While all moms are working moms in regards to the stay-at-home or in the office sense, stay-at-home moms don’t get a regular paycheck. Their job benefits include time to herself while a child naps, the ability to hug her baby whenever and to set her own schedule. But no holiday pay or vacation time.
A UK company took a mother’s job and figured out how much her time is REALLY worth.
$63,360 or £37,000
That’s a far cry from the $O that arrives in her non-existent bi-weekly paycheck.
The nationwide study of 3,000 mothers has calculated that the typical mum spends more than 10 hours a day looking after her family, totting up to a shattering 71 hours every week. This makes her working week longer than that of a junior doctor, which is often seen as one of the most demanding professions.
Cleaning and cooking are the biggest drain on a mothers time, taking up 69 minutes each, according to the study. She also spends 63 minutes tidying up, 61 minutes doing the laundry and 55 minutes getting kids ready for school or nursery.
After a mammoth 10 hour day, 83% of mums are left with less than an hour of “me time” and a third get fewer than six hours sleep every night, the study reveals.
A recent study by Harvard Professor, Robert Epstein found that 25% of our happiness hinges on how well we’re able to manage stress. Work, life, family all bring on stress, so how do you manage it?
According to the study, the best way to manage stress is PLANNING.
In other words, “fighting stress before it even starts, planning things rather than letting them happen,” says Epstein. “That means planning your day, your year and your life so that stress is minimized.”
While I am one of the most unorganized people you will meet, planning is something I’ve learned is a must do with 3, going on 4 kids and a full work load.
Tonight I stumbled upon a video featuring Nigel Marsh talking about work life balance being an ongoing battle. This Tedx video rings home some great thoughts on setting boundaries and expectations as you make the choices needed to maintain a better work life balance.
If you were to sit in the living room watching all that goes into getting us out the door in the morning,
There are 5 of us – and on various days of the week we’re in different locations, but for the sake of this post – of the 5 people there are 4 different locations we’ll be.
Z & E are at school – must be there by 8:00 am – we have to leave BY 7:45 am to get there and make it thru the crazy drop-off line.
Izaiah is at his sitters.
Sean – at his work
My – at my work.
I would love to say that Sean and I wake up at 6:00 am, brew our coffee, read the latest news and chat while I make breakfast. That’d be a big fat lie. We’re night owls. No matter how hard we try to change this, it just isn’t happening.
We wake up at 7:00 am. And by 7:00 am I mean we have our alarms set and are hitting snooze and know our butts MUST be out of bed by 7:00 to make all things go. The kids must be dressed, eat breakfast and all things must be ready in order to make this happen. While I know we could make adjustments, and this and that – the whole goal we have set with our family is to adapt to what is best for US. To create the best work life balance for OUR family. And for our family, the work life balance is must sweeter when we aren’t taking medication to force ourselves to sleep so that we can wake up earlier when we are just NOT morning people!
Here are 5 Tips to Surviving the Morning Rush:
1. Make Breakfast Before Hand.
Breakfast food is easily accessible for kids. This helps with the morning rush before school and work. Work life balance people!
I would love for my kids to eat a wonderful full breakfast in the morning. With all of our priorities, my goal is now to just make sure what they are eating is somewhat healthy and is actually consumed by them.
My son who is in Kindergarten has a 10:30 lunch time, so am not TOO worried about him eating, as he eats early and has a snack 2x later in the day. My daughter who is in 2nd grade – has a 1:00 lunch time! CRAZY! While she has a snack around 11 am, I want to make sure that she’s not having to wait that long to eat.
The kids are responsible for feeding themselves (with us reminding them of course!). In order to make this work I make sure to have food ready for them and milk or juice on a refrigerator shelf that they can access. Pre-made muffins, packaged muffins and fruit are the favorites among my little people.
The baby is a different story, my husband usually makes sure he eats at least fruit and has his milk. His sitter does feed him a full breakfast, but giving him a morning snack let’s us all enjoy time with him before the hustle and bustle. He helps make the mornings smiley!
2. Shower and Lay Out Clothes the Night Before – Including Yours!
Taking showers and laying out clothes the night before helps with the morning rush.
Having the kids’ clothes laid out the night before is essential for us getting out the door in time in the mornings. As part of the night time tuck-in routine, their clothes are laid on either the top bunk or on the side of the bed. This gives no excuse for delay in the clothes department! If socks are needed, those are laid out – as well as belts. We take showers at night, no time for that in the morning with our schedules.
As for myself, anytime I am headed into the office, I lay everything out the night before. ESPECIALLY pregnant, I find myself in a major rut when I don’t know what I am wearing ahead of time. This leaves me second guessing and that’s time I don’t have in the mornings!
My hair is extremely thick taking hours to self dry and a good 30 minutes to blow dry, not including the flat iron. I take showers at night, sleep with wet hair and then flat iron in the morning. It only takes a few minutes for me to do. Again, another time saver for the morning rush! Plus the shower at night doesn’t have a time limit, unless you count bed time.
