Time Management for Moms

by Carmen

Managing time between kids and work is achievable. © Simona Balint

I never have enough time to get things done. Ever. I often get asked how I do it all between writing, editing, counseling, the kids etc. My answer is. I don’t.

Do What’s Important, then do the Rest

I finish the important things like keeping my kids alive by feeding them, keeping them warm my clothing them, and healthy by cleaning them and loving them. Then I make sure all my deadlines are met  and that my plan of the day for work tomorrow is written before I hit the bed. If there is time in my week, I do all the laundry, but I certainly can’t do it everyday like I should. I load the washer, but don’t start it (otherwise I forget and get moldy clothes). I take the clothes out of the dryer on Monday, and don’t fold until Tuesday (read Wednesday).

Prioritize Tasks for Moms

Choose three things that have to be done everyday, no matter what. The 3 things for me are the dishes, the toilets, and disinfecting doorknobs. A quick cup of bleach in the toilet bowl, lysoling the seats and the door knobs takes a few minutes and the Lysol freshens the house at the same time.

Search for a Method to Get Things Done

I often wonder where I would be in life if I didn’t have a good control over the things that matter most. I get a lot of help from my momAgenda that I purchased last year, and repurchased this year. It helps break things up in my life that matter.

Most all day-planners focus on work, work, work. Well we know that as moms, we are moms first, then working moms. A planner focusing on work doesn’t put enough emphasis on what are lives are really like. Since getting the momAgenda, I remember snack day for my boys two days before and not twenty minutes before I have to take it in. I know when I have a conference call, and I can see when I can schedule a bit of extra Crossfit time.

Life Happens. Be Grateful it Does

At the end of the day, everything still isn’t done. But I am at peace knowing that everything important is. This peace at night is where I let everything go, and do my daily gratitude exercise. Even if its just “im grateful that I made it to bed” it is always helpful.

What are your three things that you HAVE to do everyday? Anyone use the momAgenda or other similar mom planners?



Email Author    |    Website About Carmen

Carmen is the mother of two boys, Aiden (4) and Eric (3). She is a seasoned web writer, avid social networker, and proud military wife.

View all articles by

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Paula schuck October 26, 2010 at 9:00 am

Kudos to you ladies for knowing to add an employee. Welcome to Carmen and contests. I think you both have really good instincts and it is interesting to watch how you grow and the choices you make as well. Very cool that she is in Sicily right now. Who would have predicted even five years ago that business could be done globally in this way.

Paula
@inkscrblr

Reply

2 Carmen October 27, 2010 at 4:22 am

Yes skype is amazing!!! it is the the bridge between nations thats for sure. We are saying goodbye to sunny Sicily and heading to sunny San Diego…not a bad trade but I will definitely miss Italy.

Reply

3 Janice October 26, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Thanks Paula!!!

Isn’t the global village just fabulous! I love that Carmen and I can sit and chat on Skype (for free!) as if we were sitting in the same coffee shop!

Reply

4 Tanya ~ The Chatty Mom October 26, 2010 at 4:27 pm

I know that everyday the dishes and 1-2 loads of laundry have to get done. Then it’s a toss-up between vacuuming and cleaning the toilets. Beyond that…my day goes a little haywire: http://thechattymom.com/2010/10/26/is-the-world-barking-mad-or-is-it-just-my-world

Reply

5 Carmen October 27, 2010 at 4:23 am

I have 1-2 loads per day too – the laundry is never done…i wish my laundry basket would grow legs and do itself..!

Reply

6 Susie's Homemade October 26, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Question….who cleans the toilet every day? I am lucky if I get to it once a week?

Reply

7 Carmen October 27, 2010 at 4:18 am

Lol! i admit its not a deep scrub, but i totally pour bleach in the toilet and lysol the top and bottom of the seat everyday..including the handle. Our bathrooms get a lot of traffic. The kids eat like birds but poop like elephants!

Reply

8 Amber October 26, 2010 at 7:11 pm

I am working on getting more organized. I’ve realized that waiting for my kids to somehow become more manageable is a non-starter, so it falls to me. And, actually, when I stopped waiting and started doing, things did get a little easier. And they are still improving. Although I don’t think you can ever call life with small kids EASY.

As for what I have to do everyday? I can’t think of anything. And maybe that’s part of my problem. ;)

Reply

9 Rachel October 26, 2010 at 11:58 pm

I love this! What a great reminder that it is about getting the most important things done. Thanks for the encouragement- I really needed it today after working so hard and still having so many things still left “to-do”. Great thoughts :).

Reply

10 Carmen October 27, 2010 at 4:20 am

We all need encouragement. My to-do list is always yelling at me, so i have to sort it into things i NEED to do, and things i WANT to do. Sometimes the want list takes over, but i know that if i don’t do the needs then ill be swamped and won’t be able to do more from my want list…I guess its like having to eat my peas before i get my dessert. =)

Reply

11 Britt Michaelian October 27, 2010 at 10:30 am

These are great tips! Life does not have to be stressful when you are a mom! I have been living by the “choose 3 things to get done every day” rule for the past year and it has made my life SO much more enjoyable! I still have a long to-do list, but there just isn’t that pressure to do a million things in one day. There are weeks when I am launching a new program (like this one) when I have 5 or 6 items on my daily to-do list, but I usually stick to 3. It is incredibly empowering to let go of being the ‘perfect’ mom who gets everything done and step into appreciating who we are.

We can’t do everything in one day, so be realistic with your expectations and go easy on yourself. Despite what you may have been told when you were a kid, moms are humans. :)
Thanks for a great reminder to get organized, relax and be grateful for our lives! Well done.

Reply

12 Donald Brownlie Fleming October 27, 2010 at 12:24 pm

My wife could not get enough of a house chores, she is like a busy bee but I love her so much because she makes it a point to have more and quality time with me and the 2 boys.

visit us at our facebook when you have time:
http://www.facebook.com/donaldbrownliefleming

Reply

13 Susan October 27, 2010 at 8:08 pm

I love that photo Carmen!!!

And I love that you disinfect your doorknobs every day. How smart is that. I hate to admit, I don’t think I’ve ever even done that in my own house. And my toilets are certainly not cleaned daily.

My 3 household things that must be done? Well… hmmm… I suppose the dishes, but it’s not always me that does them, and ummm…. on second thought, skip me on this question. LOL

Reply

14 Julia at LotsaLaundry October 28, 2010 at 11:42 am

The other thing that helps is that we get better at things as we go along. Why would we expect ourselves to be perfect time managers in a situation we’ve never been in before? There are things I can do with ease now that I have five kids that I couldn’t manage *at all* when I had one. If we’re patient with ourselves and look at some of this as a learning curve, we’re more likely to get better at what we’re doing.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: