How to set up strong daily routines for working moms
Author: Nelly Alba
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It’s not always easy to find a balance with both work and little one(s) at home. However, it is possible! The answer are routines for working moms. First, you will need to figure out systems that work for YOU and that will help you feel confident leading the day.
Remember, these systems will change from time to time. That is okay. With time, your kids get older and have different needs (same with your job). However, without these systems in place your day can be way more chaotic than it has to be. We already have so much to keep track of so help yourself out with this one.
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KEY TIP: BUILDING STRONG MORNING AND EVENING ROUTINES
Trust me, this is game-changing!
You may be someone who completes tasks as they come up or as you remember them. The problem with that (especially as a working mom) is that you may remember something you need to do at the WRONG time. For example, say you remember that you need to wash your kids’ clothes for school tomorrow during an evening work meeting. Now you are stressed and worried about what you need to do as soon as you get home so that your kids have clean clothes for the next day.
When you take the time to organize your thoughts and what all you need to complete, then you can save yourself time from forgetting something that will cause more stress later on. And let’s be REAL, as a mom, you often have a super long to-do list so why not make your life easier by creating a routine that will help you feel at ease throughout the day.
Below I provide two examples: morning and evening routine. Again, the times and to-do items may look different for you as you need to adjust according to your schedule and needs. Once you start doing this on repeat – everything will become so much better, easier and manageable.
This is an example of a morning routine. I go to work around 11:00 am. I also LOVE the morning time! That is why you will notice that I get most of my day’s tasks complete in the morning. You will need to make your morning and evening routine based on your preferred time to do most of the household needs and based on your availability. If you have a night shift, then perhaps your best time is actually the morning or early afternoon. I currently wake up about 1.5 hours before my kids do. That gives me enough time to complete everything on my list.
Note: I cannot recommend enough waking up before your kids get up – EVEN IF it’s only 15 minutes before. That time helps set the tone for the rest of your day. My kids currently get up somewhere between 7:00 – 8:00 am.
- Wake up and drink water: leave a glass of water beside your bed or wherever you go first when you wake up. Do this right when you wake up to start your day. Tip: add water into your water bottle to make sure you hydrate throughout the day too.
- Brush your teeth, wash your face and change
- Work out: or simply move around; that can include walking outside, stretching, moving up and down the stairs. If you are just starting out, do not plan to workout every single day. Start with 2- 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday & Friday). Once you start doing this regularly and consistently, then you can add more days. On the days that you work out, get up 20-30 minutes earlier so you can add this to your morning routine.
- Do the dishes: I prefer to do this in the morning since I get home late. This could be something you complete in the evening if it works best for you and your schedule.
- Clean up the kitchen & living room: this includes filling up the caddy with diapers & wipes (if your kids stay home) or filling up their diaper bags if they go to a daycare.
- Pump: if you are breastfeeding, you can add a pumping session here for the first morning bottle.
- Make breakfast, lunch and dinner: For example, prepare dinner 3 times a week (Sunday, Tuesday & Thursday). Prepare meals for 2-3 days. As a family, create your whole week’s meals on Sunday so that the preparation of it is a lot easier. Here you can divide what you prepare according to your schedule.
- Make my coffee: this is a MUST! For you this may be tea or some other type of beverage.
- Fold laundry: This is not every day – usually 2-3 times a week. You can plan out what days you will wash clothes and fold them during my weekly planning with my partner.
- Listen to affirmations: While you fold laundry and/or drink your coffee. If not, listen to it on the car ride to work.
- Prepare my work bag(s): This includes your pumping bag, lunch bag & any other bags you have to take to work.
After that, my toddler typically gets up and my focus goes to feeding him breakfast, brushing his teeth and getting him changed for the day before I head off to work.
Depending on your schedule, your nighttime routine could either be super packed OR more laid back. In the routine laid out below, it is a little bit more relaxed since it was created with my schedule in mind. I get home late so I complete most of my task list items in the morning so that I could dedicate more time to my kids and self-care.
- Put the kids to bed: The kids will have their own bedtime routine to follow. This could include: bath, changing, reading a book, and relaxing music.
- Pump: You can add an extra pumping session here if your little one is off to bed.
- Make my morning check-list: Create your morning to-do list. Here you can add or remove what not to do for the next day. I review it so I know around what time I should be waking up. I also look at my weekly planner to see what needs to be added to my routine for the next morning.
- Drink water (and some tea!)
- Talk with my significant other: This is where you can add a little bit of you two time before your you time. We either watch a show, talk and/or all the above. You can also dedicate 2-3 days a week to movie/ show and then the other 3-4 days to doing something for yourself. Whatever makes the most sense for you.
- Me time: writing, reading, blogging, music (really anything you want to do for about 30 minutes).
There are days when instead of doing laundry, you will need to take out the trash. The point of establishing a routine is so that you can sit down and know that you have prepared yourself, your kids and your home for a successful day. Once you start doing these routines on repeat, you will notice how much lighter you feel throughout the day. It makes ALL the difference when you not only write them down, but you also start completing and checking off everything you have done.
Give it a try!
What would your morning and evening routines look like?
Please share below!
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