5 Tips to Maximize Playtime With Your Kids: Plus *WIN* with My Little Pony and Play-Doh [CLOSED]

One of the habits I have adopted for 2018 us to be less busy on weekends. Allowing me time to play and be more available to my girls. I feel that when I have too many ‘plans’ I just do not get to everything or get to spend quality time at home.

Whatever amount of time we have with our children, let’s make it count!

Related Post:¬†Don’t Call My Daughter Shy (or any other kid for that matter)

Here are five tips on maximizing play time with kids

Get on the floor with them

Nothing beats getting on the floor with your kids and playing with them. You are at their level and you can engage and participate fully.

Manage screen time

We love watching TV in our house.

Therefore, it is even more important that we strive to create a form of  balance.

To maximize play time with your children, get off your screen. If they see you on your phone, or laptop, they will want to watch a screen too. Trust me, our family loves TV – but I do keep an eye on it. We have our TV sessions but I make a point of switching off the screens.

When you forget about your screens, so will your children.

 

Let your kids take over

Allow your child to direct play time.

Let their creativity shine through as they use their imagination. They might just surprise you!

When we read books these days its a full on ‘play’ and my four-year-old LOVES acting out book characters.

Go Outside

Nothing beats just stepping outside and playing a game.  I get grumpy when there is too much running around, but I give it a go!

My daughter discovered ‘tag’ – oh man, that game leaves me huffing and puffing like an old woman.

Set time aside for play

Very often, we get caught up in doing what we ‘need to do’ by the time we look again the day or weekends is over.

Don’t be afraid of setting time one side and ‘scheduling’ play time. For me, I try to keep my weekend as open as possible so I know I will have enough time to just ‘be’ at home. You know what I mean?

 

GIVE AWAY!

In the spirit of playtime, I am giving away a My Little Pony and a Play-Doh toy to two lucky readers.

sa mom blogger play-doh and my little pony

 

 

My Little Pony Princess Twilight Sparkle and Spike the Dragon Friendship Duet

Princess Twilight Sparkle and Spike the Dragon always stick together, especially when they sing a song.

Press the Cutie Mark button on the Princess Twilight Sparkle figure to hear her sing by herself, or hold the Spike the Dragon figure next to her while she sings,  to hear them sing a duet. Music sounds best when friends sing together. For more information please visit My Little Pony, My Little Pony Facebook Page or the My Little Pony YouTube Channel.

 

Play-Doh Sizzlin’ Stovetop

Play-Doh Kitchen Creations sa mom blogger

Have fun with the Play-Doh Sizzlin’ Stovetop that makes real sizzling sounds as soon as the skillet or saucepan are placed on the burners. Listen to how the sizzle gets louder when a Play-Doh creation is placed in one of the pans, almost like a real stove.

Want to know what’s on the menu? Use the Play-Doh stamps to create pretend steak and eggs, crazy burgers and even fish.  Add some Play-Doh veggies with the half mould and use your tongs and spatula to flip and grab your creations before displaying them on the plates provided. For more information visit Play-Doh, Play-Doh Facebook Page or the Play-Doh YouTube Channel.

 

To Enter Follow This one Easy Step

  1. Comment on the Facebook Give Away Post or the Instagram Giveaway post  whether you prefer the My Little Pony or Play Doh toy and tag one mommy friend.

That is it, you are in! Good luck!

Increase your chances of winning. For extra entries do the following – note each action is one additional entry:

  1. Share this post on facebook and tag (@mydailycake)
  2. Subscribe to our mailing list (form posted below)
  3. Share this post on twitter

Rules: Competition is open until Thursday 1 March. Winners will be announced by latest 5th March. Only open to SA residents. Prizes will be shipped by the agency.

Good luck!

XXX

Enter This Giveaway!

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Disclaimer:  Toys sponsored by Hasbro.

Bad Mom Confessions: My Child Swallowed a Birth Control Pill and 9 Other Parenting Fails

Bad Mom confessions do not make us neglectful moms. It means we are not perfect.

We make mistakes and sometimes things just happen!

Raising my girls is the toughest and the best part of my life.

So, my three year old swallowed a birth control pill! This is how it went down.

 

Last year, on a regular weekday morning my daughter kept on saying her tummy was sore. I brushed it off because she always says her stomach is sore.

Now looking back I feel terrible for not paying more attention.

As we arrived at school, she said: “mummy I want to throw up.”

Which she did.

After wiping her down as best as I could, we drove home immediately and she stayed home that day. We assumed she had a tummy bug. My husband stayed home the morning (took her to the doctor), and I took the afternoon off. As working parents, we made a plan.

