Home > Life > You > Managing the Juggle When You’re a Working Mum

Fed up of hearing how you just need to plan outfits and meal prep?

Yes, those things are helpful but seriously there must be more innovative ways to lighten the load.

Luckily there is!

From the women who have founded their own companies to career coaches and real mums bossing it in business (or trying to), these are the best tips and tricks that are working for them.

Look after yourself before you go back to work

“Make use of those nursery settles and schedule some time in for yourself. You have spent several days nurturing and raising a little baby back-to-back. Plot at least one day to yourself if you can recoup and recharge. Heck, you need to celebrate yourself for everything you’ve achieved and done since becoming a mother.”

Tobi Asare of My Bump Pay

Let nursery help you out

“If your children attend nursery, ask them if they can ease a particular situation for you. Recently my toddler had a tantrum over not changing out of his new Paw Patrol pyjamas. I was in such a rush for work that I gave in and asked the nursery if they could do it for me. Upon drop-off, they told me that a lot of children come in like that every morning, and it made me feel a lot better! There’s also been occasions where I’ve not had time for teeth brushing or a face wash, and they’ve helped me out. I’m not suggesting you become a demanding diva and get them to do everything. But if a tiny tweak makes a huge difference to you, let it go and ask for help!”

TMC Editor, Lydia House

Buy sleepwear that could pass as an outfit
Buy sleepwear that could pass as an outfit

If you want to be even savvier, get some cool PJ sets that can easily pass as clothes, or of course, you can let them sleep in a set of clothes that are comfortable to wear at night. Great if you have an early start, a late sleeper (lucky you) or just a lot on your hands.

Kids Classic Set
Create some non-negotiables

Need to fit in a spin class or some quality time with your children? “Try setting out ‘non-negotiables’ and ‘nice-to-haves’ regarding work-life balance. Then stick to them as best you can.
For example, If I don’t see my son throughout the week, I can’t bring my best self to work, so I make sure that always happens.”

Keep it Cleaner CEO, Steph Clarie Smith

Keep It Cleaner is a health and wellness app that has pre and postnatal workouts and healthy recipes.

Download this app...
Download this app…

“Use a task management app like Asana where you can write lists of everything you need to do and then put them in order of priority. Add in your personal ‘to-do’s as well. You can’t focus on your work if you’re thinking about calling the doctor. Add to this list throughout the day, and ensure everything is on there before logging off. That way, when you get to the office in the morning, you know exactly what to do and in what order, so no time is wasted. Plus – you’ll get a buzz whenever you tick something off your list!”
Lizzie Hazell, Start-up Coach and Mentor

Wonder Mama Coaching
Shed the mum guilt

Comparing yourself to your sis-in-law who has gone back part-time and constantly sends pics of her kids to the family WhatsApp group?
“Stop! No one’s set-up is the same, no one’s parenting is the same, and no one’s career journey is the same. So why do we get ourselves in a spin about comparing our parenting and career journeys with others? I remember feeling guilty about returning to work five days a week, but I soon realised that was the best decision for my little family and me. The comparison can make us feel like we’re not enough for our little ones, and I can bet you that that couldn’t be further from the truth. So stay away from guilt-inducing comparison. Be inspired by others, yes, but ditch the guilt and find your own blended way to make it all work for you.”

Tobi Asare of My Bump Pay and Author of The Blend

Read this book...
Read this book…

If you can find time to read. This book is worth picking up. It doesn’t talk about ‘the juggle’ or finding ‘balance’ but instead about ‘The Blend’ and learning to make the two worlds work together. Covering everything from the financial to the emotional aspects of working motherhood and from preparing for maternity leave to returning with confidence.

Buy now
Schedule your replies

Often, we can be our own worst enemy when it comes to blurring lines between work and home. If your boss or colleagues keep contacting you out of hours and you want to reply to get it off your mind, schedule an email so it sends the next the morning at the beginning of the working day. It will lighten your mental load, make you look more efficient, and set a precedent that you are only contactable and responsive during working hours.

Give yourself some natural energy
Give yourself some natural energy

“Taking a full lunch is so hard, especially when you know you have to leave early to get kids or your schedule is jam-packed. The only way I can ensure that I’m eating enough fruit and veg is to pack it all into a juice and then grab something quick, like a sandwich, to go with it. I keep the ingredients in my freezer and blend them each morning. It sounds cliché, but I’ve found that since I started doing this, I have more energy and am more alert.”

TMC Co-Founder, Lauren Webber

Nutribullet Blender
Create confidence with a capsule wardrobe
Create confidence with a capsule wardrobe

“Creating almost a uniform that you can slot together is great for busy mums as you can quickly slot them together each morning. Opt for neutral colours, like navy, white, tan, ochre and grey. They are timeless and classic, and you’ll always be able to pick those out whatever the season.”

Leading Stylist, Sarah Barlow

Follow Sarah for more tips
Learn to say no

“I read somewhere that exceptionally successful people are really good at saying no, and I believe it – though it is hard to live by. Try to think about what you can let go of. For me, that means letting go of an orderly, clutter-free house. Try to free yourself from as many obligations as possible so you can focus on what matters.”

Jessica Rolph, Cofounder & CEO of Lovevery

Loveevery make stage based developmental toys. Find out more about them here.

Plan efficiently
Plan efficiently

“I like to jot down my weekly plan. I plot in my top 3 goals every morning in red – these are the must-do things that must be done before the day starts. Once they are done, I will get through the rest of my list, which I try to keep to a doable amount. It’s always best to keep these down as you feel like you’ve achieved more by ticking nearly everything off, and it helps reduce overwhelming feelings.”

Keri Jamieson – Owner and founder of KeriKit

Vicki Journal Cover, KeriKit
Use a morning bath to get yourself ready

“I have two very young children and my husband has to leave very early for work, so getting ready in the morning has become a fine art.
Unless I decide to wash before they wake (at 4/5am) or Iet them roam free while I shower (not an option). Sometimes the only way I can get myself washed is by getting us ALL in the bath. They bloody love it, and it’s quite fun tbf.
I get out before them, dry off and get into a basic outfit I’ve left out the night before. And while they are happily splashing away, I brush my hair and apply some skincare I’ve now placed in the family bathroom. It means I can keep an eye on them (so they don’t drown), and I feel more put together than I used to.”

TMC Editor Lydia House

Rejig responsibilities of the household
Rejig responsibilities of the household

This is a game-changing guide to reclaiming more time in your life by dividing chores in a simple new way. Helping to you to avoid the mental load and conflicts that often arise in relationships. “Being a parent is hard; maintaining a happy marriage when children are young is even harder.Fair Play is what every busy parent needs to shed resentment, move beyond blame, and reconnect with each other. By easing the home burdens and working collaboratively, parents will find the key to a happier marriage and more family joy.”

Tovah Klein, PhD, director of the Barnard Centre for Toddler Development and author of How Toddlers Thrive

Fair Play,
Don’t blur your time

Feel like you’re doing it all, but like you’re failing at everything? “Don’t blend your time. Focus on one or the other at different times (if you can), so you can give your best to work and your children. I often tried to work or take a call while they were around, which resulted in me doing a lousy job of both. I wish I had been firmer with my boundaries. Now I won’t take my phone and laptop upstairs for bed and bath time or have it at the table for mealtimes or in the playroom with the girls. Find what your hard rules are and be clear about them. I bent my rules too much when I returned to work. Find a compromise that works for you and your employer, and be firm with the decision.”

Founder of Lullaloop, Jodie Teare

Lullaloop is a Toddler Clothing Rental Company. Find out more about them here.

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