3. Backpacks and Shoes at the Door
Shoes and Backpacks are placed at the front door ready to pick up and GO!
Before being tucked in, the kids make sure their backpacks and shoes are at the front door ready to roll.
Both kids still need snacks for the morning, those are packed at night.
Any papers needing signed or homework we make sure is done the night before. Mornings aren’t our thing for that1
4. Require Shoes On & Hair Done Before Eating
Hair brushed, shoes on feet - before hitting the kitchen table for breakfast.
My daughter has this amazing head of hair that goes down most of her back. The great thing is it’s beautiful. The bad thing is it must be brushed regularly! Before eating breakfast in the morning, she makes sure her hair is brushed and I help her beautify with either an accessory, braid or a ponytail.
My son sometimes spikes his hair, but for the most part, it just needs that un-bedhead look which requires a 60 second brush!
Shoes must be on their feet with their backpacks in hand at the kitchen table as they eat breakfast. By putting this little rule into place, we’re all set and ready to go should breakfast need to be cut short.
5. Be Loving & Graceful – but FIRM!
I love my kids to no end. While I would love to say I’ve never broken this rule, that’d be a flat out LIE! The stress of getting everyone to where they need to be on time is painful, but one thing I’ve learned and remind myself of DAILY is that starting a day with yelling isn’t going to get things done any quicker. There is no point in working myself up and getting the kids even more upset on days that just aren’t happening like we need them to.
Make sure to tell your kids you love them. Hug them tightly. But stick to a schedule and encourage with love and grace. This will not only help your day get off to a great start, but theirs as well!
Remember, with the key is finding what works best for YOU and your family in regards to the work life balance. Keep finding tips and tricks to ease your schedule. While it may not be perfect from an outside perspective, it’s all about what works for you!
Leave a Comment and Share Your Tips to Saving Time in the Mornings!
This work life balance thing with a family is NOT easy. One thing with my job is that I am often required to travel. I THOUGHT I had the traveling working mom bit down, even though I have 3 smallish children at home. Having a few months home without the hustle and bustle of the friendly skies – I am starting to realize that maybe I didn’t have it down as well as I thought.
Finding That Work Life Zen
After returning from maternity leave with my 3rd child last June, my season of travel for work picked back up. It was back to business as usual, making sure that my kids and husband knew I loved them – all while traveling back and forth to various places – exhausted. I found that I could shorten my work trips by taking the first flight out and the last flight home. Or if that wasn’t an option, I could take the first flight home in the morning, but all of those options left me as one VERY tired mom who wanted to be “on” for her kids and family – but ended up being asleep as soon as possible.
It’s been 3 months since I’ve been on a business trip. I haven’t had this much time at home in years and honestly can say I needed this. My 3rd trimester is right around the corner, and our event season at work doesn’t go into full swing until August. I am embracing this season of not traveling and connecting with my family in ways that I didn’t know I missed.
Finding the work life family balance is critical. Before my last business trip, I was tired and missing my family terribly. I am so glad we were able to work out the last business trip where the family could go with me. I attended SXSW in Austin and having family that had recently moved there the kids and husband were able to join me. Having my kids there after the long days meant the world to me. My son’s 1st birthday landed during the trip, I didn’t have to miss it. The kids were home for Spring Break so after each day at the conference we could go do something Austin and enjoy family time in our favorite city. I realized then that the quiet, empty hotel room with room service that I was loved, was actually overrated.
What I Have Noticed While NOT Traveling
My husband and I are in sync. Not that we’re not when I’m on the road, but I feel like I have time at home to be his wife and support system and am not always asking for help with this or that. As much as I prepare the kids for me traveling as possible, trying to make it as easy as possible for my husband – it just isn’t easy.
Being home more with my kids is great. Helping with homework that we can’t do over Skype, or even going thru their binders at night is something I never thought I would appreciate.
But of all things that I had no idea that was missing was the connection between my youngest and myself. While I’ve loved this little boy before he was even born, we had a rough start with many sleepless nights and a really bad bout of colic. Then throwing myself back into work, I feel like I missed a bonding time that we’ve now been able to establish. Each Thursday night, for the most part it is just me and Iza’s time. We get to hang out, connect and laugh. He had grown so close to my husband, I didn’t even realize why. Well, his mom wasn’t his primary care taker.
While I’m someone who tries to live with no regrets, I do believe in lessons learned. I need to make an effort to better balance my work travel with my family. There I said it!
It’s been a sweet season. I’m happy to be home, not racking up miles and enjoying the family and growing this baby. But when my travel season returns, I’m going to make sure to recognize all the needs that my family needs from a mom and address those with each booked trip. As a wise person once told me, it’s a marathon not a race to the finish. You have to pace yourself or else you will wear yourself out.
Do You Travel For Work? What Is The Hardest Part For You?