10 Things a Working Mother Needs to Survive

Being a working mom is tough.

Dealing with work demands, family pressures and still making time for yourself is a huge task.

But,  you do what you need to do to get things done, and you should feel proud. 

[bctt tweet=”10 tips a Working mother needs to survive! #1 online shopping and express delivery!” username=”cherralle_”]

Here are ten things a working mother needs to survive

working mother tips

Reliable and safe care during the day for your child

Having your child taken care of during the day is your TOP priority as working mother. Therefore, do as much research as you can, and understand what works for you and your family, whether it’s in the home (nanny) or out of home care. Tracy  from Liam & Cole shares her view on to nanny or not to nanny.

Hand picked post: Parenting Humour – Confessing my 7 Parenting double standards

Shop online and get stuff delivered

It is highly recommended that you get comfortable with online shopping and get stuff delivered. It is marvellous! You can buy groceries, clothes, stationery, anything you need! My favourite delivery service right now is Uber Eats! It has saved me a million times.

[bctt tweet=”Shop online and get stuff delivered. Unless you get to go grocery shopping alone. ALONE. Heaven!” username=”cherralle_”]

Lowered cleaning standards

I have spoken about this before in my post about how to find more time as a working mother, let go of the cleaning standards. It’s okay if the house is a mess. Trust me there is no house cleaning police. My tip – tidy up at the end of the day or even better, right at the end of the weekend.

Coffee, Glorious Coffee

how a working mother survives

You will need your coffee. You will need to it to push through the day, like a lifeline. Oh, and it will get cold. [bctt tweet=”A working mother knows why mama bear’s porridge was cold.” username=”cherralle_”]

A good family support structure

An excellent family support is vital to survive being a working mother. For me, having a husband who is super engaged in our family life is critical.

Limit your driving time/ commute where possible

You need to figure this one out as a reduction in a long commute will save you so much time and energy.

One way to work around this is to negotiate a flexible arrangement with your boss. Example, you could choose a day, and make that your ‘work from home day’.

Hand picked blog post: 7 Things A Working Mother Wants to Tell Her Boss

Wine, Wine, Wine, (or whatever your ‘mommy juice’ of choice is)

working mother wine

I am going to just leave this one here. Moms will get it!

Shared family calendar

It’s important to set up a family calendar where you and your partner can have a view of key family events. For us its very simple, it is a calendar on google docs that my husband and I access.

Back up hairstyles for when you did not have time to sort your hair out

Come on admit it; you know you have your hairstyle for those in-between days when your hair just doesn’t make sense! You have got to have something up your sleeve for those days.

Last but not least, letting go of perfection

Enjoy your babies, let things go a little and relax. [bctt tweet=”Parenting is not perfect, but a mother’s love is” username=”cherralle_”]

 

Share this with your working mama friends or tag them. You can’t keep this all to yourself can you?

 

 

 

 

Parenting Humour: Confessing My 7 Parenting Double Standards

Parenting is all about being responsible and showing our kids the ‘right way’, however we must not forget the funny side of parenting. Always aim to bring in some parenting humour in all that  you do as a parent.  I always crack up at the funniest tweets from parents collated by the Huffington Post.

I  mean I have to model healthy eating habits and positive behaviour, but I am not perfect. Some of you who know me or follow my blog, know that I am into real and frank talk about parenting, and ‘good enough’ is okay for me.

Hand picked post: 7 Reasons Why I Am Pretty Certain We Are only having Two Children

I have come to accept that I will be practicing double standards until my children can figure out what I am doing. Then I guess I can just say “Because I said so”. For now here are 7 parenting double standards (trust me there are more, but let’s start with 7!).

[bctt tweet=”It’s okay to laugh at ourselves & not take everything seriously. Parenting is stressful as it is!” username=”cherralle_”]

Parenting Humour: Here are 7 double standards that I know parents out there will understand

Me to my 4 Year Old: Angel, you cannot have so much sugar.

Me: Stuffing my face with chocolates from the ‘secret luxury cupboard’ when she is not looking.

Remember, sharing is caring my angel

Me: Hides all the luxuries in the corner of the ‘secret luxury cupboard shelf.’ Plus the really delicious stuff gets hidden from my husband too in another ‘secret luxury drawer.’ That’s all my sugar. Which I hide. So I can eat it alone. In peace!

