, it just explains so much because we can’t recall everything.
We can’t remember everything because there’s too much in the brain and it’s, it’s hard to move it all-around to be able to find that one piece of information. So, that’s why I write it down.
Utilize calendar reminders
If there are specific tasks that need to get done on a particular day, use reminders on your phone.
You can do this by adding a task on your calendar and have an alert go off to remind you to get things done.
Use sticky notes
You can even use sticky notes to write things done. Not just the physical sticky notes.
But the sticky note app on your computer. Put notes on a sticky note and keep it on your desktop so that you can see it every time you log on and off of your computer.
Another great app to consider using is If This Then That. This app connects everything to everything to help your apps work together.
You can connect other apps to communicate with each other and help make your life easier.
For instance, you have a pizza app that notifies you when your pizza is on the way for delivery. You can create an applet to turn your lights on when the pizza is on the road.
Julie has a great way of utilizing labels in Gmail and then connecting individual tags to sync with Evernote or Google Keep.
Alexa and Siri
Don’t forget the girls, Alexa and Siri. They can help you get more done than you know.
Check out these Echo tips so that you can make Alexa help you out more.
The one thing that helps Julie keep it all together
After going back to work after having her son, Julie, had high expectations for herself.
But it was so hard to keep up with everything.
Instead of beating herself up about it, Julie decided to come to terms with the fact that she can do everything the same way she used to do things.
I will not maybe be able to do all the things I used to do in the same way. But I can do something different. Or I can delegate them or I can come up with a way that works for me in my new situation.
The one thing that helps Julie keep it all together is remembering herself.
Yup, make yourself a priority.
It’s so easy to put everyone else first and before your own needs. But you have to put yourself first and make self-care a priority.
Having that mindset of I need to give myself grace and to understand that I can’t do everything and I need this for myself.
Julie is a working mom that currently resides in Hawaii.
She works from home with a consulting company in the environmental management department.
Julie does environmental compliance, mostly with air quality, and utilizes systems to help her clients stay compliant.
As a result, Julie has adopted some systems in her home life as well. She loves systems so much that she shares many of them on her blog, Fab Working Mom Life.
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- Write things down. Your mind wasn’t intended to be a storage device.
- Develop routines so prevent forgetting things.
- Set up autopay for all of your bills so that you don’t have to remember when every bill is due.
- Utilize grocery and meal planning apps.
- Remember to make yourself a priority and do the things that you enjoy.
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Wal-Mart Grocery
- Amazon Prime
- If This Then That
- Julie on Facebook
- Julie on Instagram
- Julies blog – Fab Working Mom Life
- Put the ME Back in Mommy Summit