I turned to Google in my time of need – Is this normal?

My daughter received medication from our family doctor.

By the time I arrived home at midday she was tons better. Eating and playing, almost back to her usual self.

As I was tidying the bedroom that same day, a few things clicked into place:

  1. My husband asked her the previous night if she had eaten a pill. He found a birth control pill packet on the floor. I couldn’t tell if any were missing as I stopped using them at that point. Anyway, we were satisfied she did not eat it and went on with things.
  2. Then on this day, I found half a pill lying on the floor as I was busy tidying up
  3. Add up the two previous points along with the nausea it became clear that she swallowed a birth control pill

As this realisation dawned on me,¬†I did what any self-respecting parent does in that situation. I Googled the¬†LIVING DAILY LIGHTS OUT OF ‘my child swallowed birth control pills’.¬†It turns out, this has happened to quite a few people!

[bctt tweet=”I Googled the¬†LIVING DAY LIGHTS OUT OF ‘my child swallowed birth control pills'” username=”cherralle_”]

We also checked in with our doctor.

Everything turned out fine – no harm was done.

Epic parenting fail! Here are 9 other Parenting Fails

Don’t judge! Tell me yours in the comments so we can be bad moms in solidarity.

 

1. Using the incorrect number of scoops

I made a milk bottle for my little one. Instead of using 5 scoops for 125 mls, I used 8 scoops. I remember this clearly. I was like – oh well!

2. Forgetting to send stuff to school

Forgetting to send show and tell on numerous occasions when my daughter was at playschool. I always missed the reminder from school! Playschool is not real school anyway.

3. Forgetting to pay for stuff

Forgot to pay our daughter’s drop off service for two months in a row…terrible. Luckily we have a good relationship with the company.

4. (Super) early bedtime

I put my kids to bed as early possible (the little one sometimes before 18h00), so I can be off ‘mommy duty’ and chill out

5. I lie about needing the bathroom

Sometimes when we are with the kids, I tell my husband that I need to go to the bathroom quickly when I don’t need to. I go to the bathroom and play on my phone.

bad mom confessions mommy blogger

 

6. Let them play in the cot

Sometimes when my Daughter wakes from a nap, I let her play in her cot. If she is okay I leave her. I can get sometimes another 30 minutes to an hour out of this situation.

7. I pretend to not notice the poo nappy

Sometimes when my daughter makes a number I pretend I don’t notice. I then ask my husband to check. As he discovers she made the poo, he must change the nappy.

8. When nap time turned dangerous

When my Daughter was between two and three years of age, she started dropping her nap. Nap time was challenging as she was sleeping in a ‘big kid bed’ meaning more freedom.

One day I put her down closed the bedroom door.

I went to relax in my bedroom. I felt so chuffed as I managed to get her to take a nap!

About 30 minutes later I heard something on the balcony. I walked to check, and guess who is playing on our balcony. Standing on a chair. Leaning over the railing! Having a field day on the freaking balcony! With a flimsy rail (well, any rail is flimsy when your two year old is standing on a chair, leaning over it). I was so frightened because she could have easily fallen over.

9. Bribery

When my child refuses to leave places, I bribe her. I promise to give her a sweet in the car.

There you have it, I am a bad mom

Being a parent is  NOT what we put out on Instagram. It is beautiful, exhausting and nasty at the same time.

Join me! Tell me in the comments, what is your bad mom moment?? 

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How A Life Changing Surgery Inspired This Working Mother – Interview with Nonka

Welcome to the second installment of our Working Mother Interview Series, if you missed the first one, you can find ithere.

I met Nonka three years ago when we landed up in the same syndicate group for our Post Grad Diploma in Management (with Gibs). By the way we knocked it out the park as we awarded best group (just saying!).

Nonka is a reserved yet smart woman. What struck me about Nonka is that she is absolutely stunning, but so humble. You would never guess her life story.

Nonka currently works in medical devices as a Neurosurgery and Maxillo Facial Products Consultant. A life changing surgery that took place later in her life it inspired her to want to give back to others.

Here is Nonka’s story. Oh, and in pink, that is me, as always chiming in.

Tell us about yourself, your family and what you do.

mother and daughter _ working mother interview

I am Nonkanyiso Mchunu, originally from KZN, Estcourt from the village called Sobabili in Ntabamhlophe. I currently live in East Rand, Fairleads in Benoni.

I have two brothers, six sisters, and one late sister. I’m the firstborn. My dad passed away when he was 45 years old. As a first born, I had to step in to assist my mum.

I have one, eight-year-old daughter name Imana  Zibusiso.

