Give Me Your Best Working Mom Tips....

Updated on September 21, 2007
N.M. asks from Glen Ellyn, IL
7 answers

I am always looking to improve myself. Can you provide me with your best working mom tips? I am always trying to get things complete quickly and can always use better ways to do things. Please let me know

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M.S.

answers from Chicago on

No 1 tip: get stuff organized the night before. And have your spouse help. I feed my son supper, my husband gives him a bath while I get dinner started, we both read to him and kiss him goodnight. I cook dinner, get my son's food/bottles ready for daycare, my husband does the dishes, etc. I workout sometimes after we put him to bed and while food is in the oven. Lots of teamwork is needed.
And as another mom mentioned, just accept that not everything will get done. If you can hire a cleaning lady, do it! But your house will not as clean as it was before a baby and that is ok!
Good luck!

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N.D.

answers from Chicago on

Since we bag lunch and breakfast from home, on Sundays I cut up veggies and snacks and put them in individual bags, make sandwiches for the week, etc. That way, during the week, I can just grab and go. Each night I just grab the stuff and pack our lunches so it takes just seconds.

Do little housework daily, like clean the furniture in one room one evening while my daughter is running around, or clean one bathroom before taking my nightly shower. Doing one load of laundry a day so laundry doesn't pile up. That way during the weekend all this housework is not piled up.

Using paper plates to eat dinner on, so there are not too many dishes piled up.

Keeping all things ready by the door for the next morning, so there's no running around like a chicken with a head cut off come morning. I keep my clothes ready for the next day, etc.

Doing shopping during my lunch hour for non-perishible stuff at Target, etc, so I dont waste time after work going shopping, when I can be playing with my daughter instead.

Fitting in excercise before work, so after work I know I'm done for the day and can be with my family, even after she goes to bed.

Cooking on weekends and freezing leftovers, so during the week I can just pull out stuff. But I'm no great cook, so often we eat veggie burgers (Morningfarm makes great ones in the frozen section), pasta, etc.

If I think of any more, I'll add it on. I hope this helps!I am really looking forward to what other FT working moms have to say! :o)

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S.M.

answers from Chicago on

I just read these posts to get ideas for myself - I just work part-time but can use most of these ideas and appreciate them. What I do is when I do laundry is have my 2 year old and 3 year old follow me and help me throw the laundry in or carry an armful from the washer to the dryer and they just think of it as fun and games, I just love it. I try to make as many chores into spending time together. I still take them to the park, story hour, read, do crafts, shop, go to the zoo and swim as much as possible. I just think it gets easier when they are older and they sleep less. I love spending time with my kids, try to keep organized and just try to involve them in as much of my housework as possible. My kids are pretty happy kids. My daughter loves to "clean" with wipes. So if I'm cleaning in the kitchen, I'll grab a wet one and say, "would you like to help M. get this or that spot up?" and she just loves to help. I talk to them as we're cleaning of course. Also, my son loves to take his toy vacuum (dirt devil junior) around while I vacuum. My daughter likes to try to fold clothes while I am. It just seems like, if I try to make fun out of it, they like to spend time with me while I do housework.

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K.

answers from Chicago on

Shop with a list for the week - and plan the meals for the week ahead of time (use the recipes to generate the list). This helped me a LOT.

We also get things prepped the night before. Clothes laid out, lunch packed, coffee ready to go, etc.

...but it's still a struggle. Probably my best tip is to accept that you won't have time for everything you used to anymore. We usually let the house go during the week and do major cleanup on the weekends. Until your baby is sleeping through the night accept that sleep and spending time with family will probably be higher on your priority list than exercise is (if you were previously an exerciser).

I tend to leave work early and bring it home with me to finish after I put my son to bed (because I'd rather spend time with him while he's awake) but I know not everyone can do that.

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A.R.

answers from Chicago on

Lucky for us, our son goes to bed around 6:45 in the evening (and sleeps until 6:00 in the morning) so that leaves me 3 hours to get things done and relax, without having to worry about getting up in the middle of the night.

Things you can do:
-lay out baby's outfit/diaper by the changing table after putting him in pjs
-in our house, one spouse puts the baby to bed while the other washes and makes bottles for the next day. This is done at the same time so we can enjoy each other's company together later on.
-I gave up on the housecleaning and got Merry Maids. They do a fine job and are worth every penny in my opinion - one less major thing to stress over.
-When it comes to cooking, I have resorted to lots of slow-cooker meals (throw together the night before or just dump into the crock pot in the morning and let it cook all day), easy to put together meals (chicken breasts, 2 cups of rice, 1 can of cream of mush soup and water, cook at 350 for 90 mins), and have done Dinner By Design. My days of cooking the recipes I learned at the Chopping Block are over for now! I also shop at Dominick's and get things from their meat counter like kabobs (just throw on the grill) and cheese/chive crusted fish.

As soon as the baby goes to bed, the 'work' gets done with no dilly-dallying. That way, we can hang out and relax with each other. Not to mention, it is great for watching our favorite tv shows on the DVR, fast-forwarding through the commercials!

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J.

answers from Chicago on

I do this with my kids, but you could do it with just yourself or you and your husband - set the timer for 5 minutes and spend that time decluttering in the evening.

Also, sort of like the flylady's kitchen sink thing, I try to clean and clear the kitchen countertops every night before bed. Sounds easy, but with lunches to be made and meals to be cooked and people dropping things on the counter it feels like a constant battle. The clean countertops are a little oasis of order for me.

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E.B.

answers from Chicago on

I would get everything set for the next day on the previous night. So when I had to go to work Mon. morning, Sun night I would get the diaper bag packed, bottles lined up, clothes out, (for me and baby) and purse, keys by the door. Its all about scheduling your time and planning ahead.
E.

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