In regards to a question I received about how to balance work outside the home, and motherhood, I shared some of my thoughts on my nurse & motherhood instagram @katiethemomthenurse.
I’ve had times working full-time, part-time, PRN (as needed), day shifts, night shifts, and once overtime-as a mother attending school full-time while working as a nurse over 72 hours a week (that was crazy)!! I’ve also had times I was completely not working outside of the home at all.
Taking all my phases of motherhood and working into account, I’ve identified my tried and true patterns working or staying home. I carefully considered those phases in answering this question and found there’s a few methods of organization I rely heavily upon-no matter what phase of motherhood or what my time in and out of the home looked like for me.
Also, I’d like to say I know it can be a touchy subject to talk with a group of mothers about “working.” Let it be know I firmly attest: stay-at-home moms are working, caring for our children at home is a full-time job!
We are all unique in our circumstance- in regards to working mothers vs stay-at-home moms, We’re all WORKING HARD!!! I want all my readers to know I firmly believe we are equally important in our roles. I truly believe we are all unique in our gifts, talents, timing and phase-in-life-circumstances that surround working vs not working outside the home. I have been on both ends of the spectrum throughout my motherhood. Each role is equally important. The most important role we all play as mothers and women are nurturers-to each other, our selves, our family and friends, and our own children-or to those not mothers, you play a huge role as nurturers to children in our community! So please know, it is our role as woman and nurturers that is what I believe is is most important!
If you’re a mom, or not-I have gathered a few of my favorite organizational tips and methods to share with you today! These tips will help single college students, wives, fathers, and mothers!
So whats my advice? Get Organized! When our home has established schedules and routines it makes life so much easier!
My favorite way to organize my family over the years is a large calendar visible for all to see in a high traffic area.
I love this custom & stylish acrylic option too.
Or how about this large glass calendar option-budget friendly acrylic look alike
Another great acrylic option with a frame.
Another way we stayed organized is placing a mail sorter next to calendar to hold important fliers, invitations etc all in one spot…with our keys so everyone is actually seeing the family calendar!
Next Organization Tip:
Another tip I have is to implement a set morning, afternoon, and bedtime routine. When my children have clearly established routines in the AM it helps us all get out the door on time for school and work.
An afternoon routine helps the house run in an orderly manner, so when I return from work-or am working from home these days- the house doesn’t end up looking like a bomb went off full of shoes, back packs and everything else under the sun strung out everywhere!
Bedtime routines help children establish healthy sleep patterns–not to mention promote independence when they know what to do to get ready for bed when moms have to work late (like nurses on 12 hr shifts). Establishing routines has been so vital in our family! Here’s a few of my favorite morning, afternoon, and bedtime routine charts!
This one is can be customized to add routines you need, and can be made pink or blue for boy or girl.
My next tip is use chore charts if your children are old enough.
At times I like to buy little white boards and use magnets, sometimes I like laminated paper charts. i typically laminate any of the printable links here to make it reusable so kids can erase and recheck their charts as necessary. Here’s a editable/custom made, downloadable chore chart I love.
Magnetic chore system: use little magnets to customize on individual magnetic white boards
I like this system too because I can see where I need to switch chores up to help each child get a chance to learn different responsibilities.
Create a reward systems in your home to help with completing chore charts…(allowance, points, etc.) Ours method is simple tally of points and family goal to 400-500 points at a time for a fun outing. Boys get to pick and ususally choose a movie, ice cream, beach day-etc whatever the boys collectively choose.
Here’s our super fancy tally method in action right now! We add or subtract points based on chores, catching them doing good behavior, doing HW without being asked-etc or maybe they loose points for disrespectful behavior at times, each kid can see how they’re doing but were still working as a family!
In addition to establishing routines, I’ve found having everyone’s closets organized and setting a routine day for washing and folding laundry makes our morning run smoother when everyone can actually find their clothes, bags, and shoes. Days we’re organized everyone is on time for school, work and whatever the day may bring. I also set a day where I restock our pantry and grocery shop. I’ve also found we have to pack kids lunches the night before-or it doesn’t happen at all for us in the morning!
Pack your bags the night before too, momma, student, wifey, single ladies! Sometimes we forget about ourselves and having everything I need for my work shift-without scrambling trying to get out the door-is a must! Otherwise, i start the day anxious and disorganized, and I need my thoughts clear-especially when you’re caring for little lives as a nurse! Maximize your brain power by preparing the evening before-and I promise you will avoid human errors that could occur in healthcare-and stress throughout the day.
Here’s the link to my favorite bag & whats in my work bag: lunch, snacks, stethoscope, lots of pens, calculator, spare mobile charge cord and square, code pediatric code card by AHA, water bottles-some form of caffeine-for me a can of dr pepper, or crystal light energy, a highlighter and red pen, water bottle, and since i don’t like to carry my wallet to work, my nurse ID badge has a clear pocket pouch the size of a credit card to store my credit card and drivers licence.
Outside of routines, establishing patterns to connect with your children when you are home. I like to read a book to my children nightly still, even though they know how to read now, that’s our moment in the evening that they can count on each night. We pick chapter books, and they usually like to pick one that has a movie to watch after we’ve finished the chapter book. This simple routine has been a consistent anywhere we’ve lived, and in any phase of me working in our outside of the home!
I hope this helps! Let me know what methods you’ve implement in your home!