5 Practical Tips for the Working Mom

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As most of you know I have two little ones at home and am a consultant for a living thus meaning I spend much of my time during the week in hotels and on airplanes and thus away from my babies and sweet hubby. While I love what I do both at home and for a living there are certainly challenges to doing both roles well. While it continues to be an ongoing exercise of learning how to juggle all the roles I play in life well there are a few things I have learned over the past couple years that I want to share for other working moms or those considering working with a new baby or going back to work after taking some time off. While this post is geared toward working moms there are certainly aspects of it that can apply to all moms whether you stay at home or work outside the home and dads as well. 

1. I once heard a wise person recommend that you "outsource everything you can financially afford to which you aren't emotionally attached." Let me elaborate. For some cooking is something they are passionate about...let's say you love cooking (not me) or cooking is an activity you love doing with your kids, if so that would fall under the "emotionally attachment" category and I would say don't stop. For me personally there is nothing about cooking or cleaning that I enjoy. So for our family we have a house cleaner and often purchase already made meals. We have made the conscious decision during this phase of life with both working parents and two little ones at home that our time spent with our children is worth the financial investment of paying a house cleaner and spending more on already ready meals. For you this might be someone to do laundry for you or someone who cuts your grass. The point here is that you realize at the end of the day you are paying for your time so you can focus on what matters most to you at that point in life. 

2. Clearly define the top 5-7 most roles you play in your life and which order those roles fall...for me these roles include things such as spiritual being (relationship with God), wife, mother, consultant, daughter, friend, seeker of adventures, etc. . For you they may be roles you play in the community, athletics, etc. Defining these roles helps you clearly define your priorities and how best to juggle and manage your time which leads me to my next piece of advice.

3. Learn how to only say yes to your best yes. You need to learn how to become really good at saying "no" to things that don't fall under your top 5-7 roles and do so without feeling guilty. The most freeing part to me is to remind myself that by saying no to an opportunity what it is allowing me to say "yes" to which leads me to my next tip. 

4. Loose the word "balance" from your vocabulary and replace with intentionality. I honestly do not believe that balance is achievable or something we should strive for. If you think of your top 5-7 roles as a spinning wheel at any given point in life one of the roles will be on top, one will be in the middle, and one will be at the bottom. I believe as long as you are intentional on knowing which role you need to focus on for that moment, hour, day, or even week it is OK for another role to fall lower for a certain period of time. I will give you guys an example. Last week was an intense travel week for me and I went West to East Coast in a matter of hours. That week the role I play as consultant was highest on the spinning wheel and my role as a wife and mother fell lower on the wheel for those particular few days. However the week before that my family went to Disney as a family for the week and my role as a mother went to the top of the priority wheel and the role I play in my work world went to the bottom. Anytime my child is sick physically or emotionally my role as mother automatically comes to the top and replaces everything else. To me it comes down to very intentional moments. For me this can be taking my kids out on a breakfast date on the way to airport before I head out of town or spending a few extra moments just loving on my husband before I jump into all my to-dos. Never let anyone tell you that you can't do it all. You can. You just can't do it all at once. 

5. Last but not least spend time re-energizing yourself. I'll be honest this is the hardest one for me but whenever I have spent the time to do something for myself I have more to pour into others. For me this may be spending quite time alone with the Lord, going out to dinner with girl friends, getting in a workout, or reading a good book. Whatever that "thing" is for you take the time to do it. I know it's hard y'all. Mom guilt is real especially when you work and have to be away from your family a lot but I truly believe this is important to be the best you. 

At the end of the day give yourself grace. Whether you work inside or outside the home we all are trying to do what is best for our family. Let's be each other's biggest supporters and show love to all we interact with. YOU GOT THIS! 

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