Me: No Bad words angel

Me again: FFS (and my bad cape town swear words come out) when I hit my toe against the leg of  the couch. *my husband cringing right now*

Drink your water, my angel, it is the best drink when you are thirsty

Me when I get home from work: I am so thirsty, where are my flavoured beers (ciders) at?

girl blowing bubbles parenting humour

You cannot have that for breakfast, my angel, instead finish up your porridge.

Me: Eats whatever the hell I want when everyone has left the house. This was one of the best parts of maternity leave (I meant, besides spending time with my new baby – of course)

Mom, Where are my sweeties I got at the party yesterday?
Me: I don’t know let’s look for them. I wonder what happened to these sweeties.

At this stage, I am feeling guilty because my husband and I smashed the party bag the night before and now I am helping her look for it.

(By the way parents, for every single party bag my daughter gets, it gets eaten by my husband and me as soon as we can make her forget. It is just one of those perks of parenting.)

[bctt tweet=”I will eat my child’s party packet. It is a law. Make her forget about it, and then we are home free!” username=”cherralle_”]

Then she picks up a wrapper and looks at me and whispers in a conspiratorial way “Mommy look; someone ate it”

Me shocked “oh no, that is so terrible, that was nice of that person whoever it is. Let’s go play outside”. Short attention span, always saves the day!

Mommy, may I have a bite of your food please?

She points to my food.

Me: It is too spicy my angel, you will not like it.
My 4YO: Oh okay.

The food was not spicy. I Just wanted to eat alone.

Does that ever happen, where you ’embellish the truth’ a little so you can eat something alone?

 

CHIME IN? What are your parenting double standards? Come on, admit it!

 

 

Photocredit
Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) from Pexels Pexel
Photo by Chevanon Photography from Pexels Pexel

5 Reasons to Check Out Destiny’s Good Schools Report Website

I wrote while back about Destiny’s Good Schools Report as well as expressed my excitement about the fact that the Good Schools report was going digital!

As a parent of two young daughters, their education is  one of our family’s top priorities.  I appreciate that Destiny remains committed to providing key updates on our South African education sector.  The website allows parents to not only check out schools, but to also read relevant topics about the education sector.

Handpicked Post: Part 2: Equally Shared Parenting from a Husband’s Point Of View

Here are 5 reasons to check out Destiny’s Good Schools Report Website

Advice section for parents + downloadable resources

The advice section covers relevant articles pertaining to education, that goes beyond school selection. Example, I stumbled across an article which lists the top 10 skills that will be in demand in the next four years. The list may be used as a guide to high school students on what to study. As well as an article on perspectives on the amount of homework that children are required to do in school.

In addition the website provides an opportunity for teachers or parents to download study guides. The student study guides are for Grade 12s. The Educator study guides range from Grade 4 – 6, and covers Life Sciences; Natural Sciences and Technology; Social Sciences and Geography. These are provided in English and Afrikaans.

Handpicked Post: Shonda Rhimes Year of Yes: 5 Key Lessons (and why you need this book in your life)

Thought-provoking insights on the education sector

The website also contains a section where columnists share their views s on various elements of education. One article that particularly caught my attention was the state of digital fluency or our children. There is also an appreciation that children will need to develop an understanding of how to navigate the digital world.

Education as a process should look to enable a learner’s engagement with an information- and technology-driven, global paradigm“, as stated by Michael Goodman.

Nombulelo Nyathela writes an article encouraging all of us to look beyond matric pass rate that is announced each year when determining what makes a good school.

[bctt tweet=”Though provoking articles about the education sector is a key feature of the new Good Schools website” username=”cherralle_”]

Ability to compare schools

The website allows you to select up to three schools, and see schools stacked against other. In one view you can see school fees, teacher pupil ratio, and facilities. I selected the first three schools and added  a snapshot below. The comparison goes into a lot more detail!

Life style and activities

The website collates lifestyle and activities relevant to parents and children. One of the articles that grabbed me was around when your child has big hair and swims, what do you do? Step up Swimma, a swimming cap that has more stretch to go over  the curls, afro or locks. I liked this one as we have experienced this with my preschool aged daughter!

