working and juggling family life by guest mom deb.

Whether you stay at home or work outside the home, there are times when it seems hard to juggle everything. I work outside the home three days a week and have the privilege telecommuting two days a week. Telecommuting is wonderful, but I have to be sure to set boundaries and schedules so I am most successful and productive as possible. Here are a couple of things I do to help me achieve this. Feel free to pick pieces of this schedule that work for you and rearrange them to your liking.

Prepare. Get everything ready for the next day the night before (diaper bag, breast pump & parts, lunch, set out you & your child(ren)’s outfits for the following day). Does anyone else look like a bag lady when leaving the house? :) I usually have to make at least two trips to the car in the morning.

Clean the house during the week. For me, breaking it into small parts doesn’t make it seem so daunting and I’m able to enjoy the weekend a little more. A schedule like this seems to work for us:

Monday- vacuum/dust

Tuesday, laundry

Wednesday- detail clean kitchen/go through mail, bills

Thursday- bathrooms

Friday-mop floors

(I do light cleaning and dishes everyday to help keep the house as orderly as possible.)

You are probably thinking laundry once a week! Yeah right!?! I know, I know… I usually am able to stick to this, but remember we only have one child right now.

Run errands on Saturday morning. I grocery shop and make a run to Target every two weeks. I make good lists and that saves me from having to go during the week. For my list to Target, I keep a list on my fridge so I jot things down when I come across something we are running out of (i.e. paper towels, deodorant, diapers, etc). This saves my brain power and memory for better things.

The best way to grocery shop is also with a list. This will not only save you money, but it will cut down on waste too. I first decide which meals we are going to have in the next two weeks and compare that to what we have on hand. Whatever we are missing is what goes on my list.

Dinner preparations– this has to be one of the hardest parts about working outside the home. It’s very hard to get dinner on the table by 6pm (or even 8pm!) when you get home at 6pm. I am still working on this one… if you have any ideas, let me know. Like I said, I preplan our meals so I usually know what we are having, or at least have a couple options. During the week, we try to have quicker meals such as pasta or grilled chicken.

Family first. Most importantly, family comes first. I make a conscious effort to drop everything the minute I come in the door. Give my hubby a smooch, my child a tickle & play for a little bit. I grew up with two busy, working parents and I remember that a nice welcome and greeting always gave me a boost for the day (even if it were only a 5 minute discussion about how my day was). If I was having a rough time, my parents always made a great effort to drop everything and help me. These are some of my most cherished moments and I only hope I can live up to their example.

I believe that time management can relieve many stresses of the day to day life. Many days never go as planned (most don’t!), but hopefully these will help you to prioritize and help your life go a little bit smoother. Feel free to share any other helps that you have in the comments. I would love to hear from you!

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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. Kat :

    I so appreciate your comments, as I too am a working mother. I don’t have the luxury of working from home which is probably good because I don’t know that I could manage my time well enough to be productive. By the time I get off of work and pick up the baby from grandma’s, it is 7:00pm or after, so making dinner usually doesn’t happen. Let’s just say our stock of cereal, bread, eggs and milk is a must have as we tend to eat “Breakfast for Dinner” a lot. I would love to have some help in getting meals planned. I just can’t seem to put my mind to it. Maybe your next post could include something like that.

  2. Petit Elefant :

    It’s a really hard balance isn’t it? I don’t know if any of us really have it figured out, we’re all just doing the best we can.

  3. Deb :

    It is so true. It’s a lot of trial an error to see what works and what doesn’t.

  4. Audra :

    Something I do that cuts down on alot during the week is making a weekly menu. At our house we do a bi-monthly menu to correspond with paydays…

    So on payday I make a menu to get us thru to the next and make one big shopping trip. Sometimes there are items that won’t store for two weeks (lettuce, tomatoes etc)- so I make a quick trip at the beginning of week two for those.

    The menu is really nice because you know what you’re preparing, the kids have fun making it with you and everyone’s on board. It works well with my family of 5!