Modern Working Mom

work at home mom

Parents today have more digital shortcuts and tools than ever before, but do you really need to rely on your smartphone? Modern working mothers, like myself, have our own routines and support systems. Whether you work from home or your job offers a flexible schedule out of the home, balancing professional and familial responsibilities is an art.

work life balance

How do you juggle priorities, keep little ones happy and healthy, plus take care of yourself? I’m one of those individuals who feels guilty for pleasure reading. I always feel like I should be productive and contributing to my home and work. Here are a few (mostly low-tech) ways I’ve been able to make days more fluid, less stressful, and manage to get it all done:

  1. Handwritten lists. Yes, there are plenty of apps for organizing tasks, but I prefer to rely on handwritten lists. Reminders and tasks with pen and paper are familiar to me, and they also keep me away from further distractions on digital devices. How many times have you gone to your phone for one thing and found yourself scrolling and replying to emails 20 minutes later? As a last resort, if I don’t have any hard copy note-taking supplies with me I will text myself a note. I’ll be sure to see it later in the day since I clear out all my personal texts daily!
  2. Routine for all. Although common and simple, picking out our clothes the night before helps the next day run smoothly. My toddler has an outfit for the day, one for naptime, and others dependent upon his activities. Having those lined up and ready when we need them moves the day along. Many parents are overwhelmed with keeping a clean house and get distracted by straightening up. Now that my son is three, he’s much more independent and his nap times are shrinking. As he has grown responsible enough to clean up his toys, I use that time to start dinner or basic household clean up. While he finishes his meal, we wipe down the kitchen counters and load the dishwasher. Together we do laundry and he learns color sorting and basic measuring. No big cleaning time is taken away from our day when we piecemeal it throughout our normal routine and the bonus is the learning included along the way!
  3. Autopilot. Of course, the trick is to stay with your routine! I do rely on technology in this way. Our neighborhood grocery store Harris Teeter offers online shopping. This allows me to shop from my phone or computer and set a pickup time. I can pick up the groceries after a meeting and not have to make two separate trips—plus avoid food shopping with a toddler, which could eat up a lot of time! I also love Amazon Prime Subscribe and Save and newest addition, Pantry. Their subscription service offers reduced prices and lets me set dates when our items are automatically re-ordered and dropped at our doorstep. Huge help and it is often much less expensive then me walking into any large retailer…with or without a list!

Happy 2nd Birthday “Ah-Ah”

I cannot believe my baby is officially a two-year-old toddler today!

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Time is such a precious commodity and the last two years have been some of the best of my life.  Sharing almost every day with him (minus the three days daddy and I took a vacation), has been inspiring.  Viewing the world through his eyes has allowed me to appreciate details I never did before.  I make a point to take notice of the little things. Joy, giggles and belly laughter fill our home in ways I never thought possible.

Baby Toes

Today is a special day to reflect on his life and the blessings he has brought to all of ours.  I remember when he was three weeks old and I was completely drained from the three N’s: nonstop nursing, not sleeping and needing a break! I thought it had to get better…motherhood, couldn’t possibly be so lonely and draining!  Well, it can be draining (at times), but it does get better…so much better…everyday.

As my son grows up, I can’t help but think of the things he’s taught me and continues to teach me each day.  Some are deep and far more poetic, but for the sake of sharing with all of you…here are a few things I’ve learned between one and two:

1. Bath Time is a necessary ritual and not all ducks are created equal

2. Routines are absolutely, 100% mandatory and non-negotiable.  Just ask my husband 😉

3. Food is Good…all food.  More food is Better and Nana’s Cookies are the Best!

4. Laughing out loud makes most things better

5. Clothes don’t have to match to be cute

6. SLEEP = happy baby and happy mommy

7. Trucks are not for the faint of heart and “Beep Beep” and “Vroom Vroom” require very different actions

8. Books are Brilliant

9. Boys are definitely different than Girls

10. Fresh air does a body good

11. Papas, Nanas, Grandpas and Grandmas are gifts from God

12. Toys with multiple pieces are only fun because they have multiple pieces and block towers are most fun when knocking them over

13. Teeth brushing is fun and hair brushing is completely over rated

14. Friends are great, friends with fun mommies are even more great

15. Shoes = Freedom

16. Fingers and Toes are made for counting and Belly Buttons are our greatest accessory

17. White noise…oh, what would we do without our white noise machines?

18. Snack time can make or break the day. Always on the grocery list: avocados, bananas, goat cheese, cereal bars and yogurt

19. Holidays are meant to be celebrated…all holidays, even Ground Hog Day

20. One year goes by really quickly when you’re having fun!

I love you Ah-Ah.  You are Mommy and Daddy’s absolute favorite thing on the planet!  Happy Birthday my love!

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