The list of schools only includes the top private and public schools

The school list is an extension of the good schools report, and only includes the top private and public schools. Hence the information contained in the schools section, will only be applicable to a small section of the population. However it does state that the list will be expanded as the website matures, so we need to give it time to evolve.

Nevertheless, as shared in this post the website also includes coverage of topics that can help and inform and add value to a broader audience.

Have you checked out the online Good Schools Report from Destiny and what do you think?

 

Featured Image: Pixabay

 

7 Reasons Why I am Pretty Certain We Are Only Having Two Children

When we had our first child, we were delighted to start our little family that we always wanted.  In our plans, we always knew we will be only  having two children. We did not want our daughter to grow up without a sibling, and be ‘alone.’ Both my husband I come from big families, I have four brothers and sisters and he has three brothers. So we wanted to have two kids (at least).

Now that we have our two little girls, we often get asked: ‘are you trying for a boy’?

No, we are not. Not a boy, not a girl or nothing. Here is why we will only be having two children and why it feels right for us. To also set the scene each family’s size is their own business, this is only my view on our family.

Related Post:  You Should Try This: Interview with my 3 Year Old

7 Reasons Why I am Pretty Certain We Are Only Having Two Children

 

only having two kids

No middle child issues

We will have a youngest and eldest, that is it. No middle child issues. I don’t know if birth order has that much effect on a child’s life, but still it is not an issue for us. Each child will have her crown of glory, one as the eldest and one as the ‘baby’ of the family.

[bctt tweet=”We will only be having two children, the balance feels just right for us. ” username=”cherralle_”]

Divide and conquer

When we are home or going out, we divide and conquer, or ‘each one takes one.‘ I take a child, and my husband takes a child, and we are sorted. With three, what must happen? We have a ‘delicate’ balance at this point, and it is getting better the older they are getting.

Related Post: Part 1: Our Journey of Equally Shared Parenting

Money: School fees  and they do need to eat

Raising children is an expensive exercise. With the rising cost of living and the challenges in our education system in SA, we are okay with only having two children. We aim to live as responsibly as we can, and we manage. We are both hard working parents and we want to be able to enjoy our lifestyle.

The car situation

The car only takes two car seats, so I don’t know what must happen with a third child. I do not see us getting a bigger car to accommodate three children. I am sure families do manage fine, but we are okay with only having two children.

Only having two kids

Family of four just feels right

With four, we feel very balanced out. It can be two against two in any family scenario. My husband will probably say it’s not balanced as its three girls and him!

Related Post: Mama, Step Up And Take Your Seat At the Table…the Play table

The needs of our children are becoming similar

Ava is turning one and Caitlyn is four years old. We are noticing now that things are becoming a bit easier as our routines as a family settles in. What I mean by this is that the chaos is calming down, maybe a different type of chaos is to come?

They both go to sleep now within one hour of each other and wake up at roughly the same time. They share a room (when Caitlyn is not in our bed 🙂 ), and Ava is enjoying more ‘regular’ food now. To reach this point and to revert to caring for an infant, I cannot see that in the cards right now.

Happy and sad, that babyhood is almost done for us!

Our little one is turning one in a less than a month.

only having two kids

That is the last of babyhood for us. Ava is such a cuddly and lovable baby, and it will be our last experience of having a baby. I am also looking forward to us being able to do different things as the girls are growing up. We will be done with nappies, sleep routines, carrying a baby bag around, all that jazz.

Right now, I am very comfortable and happy with our family of four. I feel that things are finally starting to settle down in our home as the girls are growing older. This is why we are only have two children!

What about you? Are you done having children or are you planning to grow your brood 🙂

 

Part 2: Equally Shared Parenting – A Husband Speaks Out

I wrote this week about How We Strive for Equally Shared Parenting in our home, this is my husband’s point of view. This only has minor edits from me, I did not change any content.

Oh and he reminded me that we do have a lot of friends in our circle where the fathers are incredibly involved, so we must just recognise the awesome fathers who are sharing home responsibilities.

Enjoy!

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Equally Shared Parenting In Our Home

 

 

Well, I guess I had to write this after reading my wife’s blog posts and express my side as an equally involved father.

Raising two girls aged four years and eleven months is not a one man/woman job. As my wife would say ‘each one takes one’. I witnessed the birth of my daughters first hand and was an eye-opening experience for me. Women are strong, and we should appreciate what they do for the family.

