The Secret To Staying Sane When You’re A Working Mum.
Are you a mum?
Do you feel tired a lot of the time?
Are you constantly juggling a million different tasks and responsibilities, wishing you had more hours in the day?
If so, you’re not alone!
Maybe the following scenario will sound familiar…
The life of a working mum
You drive an hour each morning to work 8 hours in your day job. Then you pick up the kids from school/childcare, feed them a snack, clean the house, make dinner, provide entertainment, bath the children, give your partner some affection (if he’s lucky), make the next day’s lunches, wash up, put kids to bed, sort the laundry, take a 2 minute shower, and fall into bed exhausted with wet hair… only for it to repeat again the next day.
And even though you’ve filled every single minute of your day, you’re somehow still behind. The washing is never quite done. Your floors have been cleaned… if you consider a toddler that eats food off the ground a mop. The grocery shopping won’t do itself. And the pile of toys on the floor seems to be multiplying, so you’ve given up on keeping them in any real order.
It’s been months since your last hair appointment (so you’re rocking the mum-bun… again), and you look forward to your weekends being filled with playing catch up. Not catch up with friends, but catch up with the housework, the bills, and the meals.
Deep breath. Count to ten. Then keep on going.
It’s exhausting, and for many mums, it can feel like there’s no end to the expectations and hard work, and never any time for the simple things that could make you feel like yourself again. Like drinking your coffee while it’s hot, going for a walk by yourself, actually seeing your friends, and taking the family to your favourite day trip destinations.
Society has lied. You can’t have it all… at least not all at once. Simply because even if you wanted to do everything on the list, there simply isn’t enough time in the day.
Times have changed a little since the 50s housewife was the norm, but working mums are still left carrying most of the household and child-raising responsibilities on top of their jobs. Not to mention the fact that most of us do the night-shift at home if we have kids who struggle to sleep through.
Is it any wonder we’re so tired all the time?
What most mums really want
I’ve never known anyone as hardworking as my clients who are working mums (and dads too of course). They truly amaze me all the time.
What I’ve realised is that most mums don’t necessarily want to stop working, cooking, cleaning, shopping, taking their kids places, etc. A lot of the time, they enjoy doing most of these things. But these things are taking them away from the more important things, like quality family time, going on dates, and taking care of their health and own interests.
What these mums really want is more time in the day so that they can somehow manage it all. Because honestly, it’s impossible to juggle each mum responsibility without dropping half the balls on a daily basis. Let alone taking care of ourselves, the absolute last thing on the list!
We want to do it all, but we just can’t. It’s so frustrating when you’re surrounded by half-completed tasks, jobs that no one else can manage, and you’re left with chasing errands and doing housework in every moment you’re not at work, which is when you should be having quality time with your kids and partner, and taking care of your own needs.
So, what should you do?
Write it down. Start by writing out everything you do with your time, or everything you would do if you had endless amounts of time in the day to get it all done.
Prioritise and minimise. Decide on your priorities. What tasks don’t really need to get done? Cross them off the list. Remember that saying no and getting rid of the bad stuff will make more room for the really good stuff. Less really is more. Oh, and this applies quite literally to your stuff as well (might be time for a decluttering session).
Outsource and ask for help. Now, what tasks need to be done that can be outsourced? Highlight these tasks. Next to them, write down the people or businesses who you can outsource them to. For example, ask the grandparents to take your kids to school once a week to free up your morning. Or hire someone to mow the lawn or clean your floors. Sure, you could keep doing those things yourself, but your time is valuable and best spent in other ways.
Only do the important stuff.
Now you’ll be left with the tasks YOU need to do that absolutely cannot be delegated or outsourced. These should be realistic for you to achieve, giving you a bit of leftover time you can spend doing things you actually love! Like sleeping… bet you’d love to do more of that.
Are you a mum that struggles with too much on your plate and not enough time in the day? I’d love to know your best tips for saving time and keeping everything under control. Feel free to leave a comment below.
It’s your time now…
P.S. I offer a whole range of tailored services to reduce your mental/physical load, help you feel in control, and give you back your time. I can help with cleaning, organising, and decluttering, general admin work, errands, and more. Many of my clients are busy mums like you who have learned that it’s impossible to juggle work and home responsibilities without calling in some extra help. Give me a call or send me a message to see if we could work together and start getting your time back.