One of my sisters passed away in 2006 a month after I moved to Jhb. During my pregnancy, I dreamed of my sister asking me ‚Äėwhat is the baby‚Äôs name’? I said her name is Zibusiso, I then woke up and wrote it down, when I checked the time it was 3 am. Zibusiso means Blessings.

Imana Zibusiso

Imana means ‘God provides.’ Thembeka Masukum, one of my best friends, named her Imana. I named her Zibusiso.

Imana is a very fun, loving and caring child. She is also very energetic. She is very health conscious just like me. I sometimes take her to the gym with me.

Reading is one of the activities we do thus I have discovered that she has a talent for creative short story writing (imaginary characters)

We can both model and dance. Sounds like an awesome mother daughter duo.

I work for a medical device company as a Neurosurgery and Maxillo Facial Product Consultant. I support surgeons, nurses and patients who use our products.

Tell us about your career journey and how you landed up where you are now?

Yooh it is a long story ‚Äď my life testimony.¬† A moving life story.

I started my career in retail, focused on FMCG, Telecoms and Pharmaceutical.

When you Life’s Mission and Career Collide

When I was a baby I had an illness. I had a leaking¬†mitral valve (important valve that ensures blood flow in the heart).¬†Don’t worry guys, I googled it for us, and I added a link where you can read about a mitral valve is.

Unfortunately, my parents were not aware, although signs were there. When I was in standard eight (grade ten), one half of my body went numb, and I was taken to a traditional healer.

[bctt tweet=”When I was in grade ten, half of my body went numb and I was taken to a traditional healer” username=”cherralle_”]

I stayed there for two months without going to school and only came back to visit my family, I then decided I will not go back there any longer because I was missing school.

I continued my schooling until I finished matric and tertiary. My whole life I was tired and short of breathe and I never understood why.

Once I started working, I had medical aid to do all my health checks. I always felt that there was something wrong.

While working in the Pharmaceutical industry in 2009, I had a mitral valve replacement. This took place a few months after Imana’s birth. My surgery went very well, and my health life was never the same. I felt entirely new and refreshed.¬†I love this ‘ I felt new’.

I used to have chest pains, shortness of breath and tiredness without doing anything. The surgery changed my life.

The above long story, especially my surgery success, inspired me to look for opportunities in the medical industry.

I wanted to contribute to saving people’s lives. In 2011 I joined one of the multinational medical devices company. I can tell you now, that I love every moment of my job.

What is the one THING YOU LOVE Most about your job?

My contribution to saving people’s lives.

Share with us your top two tips that help you to manage your work life integration (balance) that would help other working moms?

Nonka fitness_working mother interview

  • I love exercising, and I make it a must do because it makes me feel energetic and refreshed. Therefore, I function better.
  • Time management: priorities your time. I have a to-do list daily (flagged in categories, e.g., urgent & important, important but not urgent).

[bctt tweet=”I love exercising – I make it a must do because it makes me feel energetic and refreshed. #workingmomtip” username=”cherralle”]

Looking back share with us to pieces of advice you would give yourself as a new mother?

  • Don‚Äôt worry too much; no one is perfect, it is going to be fine
  • Always remember that you and daddy are a team
  • It is OK to ask for help

Great tips for new moms and for the more experienced ones. Thank you.

What do you do to kick back? (relax?)

  • I take some time out, take a holiday (with my daughter and alone)
  • I try to pamper myself at least once a month (pedicure, manicure, facial, wax and sometimes body massage.
  • Some time out with friends and family (siblings)

Thank you Nonka for sharing your story! Such a great example of when one’s personal life story and work collide.¬† It is truly inspiring how you overcame your illness and embraced a healthy lifestyle.

If you would like to share your story or nominate a mom friend, let me know!

Further Reading:

I Started My Own Business To Create My Own Flexibility – Interview With Lushia

The Side Hustle – 6 Things You Need To Get Your Game On

Dear Working Mother – Here Is How To Leave Work On Time (most days)

In the modern corporate world, there is the mistaken assumption, that¬† ‘working late equals working harder.’ There is also a bias towards working mothers (parents) who need to leave work at a particular time, while other colleagues are still working.

I refute the belief that staying late equals working harder. Maybe. But I am not convinced. At all.

A better way to assess levels of productivity is by looking at outputs and not by who sticks around until late.

Related Post: Build your own work life balance: plus free work life balance check list

Often we are encouraged to ‘work hard,’ and ‘stretch ourselves’. Yes, that it is important, however, it is essential to set boundaries. Whether it is to get home to your child, go gym or because you have band practice (I am just saying, it could be anything).

This is how to get time back into your day, get things done and leave on time.

Let go of the guilt when you pick up your bag to leave the office!