Maternity Leave

When my wife was on maternity leave, I would come home, and I would bond with my girls and put them on my chest like a mother bonds with their newborn after birth. I felt this brought me closer and I developed my bond with the girls. So it’s not only mothers.

I was the ‘number 2’ guy whenever I was at home. When our daughters did a number 2, it was my job. I did not mind it as I became immune to the smell eventually

How my hobbies changed

Having been an involved dad from day one, it became obvious that things we did before as a couple would change. We use to go hiking, I played golf, and I loved playing Xbox. Now I use it to play Lion King, Toy Story, and Cars DVDs. .

We both understood our roles as parents and the sacrifices that come with it. From family responsibilities and a career perspective, it can be draining. Hence as a family, we need to understand what the objectives are.

Spending time with my girls

I enjoy every moment with my girls even though I am the ‘helicopter dad.’ Yes, that is right. I hover around when my children play until I am comfortable they are safe, even though they are.

One thing that I find amusing at times is when people say no they are babysitting, and hence they can’t come out or do certain things. It is not babysitting if it is your kids. It is called parenting.

Shared responsibilities

My wife and I share responsibilities around the house, but ultimately I have been trained well to follow routines for the children (sleep, feeding, playing time). I do the early morning bottle for DD#2 while my wife sleeps in with DD#1.  On the other hand she runs with cooking, that is our deal.

In the mornings we sort out the children’s food for the day, snacks for school and alternate drop-offs.

In the evenings we rotate who is early on what days to do bath -time. Although we have a live-in nanny who helps tremendously, we are still the parents and we are there during the critical times (mornings and evenings).

I have also become the house doctor as I am in charge of medicine distributions between the girls. Yes, including when my wife is sick.

Negotiations

Having a supportive partner is truly excellent, and there are a lot of negotiations to be had with the Mrs. One thing that I have also learnt is that consistency is key when raising kids. Don’t contradict your partner especially when ground rules, family values, and manners are concerned.

I enjoy playing golf, but as golfing dads have heard before ‘golf is not a family sport.’ You spend 4-6 hours away from your family. I have to be extra involved to have a game.

I can do anything as long as I obey the #1 line: ‘each one takes one’, so I have hooked my DD#1 on playing golf. I bought her second-hand golf clubs, and she enjoys the game. Now to build up that passion and discipline so I can take her with to the course.

My take away from being an involved dad

1. Decide on who will push their career first as you both can’t do it together

2. Share family responsibilities. E.g., cooking, nappy changing, meals, extra murals, etc.

3. Don’t contradict each other

4. Obey the #1 rule: ‘each one takes one’ = happy wife. Applies if you have more than one child.

5. One of the most significant benefits of sharing house responsibilities, I think whether you are raising a boy or girl is that you are setting an example as a father. To your son, showing him how to be involved dad and support and treat the girls in your life right. To our daughters, showing them how involved a dad is family and home responsibilities so they can find similar qualities in their future partners.

6. Find your balance and do what works for you.

That is my point of view. I hoped you enjoyed reading this, you are welcome to tell me what you think or share this.

Part 1: Our Journey of Equally Shared Parenting

This is part  1 of a post on our family’s journey of equally shared parenting. Part 2 was posted here, which is my husband’s take on this!

“A truly equal world would be one where women ran half our countries and companies and men ran half our homes.”
― Sheryl SandbergLean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

Recently I read about how businesses are aspiring to create equal opportunities and reduce the pay gap between men and women in the workplace. In my opinion (and some other studies actually) home and family strategies are also needed to achieve equality at work.

[bctt tweet=”Create space for men to step up at home in order to create the opportunity for women to lead at work” username=”cherralle_”]

Equality starts at home. Equality in the home represents the sharing of household and childcare responsibilities.

father and daughter parenting

When building your career, you need to commit time and energy to your job. However running a household and significant time off required for any matters related to the home and children, has an impact on how one can progress. I wrote here about the maternal wall bias mothers face at work.

We know that women do more household work than men, but here is one of the many referenced studies which proved it. I see what you are thinking; we know this, did we REALLY need a study to show women do more housework than men?

Another challenge with parents driving their careers: who is taking care of our children when fathers and mothers are both driving careers? One way to address these gaps is through creating equal homes. By sharing the family workload, a mother (and father) will have more space to focus on their career or any pursuit for that matter.

