How to Be a Successful Working Motherby Jen Ewell
The New Year is here! And as one of my many (and ever-recurring) New Year’s resolutions, I vow to be better organized both within the home and at work. As simple as this may seem to write down, any mom can attest that organizing the family’s schedule and trying to remember who’s supposed to be where doing what, can be a bit overwhelming to say the least. (I have to admit, that on one or two occasions, I may have packed my daughter with her ballet outfit for gymnastics and vice versa.)
Because the busy social lives of our kids inevitably dictate the schedule of the family, I have boldly appointed myself Chief Organizing Officer (COO) of the house this year. As COO it is my job to schedule all of my family’s activities, including my own work appointments. From school activities, doctor appointments, play dates, carpool schedule, family travel, work travel, late night work dinners and meetings, my hope is that charting my family’s activities will help me feel a little more sane this year. But more importantly, with all my family has to do, I am also making a point to schedule in some much-needed and extremely valuable family time which works wonders in calming a house full of busy bodies- whether it’s a sit-down family dinner together, a family game or simply reading time before bed.
Organizing is the key to simplifying life, right? -and in today’s busy world of family and work, I would love to help other moms meet that goal. To avoid everyday questions like “Mommy, where is my backpack?” or “Can you please help me find shoes?”, I have come to live by the COO mantra:
• Bring in the Troops: Get a jump start on the school week, by enlisting the help of your children. Prepare your children’s clothes the night before and if your daughter can’t find her favorite shoes, play a game of “hot and cold.” Mornings are often crazy, but as all moms know, it’s essential to provide our kids with a nutritious breakfast. Providing kids with “morning brain food” doesn’t have to be time consuming or difficult. With the help of your children prepare breakfast the night before. Simple ideas include yogurt parfaits, peanut butter and banana sandwiches and trail mix.
• Insist on a List: Between carpool schedules, play dates, homework assignments and parent-teacher conferences, avoid overloading your brain with school to-dos. Simply write it down or input it into your cell phone or Blackberry. Lists come in handy, keep you organized and sensible.
• Relax and Recharge: If you find you are juggling too many balls at once, take a step back, breathe and take a moment to refocus on the situation at hand. I know that often times when I get overloaded, if I take just five minutes for myself, I am more inclined to positively deal with the task(s) at hand.
Moms: I hope you feel empowered and excited to give yourself a promotion to COO this New Year... and happy organizing and simplifying!
Organizing isn’t only limited to my house. As Director of Marketing for KinderCare Learning Centers, my “day job” is to help parents organize their families so they feel more confident and inspired about their child care and preschool needs. As we kick-start the new year, there is no better time to be confident in the early learning choices you make for your family, which is why I am currently organizing KinderCare open houses across the country to take place on January 19. Our open house events allow families to tour our Centers, ask questions and learn about finding early care and education solutions that will best help balance their work/family life, ultimately simplifying the family calendar. Now that’s a good day’s work!