[bctt tweet=”Dear Working mother – here is how to leave the office on time (by being focused on getting things done)” username=”cherralle_”]

Dear Working Mother – Here Is How To Leave Work On Time

dear working mother how to leave work on time

Plan your day and Focus on the right things

Do you start your day with no idea what your priorities are? Following a haphazard approach to whatever comes your way?  Рif yes then there is an opportunity to plan your day.

When you get to work, become laser focused on your main priorities. Use whichever system works for you. I have set up for myself a hybrid between a Bullet Journal and a Planner, I copy this layout (more or less) in my work notebook. You may download the planner template here.

Outline your main focus areas for the week.

Set this up Sunday evening or Monday morning. Then, each morning spend 3 Р5 minutes outlining what will be your top three goals for the day. Yes, only three then tackle at least one before you read emails. The items you do not complete get carried over to the next day and so on.  You should also add other tasks to your list. However, you know what the top 3 are.

Yes, you will have unexpected deliverables that will pop up, but you will always keep coming back to your three primary goals.

And yes, also add your personal tasks. Need to make a school fees payment or book a dentist appointment? Add it on to your to-do list.

Related Post: 7 Reasons Why I am Pretty Certain We Are Only Having Two Kids

Number one productivity killer is meetings

Meetings, meetings, meetings.

Do you sit in a meeting and go ‘why was I invited to this meeting’ or ‘I could be doing actual work right now’ – if yes then there is an opportunity to rework your meeting schedule.

Here is a crazy thought, cancel 50% of your meetings and you will get more done! Okay, easier said than done. Let’s take a more pragmatic approach.

Firstly, accept that a meeting is not ‘work’.
Meetings are discussing and organising work. Here are a few excellent points on how to make a meeting productive.

Reevaluating and cutting the time you spend in meetings will undoubtedly make you more productive and allow you to leave work on time. Politely decline meetings you feel are not relevant to your priorities.

[bctt tweet=”Struggling to leave work on time? Tip: assess your meetings, then ask yourself are they all necessary?” username=”cherralle_”]

Related Post: Ace Your To Do List with These 7 Tips

Use time blocks and get more done

A practice I have implemented for myself is to block out 2 -3 hours in my diary daily for PURE work. No meetings. All meetings get scheduled around this time if need be. I also block out 16h00 – 17h00, so I have no meetings after 16h00 (so I can wrap up at the end of my day). It works 90% of the time, which is progress.

Working over time, leads to decreased productivity

Continually working over time will reduce your productivity. As work hours add up to over 50 per week, productivity slows down. You may lose energy and start working slower. You can read further about this study as summarised in the Economist.

But, don’t take my word for it. Reflect upon your health and pace of work. Do you really feel that you are productive at work when you have been pushing 12 hours days? When you are always under pressure to stay late at work? When you are wrecked with guilt because its another day you miss supper or bath time?

In Closing

Time is a valuable resource. Our jobs need our time and dedication, but so does our friends, family, and personal commitments.

Long hours does not equal doing more. It’s pretty simple: Prioritize, evaluate your time spent in meetings and learn to set boundaries.

Pin this post if you enjoyed it!

 

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 РConfessing 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?

 

 

 

 

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 Yes.¬†One 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 Post: 7 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 ūüôā 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?

Life Lately Update and Why I Am Writing a Blog for Working Moms

I started writing on the blog about two months ago, and I wanted to share an update of how this has been going. In this post, I will cover:

  • why i write
  • why i want to write about working moms and their careers
  • currently reading, watching, anticipating and feeling

 

I write.

Writing has given me an opportunity to share thoughts on parenting and working motherhood.  At times I feel as if I am bearing my soul, it is sometimes scary to push that publish button.

I learnt from South African blogger Melissa in 9 Lessons I Learnt in my first year of Being a Blogger that feeling scared at this juncture happens.

Why do I want to write about moms and careers? Because moms deserve awesome careers too.

I often come across women (including me) who:

    • work hard but who are afraid¬†of starting a family as they fear it will damage their career
    • pressurize themselves¬†(and each other)¬†to be perfect
    • talented women, not claiming their space at work because of myths that ambition is not for ‘mothers’
    • Guilt around not being “mom” enough and guilt around not spending enough time at work

Is it hard being a working parent? Yes, nothing worth it in life is easy but it is also very rewarding. I do not  have the answer to these dilemmas, what I do know is that we need to be okay to talk about it.

Whatever you decide as a woman, you need to do what works for you and your family.