Related Post: The Maternal Wall: How to Disrupt Bias Against Working Mothers

How we strive for equally shared parenting in our home (*warning* we have wins and misses)

Do not every let a father babysit his child, ever

Mamas, please do not refer to your partner taking care of their child as babysitting and do not allow anyone else to refer to it in that way. Lets change the narrative. Its called parenting. Plain old parenting.

Allow and encourage your partner change diapers, feed the baby, bathe the baby, and do not correct him. Unless someone’s life is at stake, let your partner figure out his way. I don’t know about y’all, but with my first child, no magic kicked in that gave me mad ‘baby care skills.’ Day by day, I needed to figure out how to hold the baby, feed the baby, burp the baby, what to do when the baby is crying. I had to learn that, and a man can learn this too in the same way. In fact, my husband did. He is pretty good at it.

[bctt tweet=”Let’s change the narrative, fathers do not babysit ever, it’s just plain parenting.” username=”cherralle_”]

Fathers must be given space to figure it out

Allow fathers the space to figure it out. Sometimes they want to, but we stand in their way:

  • We discourage them because we want to ‘correct’ and show them the ‘right way’. Is it really a train smash if they don’t rub lotion on the baby in an exact precise way?
  • We put pressure on ourselves that we need to be seen to be running with certain things because we are a bad mother if we do not.

Related Post: The Side of Motherhood We Do Not Post On Instagram

Father's day - daughter and father

Husbands and fathers, lean in at home

Please lean in to your families. Example, when there is a new baby in the house – understand that the mother needs support and the baby needs parenting. Change diapers, feed the baby, take baby for a walk to give the mother of your child a break. Hell, go all out, and run with meals.

During my first maternity leave, my husband would ‘take over’ when he came from work, do as much as possible and bring supper home. He also wanted his ‘bonding’ time, and did as much as he could in the little time he had after work and on weekends with our baby girl. This was the turning point in my life when grocery shopping on my own became an outing I looked froward to!

Tag team

For the last four years since our first child was born, we tag team everything. Who needs to be home in the afternoon; taking turns to look after the kids when they are booked off sick; or when there is a taxi strike and our nanny cannot get to work. We even tag team weekend pursuits, so we each have some timeout as well in our individual capacities (we try!). This has relieved us of the pressure to be away from work all the time (this is a reality of parenthood) and has helped us to maintain focus on our careers and personal passions. It is not easy but we work through it and do what works for us.

[bctt tweet=”Equality starts at home with men and women contributing in the home to housework and childcare” username=”cherralle_”]

As a couple, set goals and challenge current norms

As a couple, challenge stereotypes where you can. I am guilty of letting things slide too. Although in our home we strive for equally shared parenting, the subtle judgment makes me back off sometimes. When I am referring to something that my husband does for our family, I get that look from people like something is misfiring in their brain. ‘Your husband wakes up to give your baby milk and you just sleep?‘. Yeah. I sleep. Like a baby.

I am also clueless on which medicines apply in which scenarios when the children are ill. My husband has a better relationship with our family doctor and he knows kids’ medicines (it’s a super power). So he always knows exactly what needs to happen when they are ill.

At the same time, I always end up being the one that runs with ‘family projects’. Example, when we travel, when my daughter needs stuff for school,  when we moved house,  gifts, etc. That is okay because I don’t mind. So I guess it balances out. Ha! We do what works for us. Its not fifty fifty exactly,  not even close, its a perfect imbalance. We do not keep a log book but we try to each contribute in our own way.

Finally…

It is only logical. To gain access to the leadership talents of women, we need to create space for women to be mothers and work. To have  equality in companies and governments, we need equal homes. For women to increase their roles in the workplace, men need to increase their roles in the home. My personal view is that if society is consistently making mothers feel forced to choose between children and a career, no one will pick careers. I need to restate this quote again, because it sums it all up.

“A truly equal world would be one where women ran half our countries and companies and men ran half our homes.”

– Sheryl Sandberg

What does equally shared parenting mean for you,  can we strive for it or it is a pipe dream?

Further Reading:

Bye Bye Mommy Guilt, Why You Should Feel Proud of Being a Working Mother

Featured Image: istock

Images: Pixabay

 

 

 

The Side of Motherhood That We Don’t Post on Instagram

Motherhood is not always joyous. I am not writing this for validation. And the trolls, please, this is my blog. Click the X and leave if you have an issue.

