I love reading blogs, I can relate to so many mom blogs out there. When I was feeling overwhelmed with going back to work 3 years ago after I had Olivia, I felt so alone. It was hard for me to find anything or anyone that related to my particular situation of working “part-time”, three 11-hour days. I was desperately searching for tips to balance life as a part-time working mom.
Luckily for me my husband did both drop-off and pick-up so I had that taken care of. On my plate though? Worrying about EVERYTHING. The food, laundry, cleaning, taking the trash out, the dog, formula, worrying about using formula because I wasn’t breastfeeding, diapers, my own packed food for work, dinner, and the list goes on and on. Fast-forward 3 years, another kid, and reducing my hours from 33 to 27, and I still struggle.
We’ve made improvements, but it’s still really hard. As moms, I think it’s easy to assume other moms have it so much easier. The stay at home mom doesn’t have to work. The working mom gets to socialize at work, and the part-time working mom has the best of both worlds. When people ask about my working situation I always reply, oh I’m 27 hours a week! Its really nice, I get the best of both worlds! Well, I am here to admit I am totally lying. It’s complete bullshit, and it sucks. Sometimes, I feel like I am terrible at everything. At work I worry about the kids and chores and at home I am stressed about work, planning for the week and what the hell I’m doing with my career, or life really. The career I have after two college degrees that I worked extremely hard for. I do admit, at times working part-time is nice, like when I was pregnant with Nolan….I could just sit at my desk and eat food all day long! The extra money is nice too, since we would have to make huge changes if I stayed home. Also, depending on the job, I can see the appeal of “staying in the game” and still climbing the career ladder (I still negotiated a promotion at 27 hours a week, so it can be done!).
However, along with the “perks” of working part-time, I still feel all the pressure. The pressure to provide financially for our family, the pressure to be involved in daycare and preschool events, to be in the moment with my kids on my days off with them and evening during their bedtime routine. The pressure to ease the load off my husband who has a demanding job, but remains so involved with our kid’s daily routines. So I guess no matter your situation; stay at home mom, full time working mom, part time working mom, housewife that stays at home with a nanny-if this exists outside the rich and famous I do think this may be the best option… 😉 all these options are hard. These past 3 years have taught me a lot, like the need to put myself first. In hopes I can help you too, here are tips for balancing life as a part time working mom.
Ask For Help.
Which is so hard to do. Why?? Why is asking for help so hard? Regardless the reason, you gotta do it. During all the stressful days I would catch myself beginning to resent Patrick. Every time I would hear his video games turn on I would fill with anger. How on earth does he have time to play video games when I have so much to do??? But newsflash, I did everything myself by choice (control freak). He would ask what he can do and I would say nothing, and then resent him for it. I had to start asking for help or stop getting mad when he wouldn’t read my mind. Happy to report, after a few years of work, I no longer fill with steam when I hear the video games turn on. 😉
Start A Chore Chart and/or Hire A House Cleaner
This was a big one for us! We have someone come every 3 weeks to do the deep cleaning of our house. We still vacuum/mop/wipe down the counters between cleanings, but that is nothing in comparison. It was worth it to us to change our budget to allow room for this type of help.
Outsource What You Can
In addition to hiring a house cleaner, we have tried a few meal delivers services (still on a search for the *perfect* one since my diet is ever changing). We have Target subscriptions (I don’t ever have to think of buying paper towels, TP, diapers, soap, etc..), meat is delivered from Butcher Box, and in a pinch I will use a service like InstaCart to get groceries delivered. Figure out what takes up the post time for you and your family and see what you can outsource.
Reassess What Your Priorities Are For Your Family
This is ever changing, but for us our priorities include: alone time and quality time together as a family-which is difficult for me as I get caught up in all the laundry, meal prep, and other constant to-do list items. This is something I am desperately working on, and in an effort to make our weekends more about family time, we started sending the kids to daycare more during the week so I can have time alone to focus on chores. It has helped so much because lets be real…I am super efficient when the kids and husband aren’t home lol. With this being said, I have taken over a majority of the chores, which is fine by me because its less time Patrick and I need on spend on them during weekend. Up until now, I felt tremendous guilt for having time to myself to complete chores, but as a family we decided it is worth the extra daycare cost to allow for more quality time during the weekend and it has worked out quite well.
Make Time For Yourself
I know this is hard for a lot of moms, but you have to. You absolutely have to put yourself first. My theory is me first, husband second, kids third. Does this happen often? Unfortunately no…but I am making progress! Here is an inside peak of the thought process when I try to put myself first; “I want to workout. Oh cool, my workout class is at 8; I can take the kids to the gym’s kids club so Patrick can sleep in. Ugh, but I don’t want to deal with taking the kids to the gym daycare because I will have to get them out of bed early to change and eat breakfast. Ugh…but if I go I will need to make it up to Patrick for taking care of the kids in the morning on his day off. I feel guilty, I already get time off from work while the kids are at daycare, so he should get this Saturday morning to sleep in. You know, I shouldn’t go to the workout class. I should work out on other days…” blah blah blah and then I don’t go because I have created this emotional draining dialogue in my head that makes no sense. Lets break down how ridiculous this is. First, if I want to workout, I should go workout. Second, Saturday is not only Patrick’s day off, but my day off too. Third, the guilt I feel from that “off” day I have where I don’t go to work and the kids go to daycare? That day is spent doing laundry, cooking, chores, etc.. I am not laying around watching TV all day (unfortunately). Fourth, Patrick doesn’t give a crap. Not that it really matters but he doesn’t care. We help each other out. If I want to go out, cool. If he wants to go out, cool. Moral of tip #5? Interrupt the crazy dialogue that goes on in your head and do you!
Questions for you!
- Are you a stay at home mom, working mom, or part-time working mom?
2. How do you make your life easier as a working woman?
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