The Busy Mom’s Guide to Prioritizing

by Nathan Ripley - June 9, 2019

Working moms have a lot to handle. Not only is there plenty to do at the office and a career to forge but there are kids to get ready for school, the home to clean and events to organize, not to mention sorting out that all important life balance. While men are getting better at doing their bit, there’s no doubt that women, particularly moms, shoulder a large part of the burden when it comes to running a home in conjunction with work life.

If you’re a working mom and this sounds like you, here are some thoughts on how to transform your day and help you prioritize better.

Getting More Organized

This might make many mom’s roll their eyes in exasperation but it’s always worth reviewing how organized you are. It’s worth doing this now and it’s worth doing on a regular basis.

Habits can creep into the daily routine, such as doing things off the hoof rather than having a more coherent strategy. Morning is a particularly busy time, trying to get yourself ready for work while also attempting to get the kids up, fed and packed for school.

Here’s a start: See how much of your morning routine you can do the night before, for instance, packing school bags, putting together lunch boxes and putting out breakfast ready for the start of the day. If you want to give yourself breathing space, get up an hour before the children and take your time getting ready.

Organizing just a little can release up more time. Make a list of things and how long they take you and see if you can’t come up with some alternative ways of doing them.

Meal Times

These should be a good time for everyone to get together but if you’re toiling over a hot stove then it’s not that great for you. Try having a clear menu for the week, cook in batches so that you don’t have to be dicing potato or cutting veg when you could be doing something else. Another option is actually to get your kids to help in the kitchen and teach them some culinary skills in the process. And don’t forget the washing up – you don’t have to do it if you have children who are old enough to handle the plates.

Check out this guide to meal planning for busy moms.

Searching for Stuff

How many times have you had to look for important things and not been able to find them? Storing stuff where you can easily get your hand on it can actually knock plenty of minutes off your daily routine. From baby wipes and nappies to beach towels and buckets and spades, little Tommy’s hockey stick and Melissa’s baseball mitt, everything should have its place. Have a play store, an emergency store, whatever you can think of, so that you can find things easier.

Cleaning Up

You’re a busy mom, so why are you spending so much time cleaning and picking things up? The simple answer is usually that no one else is doing it. Setting aside times for proper cleaning and resisting doing it in the meantime can take away one of those physically draining chores that can often get on top of you.

Cleaning is actually one of the biggest bug bears that many working parents admit to. There just never seems to be enough time for it. That could be because your partner isn’t pulling their own weight or it could be that your kids are just the messiest little people in the world! It could even mean that you are just too much of a damn perfectionist. Instilling good habits in your kids (and hubby) as early on as possible can help including making sure that the kids clean up their toy mess when they’ve finished playing and are ready for bed.

Another options is, of course, to outsource your cleaning. Many working moms don’t realize exactly how much time they spend cleaning the home. Whether you do it as you go along or have one big clean once or twice a week, it still adds up and takes important time out of your day. If you really don’t want to spend a valuable couple of hours on the weekend scrubbing and vacuuming, then getting in a maid or cleaning service can make a big, big difference.

Working and Other Working Moms

Most working moms do this anyway, but it’s worth saying again. Things like school activities and kid’s parties can take time out of the day, so organizing these better and joining with other parents to operate in tandem can save a lot of extra work. There are some added things you can do such as making sure your kids really want to really do a particular activity and whether you have to be sending them to everything on the school list. Using your smart phone to schedule things is also a pretty good idea – there are plenty of apps aimed at busy moms.

What About Yourself?

With all the busy stuff going down at home, you can often get behind on things like work projects. Not only that, when was the last time you managed to do something just for yourself? A run or sporting activity that you used to enjoy? That pastime you haven’t picked up for months now?

It’s easy when you’re a working parent to let these things slide.

Here’s the big news: Your own personal well-being is as important as it is to the rest of your family, so don’t be a complete martyr! Make space for those things you want to do and don’t compromise. That includes also making time for you and hubby as well as those friends you used to see every week when you didn’t have children.

And Finally…

Don’t try to be a perfectionist! There’s no such thing. Getting your life balance back and becoming more organized is good for your health and well-being. You’ll be surprised how much space and time you can make by taking a step back and looking at the way your day and week go. Make a list and you’ll see things more clearly. Simple tweaks here and there can start releasing up your time and leave you feeling much less pressured.