Social media is a highlights reel of life, and there are other sides to me, to all of us.

Parenting, is not always fun. It’s tiring, exhausting, and sometimes I want to do other stuff. But I am home and I do my part for my family.

Being a parent is a huge responsibility. And I decided to take on this responsibility.

  1. I accept that it is not fun all the time. By accepting when I am just tired, overwhelmed and didn’t feel like cooking or doing something, I can just feel and deal with the emotion.
  2. I have an outstanding partner in my husband. He allows me the space to disconnect from time to time and be alone.
  3. I am an introvert by nature. I need to be alone. Like really alone. And just read, or write to reframe myself. Even if it’s just 30 minutes in the middle of a day on a Sunday or whenever.

Caitlyn 1 week old
Maybe I am just not a touchy feely person, but some of the things never resonated with me.

  1. Birth was not a magical experience. I was lucky in both cases as I had short deliveries. But they were painful. I wanted pain medication so badly, so badly, but the anaesthetist could not come in time. Up until today, when I sneeze, I need to be careful that I don’t wee (moms who gave birth know what I mean). TMI!
  2. Pregnancy was never magical. The first one was okayish, the second was horrible. I was tired all the time, at times I could not eat, drink or sleep. Barely coping. I had morning sickness up until I was around six months pregnant.
  3. I could not cope with waking up multiple times at night after my kids were born. Both my children were sleep coached by 12 weeks.
  4. Breastfeeding was never beautiful for me. It was painful and disappointing. I spent thousands on trying to get this right. I had a personal breast feeding consultant, feeding bras; then I moved to pumping exclusively. I rented a hospital grade pump; I bought the hands-free kit, more bras. It is clearly a huge industry; there are a lot things that goes along with pumping.

[bctt tweet=”The ‘magic’ may not always be there. It is okay to have your unique motherhood experience.” username=”cherralle_”]

So why am I even saying all of this?

Because I believe that each motherhood experience is unique, and you should be allowed to feel what you need to without fear of judgment.

I cannot define my whole being by my motherhood. I need to be other things. In that sense I am glad I chose the husband that I have, because he partners with me in our family life.

[bctt tweet=”Each motherhood experience is unique and you should be allowed the space without fear of judgement” username=”cherralle_”]

Is motherhood fulfilling?

For me, yes.

To be honest, sometimes it’s also not fulfilling. Sometimes it’s draining.

I have two beautiful, smart and feisty daughters. And I have the pleasure of raising them together with my husband. That is a gift and I will risk my own life for my girls. Just because I admit that its not sunshine and roses all the time does not mean I do not love them. I do love them and I am proud to be their mother. When I see them making each other laugh, or Caitlyn bringing Ava a top when she is cold –  my heart melts.

Overall, I feel that we need to play open cards on the realities of parenthood. It’s not all sunshine and roses and ‘Instagrammable’.

But I am calling it, motherhood has two sides. The beautiful part that we put on Instagram, and the other part that we need to also admit that we feel and share.

Related Reading:

When I Came Home With Baby Number 2

6 Tips for Surviving Morning Sickness At Work

Bye Bye Mommy Guilt, Why You Should Feel Proud of Being a Working Mother

Pumping Breast Milk at Work: The Law And What Moms Have To Say

Moms, Step and Play with Your Kids| How To Say Yes To More Playtime

Are you a working mom who is kicking ass and taking names at work?

And you are giving your all to make time for your family but you struggle with work life balance?

We all know this is not a perfect balance, but we are all doing our best.

I have just completed reading Shonda Rhimes’ Year of YesOne of the ideas that resonate with me is that of saying  ‘yes’ to our children.

Saying ‘yes’ to our children when they want to play and be with us is easier than we think. Okay not all the time, I am a realist too.

Shonda states that when she plays with her kids, they can only play with her for about 15 minutes before they want to move on.

Do you have 15 minutes? She asks.

[bctt tweet=”Say ‘Yes’ to your children when they ask to play with you, 15 min is doable” username=””]

Related Post7 Reasons Why I am Pretty Certain We Are Only Having Two Kids

We are out there being awesome at work.

Are you kicking ass and taking names at work?

