We’ve all seen it: The women in business clothes dragging a two-year-old while talking loudly on her cell phone all while juggling a diaper bag, backpack, and a briefcase. While the scene may be chaotic, many of us wonder, “How can she balance those lives with such style and grace?”
Well, as someone who works, goes to school, and has a toddler, much of it can be attributed to three major things: Organization, support, and a desire to succeed. While these are only a few of the many ways to become the accomplished mom you see which can be classified as a loving, caring, supportive mother who provides.
The following is the survival guide to “The Working Mom.” Tips, tricks, and a list of everything you need to know to go do amazing things, even when you run the risk of showing up to work covered in tiny human bodily fluids.
Organization: is it really just that easy?
Organization is key in creating a smooth, flawless schedule with little to no set backs. To-do lists, reminders, planners, and even post-it notes are on the list of survival guides! A mom’s fridge should be her battle ground to include the grocery list, weekly meals, bills with due dates highlighted, an erasable board, and even a to-do pad for daily activities.
I highly suggest Knock Knock pads! There is an “All Out of..” pad for grocery shopping, a “What to Eat” pad for weekly meal planning including packed lunches and breakfast, and finally a “This Week” pad planner for ANYTHING else. These are my ‘top secret’ tools I carry around in my metaphorical back pocket. And by back pocket I really mean my fridge; also, make it high enough where the baby can’t reach it. All together your fridge should have the following:
- “To-do” Pad
- Grocery List
- Meal Plan
- Contact/Emergency Numbers
- Schedule for the day/next 3 days
- Appointment Reminders
- Magnetic pen
- Bills that are due
Most working moms have every second of every day planned down to the minute. Having an emergency bag in the car with a readily professional set of clothes to change quickly before the board meeting because your daughter decided her sippy cup was all of a sudden a baseball.
The small details to organization saves the day when it comes to busy, working moms which includes laying out outfits the night before, or having breakfast ready. Being on top of the organization and never getting behind the powercurve will always recover a day that might not go as planned.
Support: everyone needs a break every now and then
Another important aspect to a successful working mother is support. While most classify support as grandmother down the street ready to jump when someone says babysitter, this is not exactly the case in our modern day. Moms are often single-parents and/or relocated away from their families for jobs — this results in them having little to no family support.
The support for the non-traditional working mom means having a list of babysitters, and a list of back ups. A best friend, even if she is thousands of miles away, on speed dial for those moments you absolutely can not handle much more is an absolute must.
Some moms even turn to social media apps for comfort like mom groups in Facebook or even Tik Tok hashtags targeted to moms. Every working mom is different. Some only require a simple phone call from a best friend to bring them back to Earth. At the same time, some require an impromptu kickboxing class. Whatever helps get you through the day in peace, so be it.
Desire to succeed: easier said than done?
The desire of accomplishment for success must engulf your whole body. This success does not have to only involve money but can also include time or comfort. The want and need to improve your life day to day must consume you and keep you continuously reaching for that next level of standard of living. Whether that be; a raise, being healthier, or being able to find the time to watch your daughter’s gymnastics class with no cell phone interruptions.
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These accomplishments come from the desire to succeed. No one can ever take away anything you have ever accomplished. And that, you can take to the bank.
How does one organize life? As a working mother, you have personal, work, home, and maybe even college. Separate the to-do list into each of those categories. Then pick what is “most important.” For example:
Training due next week
Eng Mod 2 Due
Lab Report Edit:
Organizing your life like this spreads out the tasks and makes them less overwhelming. I can already tell that I can push back the training due next week if I do not have time to finish it.
Obviously paying the bills, the English homework that is due, and the Spanish quiz are the top “most important” tasks along with working the scheduled days.
Also, breaking up your lists to a couple days instead of a whole week makes it less overwhelming. Sometimes you just have to pick your battles and move on.
A quote that will stay with me for the rest of my life is from Danielle Monaro, a co-host on The Elvis Duran show based out of New York City. One day, while listening to the radio, she said that moms need to listen closely.
“Moms, your kids are not going to treat themselves the way you treat them,” she told her listeners. “They are going to treat themselves the way you treat yourself.”
This quote changed the whole way I live my life.
When the baby eats, I eat. When the baby bathes, I bathe. Lead by example! Teach your children to take care of themselves by showing them how to properly. Make it a game if you have to.
Everyone knows that in an airplane, you have to put on your own oxygen mask before you can help anyone else. Use that and apply it to life, especially parenting.
“Your kids are going to treat you the way you treat yourself.” We always hear about moms not eating, or even going days without showering. But since this quote I have vowed to eat three meals a day, drink water, and do everything I can to teach my daughter how to properly take care of herself by leading by example.
One last thing…
The last thing you need is to walk to the closest mirror and take a deep breath. Look into the mirror, and look hard into your own eyes. Think of all the failures you’ve had, the hardships you’ve endured, and the roadblocks you’ve faced. What you’ll realize is you have made it through every obstacle that was ever presented to you and will continue to overcome any and all hindrances.
Be a parent, dominate at your work, and do your loved ones a favor and whisper to the woman in the mirror, “I can do this.”
At this time, you metaphorically stand up, clean up your face, and get back out there in life to divide and conquer.
We are human. We all make mistakes. Believe it or not, moms are not super heros, but they sure are close. If you’re doing your absolute best, nothing else matters. That child is going to look at you like you’re a queen no matter what.
Our children love us, even if they don’t get the latest toy or have the cleanest house. They will remember the time you spend with them, not the things they had. All is fair, in love and mommying.
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