Lovely Mama: 5 survival tips for working mamas

Women ask me all the time, “how do you find the time to “_________________” insert random task here (do a side-hustle, get your hair done, read a book, cook a hot meal, have date night) with all the other things you have to do for your family? I decided to share some of my tips, tricks and favorites to help all you hardworking mamas out there. Now I am not saying I am some perfect mama who looks glowing and beautiful at carpool, works out everyday and while cooking a perfectly balanced pinterest-worthy meal in a spotless home. Pul-lease. Let’s get real. I am a real mama with the same amount of chaos and crazy as many of you, but I enjoy life and I have learned a few tips along this journey that have actually given me back some of my sanity.


1. Early Riser
Wake up before your family gets up. I know this may be an unpopular tip but trust me, it works. Getting up 30-45 minutes earlier than your family will give you time in the morning to meditate, exercise, get clarity on your intentions for the day and crank out a few tasks before the day starts. Here are tips on how to wake up earlier and what to do:
• move your alarm across the room

• do 20 minutes of stretching, walking or aerobic exercise
• do not look at facebook or email, read a motivational book or blog post
• plan your day or do a task that needs to be done


2. Plan out your week
Grab a cheap planner from Target and sit down (or hide in the bathroom) on Sunday night and look at your schedule for the week. Is everything absolutely necessary? If its not a “hell yea!” so no. It’s ok, you don’t have to volunteer for every single thing at your kid’s school.

3. Time block
Time blocking is great for doing tasks for your side hustle. Your blocks can be as small as 15 minutes. You can do anything in 15 minutes like
• make 2 phone calls
• write 2 thank you notes
• check on 2 clients
• brainstorm 2 blog posts
• plan meals for the next 2 days
• pack 2 lunches
• spot clean a room

Notice my theme of doing things in 2? You can do at least 2 tasks in 15 minutes.
Break down your task, set an alert on your phone and give yourself a break if you skip a day (or 20).

4. Plan your meals
Take an extra 20-30 minutes to plan meals for the week or even for the month and boom! Now you have a plan for meals. Personally, the what-to-cook-for dinner-dilemma is the most menacing and stressful tasks I have. Even if you don’t stick to it, I like having an idea of meals for the week. I try to cook seasonally and let what is fresh and available dictate most of my meals. Frankly, sometimes my meal planning means rotating the same five meals each week but there are no complaints from my family so it works for me. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to be planned so you don’t have to think about it.

5. Buy back your time. Yet another, meaningful tip I learned from the lovely ladies I work with. While I adore being in a mentorship role to my team, sometimes I feel like I am drowning in tasks and to-dos. Until I learned to buy back my time. Yes! Duuuuuuh!!! Why didn’t I think of that? Your time is valuable and you can pay others to do tasks that free you up to do what you love like, spending time with your kids or hubby, working on your sidehustle, or taking time for yourself and self care.


Here are a few ways to buy back your time:
• Set a timer for 15 minutes in the morning and evening and have “family pick up time” to save time on huge housecleaning tasks. A little bit each day helps. 

• Prep and cook most of your meals on Sunday evenings. Using a crockpot has been an enormous time saver for me. I make ahead freezer meals (pop over to my pinterest board for LOADS of recipes here , here and here) and pop one in the crockpot on hectic days. YUM!

• Hire a teenager or friend to watch your kids for a few hours (you can also swap with other mama friends), do administrative tasks in your office, prepare packages for shipping.

• Try not to go to the store. For anything. Shop online and buy in bulk to save money and time.

  • Try Instacart to bring me fresh groceries from Whole Foods & Costco. If they are in your area, you have to try this, order online and have your groceries to your house in an hour. Hello time saver….and sanity saver.
  • While you are in the mood of having things delivered, let me share, I am completely obsessed with Club W to have affordable, sustainable, personally selected wines delivered to my door.
  • I have become obsessed with the cleaning supplies and body care products from Honest Company, I order the Honest Bundles and keep my house fresh and sparkly clean. I have to feel good about what I am using and this makes it easier.
  • Spend a quick 15 minutes doing your own nails and save time going to the nail salon. I love being a Julep Maven and getting a new shipment of fun nail colors each month to try. I save time and have a gorgeous manicure every week. It’s relaxing and refreshing to do at my desk once a week before I start my day. Try your first box FREE with code SCORE (just pay $2.99 shipping).

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Cheers to you hardworking mamas out there, I hope these tips help you keep your sanity and sense of peace. Your hardwork is much appreciated by your family. Take some time to be in the moment, hug and snuggle your little ones (or big ones if they will let you).  

Tweet this: Mamas, dedicate 1 hour a day or even 1 hour a week to self-care. Lovely mamas deserve self-care and your family will love having a happy mama.

What are your favorite tips for balancing work and motherhood? I would love to know.

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  • Ashley Stork May 6, 2015 at 3:42 am

    Great tips mel! For everyone!