Saying ‘yes’ to your mentors, sponsors and to those stretch assignments?

Are you putting up with a horrible boss at work?

Let’s also say ‘yes’ to our children and ourselves.

This is how it plays out mamas, admit it:

  • Mommy, please play with me outside-  Not now angel, I need to do the dishes. Just say ‘yes’.

 

  • There is a moms’ tea at my daughter’s playschool. Should I go? Gosh my diary is a nightmare…. – Just say ‘yes’ to the moms’ tea at least sometimes. We know how we can never make the moms’ tea because its smack bang in the middle of the work. But let’s just say ‘yes’ once.

[bctt tweet=”Just ‘say yes’ to playing with your kids. It will mean the world to them and you.” username=”cherralle_”]

 

 

What are some steps you can take to say ‘Yes’ to yourself and your children?

1. Weekends.

Spend time focusing on yourself and your family on weekends. Always aim to close off what you need to do on a Friday.

Then get on the floor and just play with your children.

2. When you leave work, really leave.

Okay, this is  personal, as each person needs to find their way of working. Some people, leave work earlier and then catch up in the evening after the kids are down.

Only you can hold yourself accountable for the focus you are giving. Reach out to a mentor if you are struggling, see next point. I wrote a post on this topic, Dear Working Mother, Here is How To Leave Work On Time.

3. Have a mentor who is a working mother.

We all need to have multiple mentors. Have at least one working mom that you can learn from in your personal ‘board of directors’. The challenges and guilt that you face as a working mom are unique. You will have someone you can be open with about your unique life.

4. The Sunday.

This use to be my own issue I created for myself. Working on Sundays, to ‘prepare’ for Monday.

I stopped that  as I decided to take back my Sunday evenings to read, watch a movie, spend time with my husband, whatever. That has helped me to say ‘yes’ to myself on a Sunday evening.

[bctt tweet=”I stopped working on Sundays to ‘prepare’ for Mondays because it just made me unhappy on a Sunday night. Take back your Sunday!” username=”cherralle”]

Let’s say yes to being more present

Let’s say ‘yes’ to spending time with our children, being present, they are only this little once.

In my daughters’ eyes (who is three years old) I am a ROCK STAR!! I am her ROCK STAR and I will work on saying ‘yes’ more to her (when she is not driving me nuts).

In which ways can you create more time for play?

Further Reading:

Shonda Rhimes Year of Yes: 5 Key Lessons (and why you need this book in your life)

Do I Still Need To Lean In When I Am Just So Tired?

 

Bye Bye Mommy Mom Guilt – Benefits of Being a Working Mother

I was coming home from work late one evening. I arrived home and both children were already asleep. And I felt so guilty for not seeing my children that evening. Needing to remind myself of the benefits of being a working mother has come important.

The never ending mommy guilt. Do you feel guilty all the time?

Guilty for not being the one to take my daughter to the doctor when she is sick, guilty for only seeing my children about two – three hours a day in the week (reality for most working moms).

Have you ever sent a sick child to crèche? I have. Guilty.

Ditch the mommy guilt, and let’s focus on the benefits of being a working mother

Related Post: Dear Working Mother – Here is How To Leave Work On Time

Working moms contribute towards gender equality

Having a working mom shows girls and boys that men and women can both contribute in and outside the home.  In fact, a Harvard study has shown that girls grow up to be more open to careers and boys grow up more empathetic and do more housework. For girls and boys, seeing their mom work outside the home embeds in their values that women should have equal access to opportunities. It creates a mental model that woman have choices, and having a career is an option, alongside out other roles. Similarly, when moms work, that means that dads would typically step in more at home. Fathers helping around the house has a significant impact on reducing gender stereotyping regarding what men and women should and should not do.

[bctt tweet=”Let us focus on things we should be proud of as moms and not feel guilty” username=”cherralle_”]

Working for what you want in life – work ethic

Having a working mom apply herself to her profession, role models good work ethic in children. It teaches our children that if we want to achieve goals and ambitions, we must put in effort. The best way to encourage our children to work  hard towards their goals is to role model this behaviour.

