A working mum’s tips for survival

Now I’m a back-at-work mum there are things I do that help my kerfuddled brain find the path of least resistance or keep me just a few steps away from ‘the edge’. I’m not saying I have it sussed by any stretch of the imagination. I’m sharing these tips in the hope that you’ll share yours with me so we can all take that deep breath and feel a bit more in control of the hamster wheel.

Ignore the clock:

If you wake in the night to check on the little one or even just to go to the loo, DON’T look at the clock. If you do, and it ends up being an hour or less before you need to get up, your crazy brain with its ‘to do’ list kicks in and there’s no chance of any more sleep. If you don’t check, the pressure’s off; you can convince yourself it’s still 1am and that you’ve got loads of sleepy time left. Try it!

Outsource:

Nobody went to heaven for scrubbing the bathroom themselves or for braving the supermarket on a Saturday. Why are we taking up so much precious little time- time that could be spent with the kids- with things that we could systemise? I do an online supermarket shop and, since being back at work, I’ve got a cleaner (or fairy godmother!). It’s the best money I’ve ever spent. It feels like a weight’s been lifted.

Food shortcuts:

I batch cook for Harriet, doubling the amounts in the baby recipies (another plug for you Annabel Karmel!) and freezing. She’s always got a ready selection of four to five meals I can defrost in the fridge overnight or take out in the morning. The same goes for fruit purees. She may be almost 17 months but pureed apple, pear or mango with greek yogurt is an easy, delicious pudding.

And parents need to eat too! That’s why I could kiss our slow cooker. Bung in a load ingrediants in the morning and leave until its delicious smell welcomes you home as you open the front door.

Birthday brilliance:

A simple one, but one that saves you tearing your hair out in the card shop. As a mummy you’ll have lots of mummy friends which means lots of kids,’ birthdays, but how do you remember how old they’re just about to be? Write their birth year next to your diary reminder then all you’ll have to do is count on your fingers to be confident that you’ve not committed the ultimate sin of buying a scowling six-year-old Johnny an ‘I am five’ card .

Micro ‘to do’ list:

Having any ‘to do’ list is a start for work or home, but sometimes the tasks on there are so big it can stress you out. That’s why, for work especially, I do a daily one too- breaking down the big tasks into a series of little ones that I can then cross off and feel like I’m making progress. A big project to start? The first step to tick off might simply be setting up a meeting.

I’d love to hear your sanity and time savers!

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