Your parenting journey has begun and now your newborn is ready to head to daycare and you’re returning to work. The balance of parenting while a woking mom balancing work, the household and quality time with your baby can be difficult. As a first time mom this was an unexpected challenge.
The perception I had for the last 20 years was that I could handle anything. Reality set in after day 4 and it took a month to successfully adjust. The key ingredient for parenting as a working mom is PLANNING IN ADVANCE! Plan out your household and include a few tricks I learned and you can absolutely do it!
Recognizing you don’t have an abundance of finances and consider the below as you budget for your return to work.
Here’s how I made the first 90 days work with limited finances.
- Shopping for needs. I had multiple subscriptions set up on Amazon (I highly suggest you get a prime account if you haven’t already. Here are a list of things I had set up in my cart ready to order at any time that I found extremely reasonable. Amazon will even show you your bulk price per piece to ensure you are getting a great deal!
- Paper products – Toilet paper, Paper towels, Paper plates, Plastic Cups
- Baby products – Diapers, Wipes, Baby food (Rice Cereal)
- Household essentials – Dish Soap, Laundry Detergent, Dryer Sheets
- Snacks – If you are breastfeeding you know how crucial this is, there are multiple protein snacks on Amazon that you can keep on hand
- Beverages – Any sodas, waters, juice
- Pet products – Cat Litter, Cat/dog food, Doggie bags
- Packed lunch products – Make sure you have good lunch bags, Tupperware such as Bistro Boxes and Salad boxes
- Cleaning calendar. You cannot clean the whole house in one day like you did before. I split the chores daily such as
- Daily Morning – Unpack dishwasher, Load washing machine
- Daily Evening – Pack and Run dishwasher, Load dryer
- Before Bed – Pack the diaper bag, fold 1 load of clothes, pick up around the house, wipe down the kitchen
- Monday’s – 1 Bathroom
- Tuesday’s – Vacuum immediately when you get home
- Wednesday’s – 1 Bathroom
- Thursday’s – Mop kitchen floor and any additional floors (entry way) before bed
- Friday’s – OFF – we made this movie, game or date night!
- Saturday Morning – Change the sheets, deep clean the kitchen, dust
- Sunday Morning – OFF
- Sunday Afternoon – Market shopping – if you have a market that does curbside, even better. Sometimes I fit this in on my way home before picking up my son to help free up some weekend time
- Sunday Night – Finish all laundry, fold, sort and set out all outfits for the week
- Price Disclaimer
- Meal Planning. Personally I can only handle so much crockpot. There are multiple ways to arrange this. I suggest starting a Pinterest board for quick meals. Here are a few things I have learned, buy your meats in bulk at a bulk store such as Costco or value packs at the market. Separate them based on portions for the family and put them in freezer bags in the freezer. I often used large Tupperware to separate out the type of meats in the bags.
- Crockpot meals – Eggplant parmesan, Boneless ribs, Chicken breasts (think about adding fajita veggies to this to make a complete meal)
- One sheet bake dinner – Shake n Bake, chicken tenders, veggies and a starch can be cooked all at once!
- Foil Packets – I did this a lot with veggies and fish
- Rice cooker – Couldn’t have lived without this
- Steamer – Always a great go to for healthy food and veggies you have prepped or in the freezer
- Schedule your time. If you know that you need an hour to wake up to be fresh for the day, wake up an hour before the baby does. Make sure you have your clothes already out for the next day and your purse/work/laptop bag packed. If you know you need to hit the gym after work, have that bag packed and already in the car (carrying the baby and your things isn’t easy!)
- Maintain your health! This is crucial – you need to stay on top of your vitamins, maintain sleep and healthy eating habits. The result on what this can do to your work is overwhelming. If you are no longer taking pre-natal, find a great one a day to take and think about a B supplement you can take during the day to help you (I am not a doctor, please consult a doctor before this).
- FIND YOU TIME! You don’t have to be alone in this journey – ask your partner and friends for help. If you can’t fit in all your cleaning you’d be amazed friends will come help watch the baby so you can fit it all in! Schedule a pedicure every other weekend, take a walk at the park with your baby and get outdoors!
Parenting is a blessing. Enjoy the moments and don’t forget to get lots of pictures of the baby with you, not just of the baby!