[bctt tweet=”To encourage our children to work  hard towards their goals is to role model this behaviour.” username=”cherralle_”]

It’s called lights

Let’s not forget that as a working mom you also help with the bills. And typically in a home where the mom is working, it is a two income household (not always but typically). A two income family have a higher standard of living, and this positively impacts the lifestyle of the household, i.e. better schools, vacations, more exposure in general. That is a real benefit for the entire family.

 

 

Independence in kids

Being a working mom, means that your family time is limited.  And so your children will need to do certain things on their own as they grow up. This does not mean leaving a child to fend for itself, but you know what, the little tasks they will need to sort out for themselves will help them in the long run. Learning to tidy up, make their own snacks and being responsible in different ways.

[bctt tweet=”Having a working mom helps kids build independence” username=”cherralle_”]

At the end of it all, you need to be comfortable with how you are finding your own work life ‘integration’. We are all doing our best to look after our families. I hope the benefits of being a working mother outlines above, helps you to see the other side.

When the guilt comes be kind to yourself, and moms be kind to each other.

Related Posts: Working Mom – 7 Tips to Find More Time For Yourself and Your Family

 

 

{Working Mom Hack} 7 Tips to Get More Time for Yourself and Your Family

Being a working parent, I am always looking for ways to maximize time with the family and for myself. In between the morning rush, getting to work, and then running out the door at 17h00. The week is just madness.

Here are seven tips that help might just help you!

1. Grocery Shopping

Try to do as much of your grocery shopping during the week when possible or online. This will save the pain of having to take your Saturday morning to have to do your top up. Grocery shopping on the weekend is my pet peeve because it takes so much time and I feel that it ‘eats’ into my weekend time.

2. Do as much shopping as you can online

Following on from above, do as much  your shopping online if you can. Nappies, milk, meals, gifts, kids clothes, books. My favourite online shops are Woolworths, Takealot, Spree, and Zando.

3. Lower your cleaning standards; there is no ‘clean house police.’

[bctt tweet=”Working Mom Tip for saving time: Lower your cleaning standards, the cleaning police are not coming” username=”cherralle_”]
I am sorry, but I am not going to spend my weekend cleaning the whole day. Of course, keep your home in a liveable and relatively tidy state. Tidy enough so that if you have an expected visitor, you can quickly clean it in five minutes flat. Seriously the ‘house cleaning police’ are not coming. Yes, I am blessed as I have a nanny who also tidies in the week. With kids, this is a constant issue though. I promise the house is a mess on a Saturday morning. When you have spare time on the weekend, don’t clean. Just relax, read a book, do a fun activity with the kids, talk to your husband, do anything just stop cleaning. If cleaning relaxes you then, by all means, whip out the mop.

4. Cook bulk meals where possible

Try to do at least one or two bulk meals on the weekend. Even if you don’t cook, at least do as much of your preparation on the weekend. I try to cook at least two to three nights worth of dinners on the weekend, and it makes a huge difference. Some weekends I am not cooking, and am just chilling though (see the previous point!).

5. Still get your hair and nails done -but after hours

At one stage I was going to a hairdresser on my way to work where I could pop in at 7 am or after hours, and it was on my way to work. HEAVEN! I did not need to take any extra time as it was just about carving out that extra 30 – 45 minutes to get there. Ask your hairdresser or nail technician if they can accommodate special hours, just ask, a lot of salons are willing to go the extra mile and do this.

6. Block your diary

Blocking out two to three hours a day has changed my working life as I was being swept away in meetings. Blocking my dairy each day helps me have a productive time in the day where I can focus on getting things done. This means that I can manage to leave work at a decent time most days (this is an ongoing work in progress for me).

[bctt tweet=”Working mom time saver: Blocking 2 – 3 hours a day in my dairy each day allows me to get things done” username=”cherralle_”]

7. Work out a routine for your family

Did I ever mention how much I love early bedtimes? For the kids, not for me 🙂 I do need my space for a few hours in the evening to just chill out. Let’s be honest; do parents need the routine more than kids do? I think there are strong arguments for that. With my second daughter we are a bit lose on the routine, but she is perfectly fine and still sleeps decent at night! Figure out what your family needs are and go with that. Herewith an article from Quick and Dirty Tips on how to set up a family routine to simplify your life if you are interested.

Take care of yourself, as a parent you have many demands on you, work, life, family. Its important to carve time out for yourself too. This post is titled, tips for finding time for your yourself and your family.

What are your time saving tips?