Are you returning to work after maternity leave or absence of some sort? Here’s 9 tips to set you up for success.
Be kind to yourself
Mums are very good at berating themselves. Make a plan to give yourself some grace and know that it will take some adjustment to a new routine. “Done is better than perfect” is a great mantra to adopt whilst you get settled.
Be resourceful and outsource as many of the domestic chores as possible. Now when I say outsource and don’t necessarily mean for you to have to pay someone else to do it. It simply means that you don’t have to do it. Let’s look at the washing. Children as young as four can learn to use the washing machine. That may take a little bit of teaching to separate the washing as you may like it but once they get the hang of it, this this job can be outsourced. Consider delegating chores to other members of your family, friends, neighbours (including teenagers that may be keen to earn a few dollars).
Ask for help
Mums are also good at trying to do everything themselves. Put the guilt aside and put your hand up when you need help.
One of the most stressful things for working Mums is the nightly meal. Are you going to cook nightly meals? If so, put a weekly appointment in your diary to meal plan each week. Need help with this – check out My 10 favourite meal planning techniques for professional working mums. Don’t forget to make plans for the kids lunches too if they are at school.
If your workplace does not provide a uniform, create your own. Choose pieces that are easy to wear, easy to launder, look great together and rotate the items frequently. read How to create a wardrobe you love or hire me to Create a capsule wardrobe in an afternoon.
If your children will be at daycare/kinder/school, add important dates to the diary at the start of the year with notifications in your phone so you don’t miss a thing. (I recently saw some kids walking to school on a curriculum day so I wrote this blog Add school dates to an electronic calendar to avoid tears and tantrums).
If you are unable to outsource your cleaning, I suggest two things. 1 have realistic expectations about cleaning when you are juggling work, kids and all the things. 2. consider speed cleaning whereby you clean a different area of the home each day. Read more here.
Morning and afternoon routine
Set up a morning and afternoon routine for school age kids and encourage them to be responsible for being ready on time each morning. Packing and unpacking the school back is top priority. Some Mums also find preparing lunch boxes the night before a life saver! Read 10 steps to get the kids to school on time for tips.
Following these tips will make the transition to work much easier. As mentioned above, it will be a bit change for you and your family, so give yourself some grace and be proud of your achievements instead of focusing on the things that aren’t working.
I love to work with Mums returning to work to set up systems and routines. Give me a call to chat about your situation or book me here so I can work with you one-on-one.
Julie Cliff, Melbourne Professional Organiser at Space and Time specialises in home management systems for professional, working Mums. Mums that are having trouble keeping up with work, the kids’ school and after school commitments, household chores and, consequently, they are feeling exhausted, stressed and overwhelmed. Sound familiar? Julie would love to hear from you – firstname.lastname@example.org