Being a working mom can make it extra hard to maintain a healthy life. For years I struggled with trying to live up to impossible standards of doing everything a stay at home mom does on top of having an amazing career. I’ve finally realized that I can’t do it all, but if I make wise decisions each day I can easily live a healthy life and successfully balance being a a working mom..
The key to having a healthy life while being a working mom is planning ahead. This includes having lunches planned to take to work, planning social events in advance, and taking full advantage of the few minutes a day that are “me time” to take care of myself mentally and physically. It may sound lame, but I can’t emphasize enough how much planning ahead has helped me to be successful at home and at work (my story here).
I’m constantly asked by friends and co-workers how I manage to create a healthy lifestyle all while balancing an often stressful career with being a mother at such a young age (I’m 29!). Today I wanted to share my tips for having a healthy life as a working mom.
Have a Meal Plan with Meals for Work Included
One of the biggest keys to staying fit while working is taking yummy, healthy, low maintenance meals to work. It keeps the urge to order take-out at bay and also allows for a longer lunch break. I often toss all the ingredients I need to make my favorite salad into a tote bag and then put the salad together at work. This keeps my salads fresh and also saves me time in the morning. Another one of my favorite lunches is a box of left-overs from previous dinners.
I’ve been using the book “A New Way to Dinner”, which gives a weekly meal plan that includes five healthy home-made dinner recipes, ways to transition left overs to brown bag meals, and a weekly grocery list. It has saved me so much time! I also love that it has a grocery list, because I I always forget to add important items to my own shopping lists.
Stick to a Fitness Routine that is Easy to Maintain
It’s easy to get motivated to start an intense work-out routine, but it’s nearly impossible for working moms to stick to one long term. I’m a big fan of choosing a way to get exercise that I can easily do with my kiddo on my days off. For me, it’s been key to accept that there is no way I’m going to exercise on the days I work, but I always exercise on the days I have off. You can read more about my work-out plan here.
Schedule Big Social Events Far in Advance
Several times a year we host big parties or attend social events. I always try to have these scheduled at least a month in advance. This helps minimize stress and maximizes time for planning and preparing for each event. See how I planned a Christmas party for over fifty people here.
Have Multiple Reliable Baby Sitters
Talk to any working mom and they will tell you having at least two good baby sitters is key to balancing work with motherhood. As much as I would like to have a set schedule, there is always a day or two a month where I need to go into work earlier than planned or have a special event at work that I would like to help with.
Stick to a Daily and Weekly Routine with Your Little Ones
I’m obsessed with routines! Since having E, I’ve found that he and I both do better with routines. We have a weekly routine, which entails me working three days a week and him going to school two days a week, plus a day he spends with my hubby all by himself (boys day they call it). Having a fairly set schedule gives us both expectations for how the week will go.
I also like keeping a typical routine for the days we spend together (see it here). This ensures I spend lots of quality time with E, get house chores done, and allows me to have a little bit of time alone.
It’s hard to be flexible……like really, really hard when routines are so important. However I’ve learned there will always be unexpected moments that can’t be scheduled for and when that happens it’s important to just go with the flow. This is something I’m always having to remind myself.