I have been thinking a lot lately about how in the world we as working moms (and dads) are able to get it all done.
In my younger years, post-college but pre-baby, I had all of the time in the world on my hands. Remember these days? On Saturdays we rose after 8AM, read the paper, ate some breakfast, maybe went for a leisurely run or bike ride.
Our days are now like this: Wake early, in a frantic nature, because either a child is crying or we have overslept because we were up so much either listening for the baby, listening for the teens, or taking care of one or the other. We make breakfast for three, four or five people, maybe even more, who knows at that point, and then we shower, which consists of a quick rinse, possibly some soap and a dry so inept that we leave water stains on our pants as we pull them up.
Yes, things have changed. Appointments must be met. People must be tended to. Work must be done.
So how, you ask, can you do it all without running yourself into the ground?
The key, I believe, is in the prioritizing.
With everything that has been going on in my life lately-two toddlers, a business, a house to clean, a marathon to run, doctor’s appointments, my mom’s health problems-I have found that if I do not have a plan set out for each day I don’t get done what I need to do.
Even more, not only do I need a plan but I have to also make sure that I follow it closely so I don’t run out of time.
How do you go about prioritizing? This is what I have done in the past month, and it has really helped.
Make a list of everything that you have to get done on a daily basis, including work appointments, childcare, cooking dinner, and scheduling in personal time. The last one might make you laugh-personal time, what is that?!-but I have made this a true priority in the past six months and I am doing so much better with everything else now that I have. Don’t short change yourself on this me time-it is a necessity and you deserve it.
Create a schedule in which you can fit each thing that you must get done. Those of you working out of the home will find that your work hours will fall within a certain time, and that you will need to fit the rest of your list in the other hours.
If you work in the home, you’ll need to be flexible with the schedule, but you will also need to make sure that once it is written out you are actually following it. Don’t get sidetracked folding laundry when you should be working (and if you find that you are, stop and return to what you are supposed to do at that time).