How do I cope with 2 kids, 2 cats and 2 jobs?

September 10, 2015

I’m often asked this!  So what’s my secret?

 

As a very busy working mum of 2 little ones I have to use all of the tools in my life skills box to manage everything and yes, like you, I do have the odd bad day when it all seems to be too much!

 

Here are some of the tools I use to help me keep up with my life:

 

People management

  • ensuring my children are looked after well and know what to expect each day

  • spending time with my husband

  • keeping our childminder updated on my children’s activities and development as well as confirming care arrangements each week

  • knowledge exchange with my daughter’s pre-school teachers

  • personal business marketing and relationship building

  • personal business ongoing care of clients

  • employed business work scheduling with colleagues and manager

  • being honest about what I can achieve by when

 

I find it very important to speak regularly to the people involved in our lives.  The quick 2 or 3 minute conversations about what you/they are doing make a huge difference to my understanding of situations and behaviour.  It also helps me to plan ahead as I know what other people, including my children, are likely to be doing.

 

Organisational skills

  • scheduling children’s clubs and activities

  • arranging personal business activities and class schedules

  • managing employed business workload and hours

  • keeping track of husband’s social life

  • fitting in any other social events and personal meet ups

  • ensuring I have 10 mins at the start and end of each day to feed the cats

 

Managing hectic schedules is the key to minimising stress.  I personally have a 4 person calendar on my wall and write all of our clubs, activities and other commitments on there.  I can see at a glance what any of us are doing each day.  I've told my husband that if it's not on the calendar then it's not happening so he knows to add his own entries otherwise I might expect him to babysit!  

 

Each weekend I check the week ahead to see if there is anything I need to do in advance, such as buy birthday cards or fill in paperwork.  Every evening, I check what’s going on the next day, plan the travel and timings and make a mental list of what I need to prepare.  Whilst it’s good to be organised don’t forget that you need to accommodate last minute changes to your schedule as well so make sure there’s some room for change.

 

Stress management/being prepared

  • writing a daily ‘to do’ list

  • end of week review of outstanding tasks

  • preparing kids bags and clothes the night before

  • preparing my bags and clothes the night before

  • sticking to a routine for my children’s meals and bed times

  • avoiding booking too many things into one day (where possible)

  • allowing a short break during the morning and afternoon to have a breather and regroup

  • taking time to exercise to clear my mind and boost my energy levels

 

Stress could very easily take over my life.  I feel like I’m constantly in demand either by work, my own fitness business, my children, my husband, my friends or my cats.  There doesn’t seem to be much down time so I have to make sure I take time-out to simply breathe and take stock.  Being highly organised helps hugely with the stress levels but doesn’t deal with those little frustrations which creep up on me, such as slow internet connection when trying to get some work done or heavy traffic when I have a tight travel time.  Perspective is a great tool to use then.  I just have to remember that some things are out of my control and I can only do the best that I can.  The world won’t stop turning because it takes me 15 mins longer to do a piece of work or if I’m a little late for a club.  I also use my cats to de-stress at the end of the day.  Stroking cats is known to be relaxing so I make the most of having 2 of them around to make a fuss of once my children have gone to bed and aren’t terrorising them anymore!

 

So what are my top tips for coping?

  1. Be organised

  2. Be realistic

  3. Be prepared

  4. Be flexible

  5. Be happy!

 

If you have any comments or advice on how to cope with being a busy working mum, I’d love to hear from you.

 

Debbie Lucas

Mum plus One

www.mumplusone.net

mumplusone@fastmail.co.uk

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