The thing that sucks about being a working mom, is the simple fact that when you are at work, you are not spending time with your kid (or kids). But I have learned to make the best of it, and have found six working mom hacks that help you to maximize the amount of time you have with your children.
1. Stop grocery shopping on the weekends:
I dread going grocery shopping, and for some reason I always ended up doing my shopping on Sunday morning. Sometimes I would bring the kids, sometimes I wouldn't... but it wasn't exactly what I would call fun, family time together. So I started going on weeknights.
And it's awesome.
I usually go on Monday night, after the kids are asleep. The grocery stores are basically empty (no deli lines people!!) and I can actually think about what I need since I'm not throwing goldfish or iPhones at my children to keep them from terrorizing other customers. Try it out, you will never go back to weekend shopping.
2. Workout early:
I like going to the gym. I try to go every other day, since my hubby andI take turns. It's important to me and it makes me happy. So I wake up early, like 5 am early, to go the gym. That way, I get my workout in and I'm home in time to wake up my son at 6:40 to start getting him ready for school. We like eating breakfast together, so both my husband and I make it a priority to workout early, so we can
enjoy time as a family before we all head off work and school.
I don't feel any guilt taking the time for myself, since I know everyone at home is sleeping. Once you start waking up early, you get used to it. I promise.
3. Take advantage of your salon's odd hours: I don't get my haircut as often as I should, but when I do, I go on Thursday nights after work. That's the 'late night' at my favorite salon. One night a week they stay open until 9pm so that's when I go. I don't like spending a Saturday at the salon. It was never my thing. This way, I miss one dinner, instead of missing an entire afternoon on a weekend. Many nail and hair salons have these odd hour nights, so take advantage of them. Also, if you have a person you go to regularly, there is a good chance that if you just ask, they will come in early or stay late to accommodate you
4. Make a cleaning schedule: My husband and I do little things throughout the week, so we can have a 'clean-free' weekend. Find out which tasks take the most time for you and try to get them done during the week. For us, it's our floors. We have tons of neighborhood kids over everyday and our entire house is light colored tile. (except the bedrooms) We realized it was taking FOREVER to clean the floors on the weekend. Now I try to do the floors a few times a week in the morning, after my hubby and son leave. The baby just follows me around, and the floors are clean (almost) all the time now, since we take care of them during the week instead of the weekend. We also do more laundry during the week to get that out of the way as well.
5. Technology helps in a pinch: Sometimes my husband and I work different hours. I occasionally work a split shift, which means I go in around noon and stay until 9pm. My husband has to work weekends every once in awhile when he is the manager on call. These are the times technology is awesome. Facetime is your friend. When I work late, I call the fam up on Facetime after dinner to hear about everyone's day and give them all good night 'kisses' through the phone. We will make videos of our activities on the weekend when my husband is at work to send to him. (while this technically isn't spending time with your kids, but it's still a working mom hack, so there.)
6. Get your kids on *YOUR* schedule: We used to stress about having dinner ready for my son before I came home from work, since he was hungry, but then we were all eating at separate times. Now he just gets a big snack after school, and we usually don't eat dinner until around 7pm. And it works for us. We all eat together and take our time. Sometimes we have a dance party while we're waiting for stuff to cook. My kids may not get to bed right at 8pm, more often it's closer to 9pm, and that's okay. We have them on a schedule that works with our own, to help maximize the time we get together on weeknights.
A few small changes to your routine can make a big difference when it comes to getting more time together as a family, especially when mom and dad both work! What are some shortcuts that help you get more time with the kids?