With a family of any size, there is always something making us busy. Between having three kids under three, and two parents working full time, we are always short on time and patience. Being a working mom adds the extra load of managing not only a family and household, but also a career. Between meetings, appointments, and household duties, it takes a major balancing act to keep everything afloat. The key to successful home management for us was developing a home management system that fit everyone’s needs. We were able to develop these home management tips for working moms without being overly complicated. This working mom is determined to make sure we all stay thriving in this house!
Home Management Guide
The ultimate key to working mom life is managing an intense schedule. The trick is finding a way to manage EVERYONE’s schedule, from the newborn, to your spouse, to the family dog. I find the mental load of motherhood to be extremely potent, and without a strong system in place for scheduling I would forgot literally everything. Mom brain is never ending for this working mom!
We ended up finding our sweet spot for home management with two scheduling systems. It sounds complex, but with all of us coming and going it helps to have multiple types of resources and reminders! We have a game changing family command center in our main hallway, along with a user friendly family scheduling app.
Family Command Center
At the core of strong family management is the command center. Think of a central point in your household that is a high traffic area. It could be a mudroom, a kitchen, a home office, or a foyer. Setting up a family command center is perfect for a visual reminder of all the things happening in the household. My husband and I both walk past the command center several times a day in our house so it is always easy to cross something off the list, or check for
I will be the first one to admit, I do not do anything fancy when it comes to our command center. I need home management tips that are easy and useful for working moms. To me, the important piece is the content and not the style. Most of my notes are scribbled quickly because we all move at warp speed! Our family command center involves two whiteboards. One is a blank monthly calendar with an empty sidebar, and the other is blank with a small corkboard attached. The first obvious use is as a monthly calendar with upcoming appointments and events. While it is used for a monthly list, it also has a few other key ingredients that were game changers for us:
1. Weekly meal plan:
We list out our dinners for each weeknight along with who is responsible for cooking. While late meetings and crazy toddlers can sometimes throw a wrench in our dinner plans, it is extremely helpful to have a plan. We used to arrive at 5pm with two hungry toddlers, and wonder what in the world we were cooking for dinner. Now we get ahead of this on Sunday of each week, and always have a backup plan of safety pizza when things go awry.
2. School highlights:
Our kiddos are still pre-school aged, but every week I add the letter of the week and any main themes they are learning, Whether it be a few new sight words, or a concept, outlining what the kiddos are doing that week helps us stay connected to them while we are working and provide additional reinforcement at home. The kids love that we know what they are doing in school, and I love knowing we are all on the same page.
3. Grocery List:
Ran out of toothpaste? In charge of snack at daycare next week? We all throw our grocery must haves for the week on our grocery list so we all remember. We used to make several last minute weekly grocery store trips and we have been able to cut down to one main grocery shopping venture by adding a list to the mix.
4. Task List:
This one was per the request of my husband due to disagreements regarding household division of labor. We added a task list section with the most pressing household tasks along with a timeframe of when those things need to happen in order to prioritize. I often list out items like putting away laundry, doing the dishes, or any household repair items we need done. During any down time in our days, my husband and I tackle the items on the list and check them off once completed. Before implementing a task list, we would often argue over who was doing which tasks, or which items needed to get done in a more timely manner than others. The task list eliminates the question, “What can I do to help?” and gets us on the same page.
Family Scheduling App
My husband is a tech man. He loves all things technology and when I lose him in our house, 99% of the time he is in front of some form of technology. In addition to our physical family command center, we use an app to keep everyone’s schedules in the same place and inform each other of upcoming events as they are added.
I tried a few different scheduling apps until I fell in love with Cozi. The Cozi app is so easy to use and allows every family member to access a shared calendar. If there are events for a particular day, the Cozi app will send each family member an email with the day’s itinerary, Since I know the first thing my husband and I both do in the morning is check our email, its a great tool to ensure we are prepared for each day. You can enter literally anything into the app and designate which family members are participating, so this would be an excellent tool for a family with older kids as well. I use it to time block appointments, meetings, self care, exercise, house projects and all the things happening to manage our home.
The key to having it all is realizing you already do! Prioritize what is important to your household and make a plan for home management. For working moms, home management tips can make or break the whole system. Setting these things in place was a game changer for managing the chaos and helping us all feel a lot less overwhelmed on a daily basis. Success only happens when all parties agree on the home management system and work together to use it. Happy managing friends!
All the best,