[bctt tweet=”I believe in choice, whatever you decide, whether its being at home or working, its up you” username=”cherralle_”]

Posts that people responded well to:

Do I Still Need to Lean In When I Am Just So Tired

Will Gender in Kids Clothes Every Go Away and Should We Even Care

I Am Okay with Being a Good Enough Parent (in SA Mom Blogs)

This demonstrates that people are enjoying reading about real accounts where personal experiences are being shared.

The blog

Having a blog is work,¬†boy oh boy!¬†To¬†maintain my blog, I am¬†writing, reading, commenting on blogs,¬†and always researching trying to figure¬†out how to change something ‘technical’ on my blog.¬† I feel at times like my blog is a third child in my life, it needs love, attention and time. It’s an intense hobby.

[bctt tweet=”I feel at times like my blog is a third child in my life, it needs love, attention and time” username=”cherralle_”]

I read more now than I ever have in my entire life. Topics I read about: content marketing, social media, writing, motherhood, career topics, digital marketing, any topic to broaden my knowledge. The blogging community is very engaged and supportive, and I am learning a lot from them.

Currently

Reading: Shonda Rhimes РYear of Yes and am about half way. It is a very entertaining read and I now I cannot put it down (after a super slow start). I am in love with this book.

Watching: Game of Thrones (duh!)

Anticipating: we have a week of holiday coming up, so I am looking forward to this. Also, Caitlyn turns four in September, and Ava turns one in October! Insane how quickly time has flown by!

Feeling: Feeling excited about all the new things that I am learning, and all the new people that I am meeting (albeit virtually).  I am also feeling appreciative about people responding to my blog, and hearing that something resonated with them.

That is me.

If you are a working mom, what topics would you want to see in a blog that will add value to your life and career? Let me know in the comments or contact me.

Do I still need to ‘lean in’ when I am just so tired?

I came across Sheryl Sandberg and Lean In when I was on maternity leave with my first (December 2013). I was planning my move back to work and I was struggling coming to terms with being a mom and how that fitted in with wanting a career as well.

Then…I caught an interview with Oprah and Sheryl Sandberg, and I was blown away.

Here was a woman, a mother, super successful, COO of Facebook (right!) and she was setting the path. I immediately bought the book on my kindle – there was no time to get to Exclusive Books. I had to have it right then and there.

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

Sheryl was telling me that I have choices. ¬†‘Hey even if you have a kid, lean in, go for it, allow/ encourage your¬†husband¬†lean in at home, ¬†etc.’

I totally lapped it up and yes it was challenging but that became my motto. Lean in! The world was my oyster. I even had a lean in circle and quoted her in conversations. I loved this woman (and I still do).

 

Now here we are 3 years later, am I still leaning in?

lean in when tired

I now have two kids, we are a¬† mostly functional ūüôā and happy family. Sheryl was right by the way, ‘leaning in’ has been good for me, it came with stretch assignments, rewards and¬† sponsors. All good. As I said, I love this woman.

So everything is okay…. but I am so darn tired. So tired. I have two kids now, and I am over thirty, if I have not made it clear already having two kids is really busy and exhausting (yeah yeah I love them and all that).

[bctt tweet=”Lean In to the things that make you happy” username=”cherralle_”]

What I actually am saying is that I will lean in but will lean in to things that make me happy and fulfilled. This is something I started thinking about when I returned to work in February from my second (and final) maternity leave.

Related Post:  7 Things a Working Mother Wants To Tell her Boss

Leaning In: Where to from here?

Leaning in at work too much  takes time, head space and emotional energy. It could leave me with nothing left to give. Time is less of an issue, I mean actual emotional energy and head space. And I need that emotional energy and head space to live my life.

I want my girls and my husband to have me as part of their lives.

This book remains one of THEE books for me and I still find so much value in these ideas and that can be a whole post on its own.

My life has evolved and what I take from Lean In has evolved too. I needed it at a stage of my life, where I needed to understand how to work through being a mom who also WANTS to work.

And it served it’s purpose beautifully as¬†I took exactly what I needed from it. It¬†still remains a¬†truly inspirational book to me.

I still need the concept of leaning in, but in a different way

I still believe there is value in the ideas from Lean In  for me personally as I do still want to work and make an impact through my work.

I like to think of leaning in, as having choices and as leaning in¬†to what makes me fulfilled.¬†It is not about leaning in to climb the ‘corporate ladder’, but it’s about ‘doing me’.

That is why it is important for me that the work I do excites, energizes and interests me.

I like how Cathy Caprino puts it “Let‚Äôs just choose what we want, and live that.” Lean in to life, work, family, kids,¬† whatever makes you feel fulfilled and happy. As life evolves, we evolve and change and that is okay.

Do you have any mottos, quotes, books that you find inspirational?