The Working Mom's Simplify-It Guide
Working moms looking for balance, we feel your pain.
Sometimes, that balance between work, family, friends and self-care feels as elusive as a good night’s sleep. But it’s not impossible; simplification is the key. These five tips may help check stress off that to-do list during the day, so you can skip counting sheep at night.
Delegation Rules the Roost
You may feel accustomed to just rolling up your sleeves and getting things done, but sometimes, the best approach is divide and conquer. Share the burden of household needs and chores. Start by outsourcing whatever you don’t have time to squeeze in, like gardening or vacuuming the car, or house chores like cleaning the eaves troughs or washing windows.
If your spouse isn’t already pitching in, perhaps it’s time for a heart-to-heart explanation of why you need their support and what it means to you to have their help. Schedule a family meeting where you can explain the same to your kids, but instead of just handing out jobs, engage them to brainstorm on how to best tackle the to-do list.
Cleaning and cooking are both life skills, and there’s no shame in knowing how to launder one’s own clothes, cook a simple meal, and clean up the kitchen afterward. And if a kid helps make their meal, they’re more likely to eat what they cooked.
Having the family work together, both inside and outside of the house, can become a healthy habit, and the road map to self-sufficiency for everyone.
If there’s not enough time in the day to check off that list of groceries, toiletries, the kids birthday presents or the dog food, there’s an app for that. Some moms enlist spreadsheets or color-coded online calendars to track everything from summer camp schedules to who has ballet or soccer practice, and when. Others prefer a mobile app. These can be programmed to remind busy moms of schedules, when household items or groceries are likely to be running low, generate lists from menu planning to make errands a breeze, and even offer online shopping to get everything all done with a few taps.
Get Ahead of the Game
If you want to prepare nourishing, sustaining meals that are budget-friendly, consider batch cooking. Carve out some time on a quiet Sunday and make bigger portions of your family’s favorite meals. You’ll save money (goodbye take out!) and precious time during busy weeknights when everyone’s schedules are competing for your attention. Use freezer-friendly containers to store your food, portioned to your family’s size and appetite, and thaw the night before in the fridge so that dinner can hit the table in minutes.
Stretch It Out
Stretching before bed helps to calm a racing mind, can lower blood pressure and relax aching muscles. We’re not talking about a vigorous bout of hot yoga here, but perhaps 10 minutes of gentle stretching to ease the knots and tensions from your shoulders, lower back and hips. When your head hits the pillow and it’s lights out, these few minutes of relaxation and unwinding both body and mind can help recharge your batteries for the next day. Try this 4-7-8 breathing technique or watch the video below for a simple bedtime yoga routine.
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