Essentials Every Working Mom Needs

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The term “working mom” traditionally applies to a mother who also holds a paid full-time or part-time job outside her home. But if you’re looking at it a bit more deeply, the title “working mom” actually applies to all mothers, as raising children and running and managing a household are full-time jobs in themselves.

But the traditional “working moms” have different needs as they juggle their responsibilities at home and their 9-to-5 jobs. That’s double the struggle! To working moms out there, they may need some things that will keep their everyday routine in check, help save time and effort and keep their own sanity intact.

1) A calendar or an organizer/planner
If you think you do not need a calendar or an organizer as you believe you are able to memorize all of your scheduled meetings, you have to reconsider. With so many obligations and commitments, it’s easy to forget to show up at an all-important board meeting or attend your child’s first play. You will still need a good calendar. All phones (smartphones or basic phones) have calendars, but it’s still nice to have an old-school calendar hanging on the kitchen wall where you will write your upcoming activities as reminders.

For working mothers with loaded schedules in particular, an organizer or a planner is an absolute must, whether it’s a digital app or the good ol’ paper type. Sync your calendar with your spouse’s or partner’s and set plenty of alarms and reminders.

2) A professional house cleaner
Nope, it’s not a gadget or an appliance, but an actual human house cleaner. Your hands are probably too full to do the household chores such as loading the dishwasher, doing the laundry or vacuuming your living room carpet. You deserve to come to a home that’s clean and smelling fresh after a grueling day at work. Hire a house cleaning professional to take care of that, ideally at least once or a couple of times a month. The article “Home Cleaning Services – When Will You Need One?” stresses the importance of hiring a professional house help.

3) Multi-purpose makeup products
More often than not, working moms do not have much time to do re-touches especially when they attend one event to the next. Of course, they want to look good all the time – from the board room to the classroom. But moms also have to be efficient in whatever they do, instead of getting to spend a minute or so rummaging through ten lipsticks and three kinds of foundation.

Rather than carrying the whole makeup bag, you should carry double- or multi-purpose cosmetic products. They may include BB creams that also act as moisturizer and sunblock, a lipstick that can also be used as blush or an eye shadow that can also be used as an eyeliner. If your job also requires traveling and field work, multi-purpose makeup products are a real blessing.

4) Large work bags
When you were still single, all you had to carry was a small shoulder bag or a purse with all your personal essentials – money, credit card, a few pieces of makeup and a smartphone. Now that you’re a working mom, things have definitely changed. Stuffing the usual office items and some baby stuff (such as breast pump and baby wipes) together in your small bag is really an inconvenience. You need a large bag with lots of space to organize your things, but you also want a bag that’s comfortable and stylish. Expect these “working mom bags” to be pricey though, so check if they are sturdy but comfortable to carry. Most importantly, these bags should have ample storage space and compartments to make sure they’re worth the purchase.

5) Versatile and comfortable clothing
For pregnant and lactating working moms, the choice of clothing should not be based on being fashionable alone. Of course, they still want to dress well, but they know that comfort should be the top factor for choosing maternity and pump-friendly clothing. A flowy blouse, a pair of stretchable maternity pants or a one-piece working dress are ideal pieces of maternity clothing. There are a growing number of brands that manufacture and sell pump-friendly and nursing clothing such as blouses, shirts, brassieres, sleep wears and even formal dresses. Usually, these nursing clothes and underwear have flaps or panels that can be pulled down so that you could breastfeed your baby easily and comfortably.

Nursing in public can be so awkward. Luckily, there are nursing dresses that come with an extra layer of fabric draped in a crisscross over the other, so that you will be able to breastfeed your baby privately.

How to Master in Balancing Work and Family

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All working moms are different, yet are the same too. And what binds them together is the balancing act between work life and family (and insert school, as well). The struggle seems to be never-ending: how do you balance between work and family time which both demand your time?

It’s not unusual that many working moms do not feel good about their divided attention.

They feel guilty when they ignore their kids in favor of their work outside the home. But they will feel also feel bad about AWOL-ing themselves from work to attend their child’s PTA meeting.

Many moms feel a tremendous amount of regret and guilt whenever they spend their time with their bosses, clients and co-workers than with their own kids. Sometimes, they even feel guilt about enjoying being in the office rather than being at home! We know that you are not alone in this dilemma. It’s because whenever they come home from work, they would often feel tired, exhausted and sometimes irritable. They are too drained to spend quality time with their spouses and children, and all they want to do for the moment is to retire to bed.

Of course, many moms feel also guilty that their kids are growing and they feel rather terrible for missing out the most important milestones in their lives, such as watching them taking their first steps or attending to their first day of kindergarten.

Don’t get “married” to your work too much.

Do you feel that you are “married” to your job too much? Sure, it’s tempting to put on extra hours at work especially if you’re gunning for that dream promotion. Or you simply want to keep yourself productive and just make money. But if you spend too much of your time working, it can take a toll on your health. It can also lead to lost time with your spouse or partner, your children and your friends.

Achieving the work-life balance.

Striking an ideal work-life balance will likely be a continuous challenge. But since time cannot be fabricated, it is important to set certain limits. If you are not able to set limits, work on them or else, your obligations will leave you with no more time to spend with your family or do the things that you enjoy doing.

Time management is the most challenging and the most crucial when attempting to strike a perfect work-life balance. Remember, it’s okay in not trying to be a Super Mom so don’t take all the invitations and projects in. Choose the tasks that you feel you are able to accomplish, and do away and/or delegate others that you cannot handle or cannot enjoy. You don’t have to attend every PTA meetings, chaperone your kid to his field trips or reluctantly accept another job assignment.

You can also voice out your concerns and possible solutions with your employer and colleagues so that you can reach to a compromise. This will free you up to focus on the tasks and activities that you are good at, or enjoy doing.

At home, you should organize household tasks efficiently. If your kids are big enough, teach them on how to clean up after themselves such as putting away toys or making their own beds. Delegate other tasks to much older children such as preparing a table for dinner or loading the dishwasher. Do the laundry in batches because you don’t want to dump all of them for your day-off. Go to the grocery at least once a week and cook meals in big batches, keeping half of the servings in the fridge for the next meal. It will save you from trooping to the kitchen next time.

Learn to say no. In our stay-driven culture, it’s difficult to say “no” out of respect, false sense of obligation or fear that you might disappoint your boss, your colleagues or your son’s teachers. It’s all right to say “no.” It’s all right to turn down requests for activities that you feel you cannot do or enjoy. Saying “no” is actually healthy as it frees you from additional and unnecessary activities that may otherwise burden you.

The lack of time for your family may make them feel frustrated. Often, these feelings of frustration can lead to small disagreements that aren’t even worthy of your attention. Believe it or not, it’s the most petty of arguments that can create the biggest discord and the deepest resentment. But it does happen.

Make sure to spend time with your family by setting aside a date for them. Even activities that are simple as having a movie marathon or playing board games will help you to bond better together and bring out good memories. Having a relaxing and fun time spent with your family also helps you to loosen up.

Take care of yourself

Moms usually place themselves last in favor of their children and are even willing to sacrifice their own pursuits just to attend their children’s own needs and wants. Still though, working moms should not forget to look after themselves. As a mom, you are the “light” of your home, and should it be appropriate that such light needs some good “re-charging”? Relax, have some fun and take care of yourself. This will also help in keeping a good and balanced lifestyle.

Eat a healthy diet, get adequate sleep, refrain from smoking and drinking alcohol, pamper yourself, devote your time to your hobby, travel, meet up with your old friends or volunteer. These are only few of the things that you should try to do to achieve a perfect work-life balance (and to keep your sanity intact).