Working when your kids are little is really hard, but also extremely rewarding. If you're a first time mother who has returned to work or will be shortly, you may be wondering how you're going to juggle it all! The truth is, it is hard. It's a lot of spinning plates, but you CAN make it work! You are amazing, and you are capable of anything! All that being said, here are a few tips to save your sanity if you're working and raising little ones (these are all things you can also apply to your life if you are a full-time stay at home boss mama too!).
Get up early
I know, I know, I can see the eye rolls and hear the "Are you f*cking serious?!" exclamations. Some mornings I want nothing more than to sleep past 6am. And this tip only really applies if you've got a child that doesn't wake up with the sparrows. BUT if you are lucky enough (like me) to have a child who wakes around 7am, I can highly recommend waking up around 5am and actually getting out of bed.
I only started doing this recently, but the time I get back is incredible! In those two hours before my daughter wakes up I can exercise, have a hot shower, eat some breakfast in peace, have a hot cup of coffee, do some work, write a blog - the opportunities are endless!
During this time I prioritise myself, not household chores. I'll do whatever I want to do and leave the chores for later. This is me time!
Make your bed
I've always been militant about making my bed, but this one is a biggie for me. If I walk into my bedroom and the bed isn't made, I feel disorganised and frustrated. Most mornings I make the bed as soon as I get out of it - there's also less temptation to hop back in once it's made!
This applies to other "small" chores as well. Do the little thing now to avoid the larger chore later. Pop your cereal bowl in the dishwasher right after you eat, put the recycling out, or wipe the crumbs off the bench when you see them. That way the chores don't pile up and you don't end up feeling overwhelmed by the mess surrounding you.
Find a routine that works for your family
The truth is, life is just so much easier with a routine! Everybody has an idea of what's happening, and what's expected of them. There are obviously elements of the day that you don't have control over (like while you're at work), but you can still establish routines before and after work. A great morning routine can help you make sure you're not late for work, and a relaxing evening routine can mean everyone is ready for bed (and you can get your evening chill time!).
Plan your meals for the week
I can't even count the number of times we've gotten takeaways because I forgot to take something out of the freezer for dinner. Not only is this not ideal for our health, it's also not great for the bank account!
Planning out our meals for the week has been a lifesaver. It's just one less thing to think about when you're juggling so many things already.
Grab yourself a whiteboard or meal planner, grab your recipe books and get planning! You'll find you're more likely to dabble in new recipes, try new things AND feel more organised. Win win!
I've always loved exercising, but since having a baby I've found there's less and less time for it. It's really worth making time for exercise because it makes you feel so much better!
Even if it's just a walk, I always feel really invigorated after moving my body.
Living in the South Island, winter can be super tricky as it gets dark so early. This is where tip #1 comes into it's own! I'll do an at-home workout (there are LOADS you can find online) in the mornings to get my movement in and close my exercise ring (bit of an Apple Watch fanatic) before the day has really even started!
If you work in an office (I don't) try and use your lunch break to get to the gym or just go for a walk around the block. Taking that time for yourself will not only make you feel better, but you'll also get all the benefits of exercise.
What are some sanity savers you've discovered being a working mama?