Is there such a thing as work life balance for moms?
No day is ever the same when you’re caring for children, and it’s imperative that mothers do as much as they can to get ahead of the day before it begins. This is one of the many reasons incorporating a working mom evening routine into your daily schedule is a must.
Weekday mornings can go left pretty quickly when lunches have to be prepped, the alarm doesn’t sound, breakfast is whatever you can throw together in less than fifteen minutes, and you’ve missed the school bus once again.
The idea of balancing work with a family is a bit of a stretch, since your family and responsibilities at home should always come first.
So, how do working moms handle it all when they have to clock into a job to keep food on the table and the lights on?
There are several ways to remain sane as a single working mom or working mom with a spouse who doesn’t assist with parenting or hold up their end of the bargain with home life management.
Discover how you can establish routines to find the perfect working mom life balance you never knew you needed to kiss hectic days goodbye.
How do full-time moms cope with working?
We often place morning routines on a pedestal, but mornings for working moms can look quite different, chaotic even.
They’re often unpredictable with children, and disorganized no matter how much you plan.
Working moms don’t always have the luxury of exercising, reading a book, or sipping on a freshly brewed cup of coffee in silence when the sun is up.
This only happens when they schedule it into their routine, and that’s usually at sunup when the rest of the house is asleep.
When I asked mothers without evening routines to describe their mornings with children, only one word came to mind.
Working moms with entire households complained about the lack of help from their husbands, which made mornings stressful.
Being on time for school and work was the number one constraint.
Ill children or leaving things at home, such as shoes, uniforms, permission slips, homework, and lunches, all followed in second place.
Even single mothers with only one child expressed how challenging it is to wake their children up in time to get ready for school.
Working moms decided on lunch at the last minute and they grabbed breakfast on the go. Many working moms complained that the morning rush was simply inescapable.
Some even expressed that the easiest part of their day was at the office or working remotely from home while the children were at school.
Clocking into the 9-to-5 came easiest to most full-time working moms, which goes to show that motherhood is one of the most challenging, thankless jobs one can have.
Stay at home moms and working moms, we see you and are here to help!
A life without routines can be disorderly and downright stressful, but children come with an entire subset of responsibilities.
They’ aren’t optional to complete either.
Your schedule has to incorporate school pickup and drop-off, extra-curricular activities, grocery shopping, sporadic emergencies, meal preparation, packing lunches, many wash loads for linen and bedding, ironing extra sets of clothes, not to mention cleaning.
I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot more.
By the time the evening comes to a close, there’s no time to relax alone or spend time with your partner other than falling on your face.
Tired is the understatement of the year for many working moms.
Many people don’t understand their plight, but it’s also on the onus of mothers to not suffer in silence.
You don’t live in a household of one. Therefore, the burden of running the household shouldn’t be yours to bear alone.
What if you could preserve your sanity by following working mom’s evening routines?
You can get a head start and prepare for the week in advance on Sundays.
Working moms also need all the extra hands they can get. Assign weekly roles and chores to your children and partner.
Develop and follow a weekly schedule that incorporates homework help, dinner, clean up, and bedtime routines.
Overtime, your family will form habits that will help you out in the long run.
Sure, you may get a little pushback at first, but letting your family know that you can’t run a household and work a full-time job on your own is the first step.
As a full-time working mom, your partner should help lift the burden and share the responsibilities of parenting, too.
Working mom evening routines will open up more opportunities for you to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
You deserve time to indulge in self-care activities that allow you to reflect, relax, and relieve stress from taxing days.
How can I be more organized as a working mom?
As a full-time working mom, you should be intentional about organizing your day.
Flying by the seat of your pants at home will only lead to burnout.
How can you be highly organized at work, but your home life is a total mess?
The latter will eventually affect your work day if you don’t nip it in the bud.
All working moms are familiar with the infamous workday interruptions: calls from the principal’s office, missed school buses, forgotten bag lunches, no change of clothes, and mis-tracked school events.
While parents may not predict the unpredictable, they can certainly prepare for the worst.
Either way, organization goes a long way!
Here’s a list of 10 things you can do to be organized as a working mom:
- Wake up at 5 a.m. for self-care
- Create a family schedule
- Use a weekly menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- Put up a monthly calendar that includes birthdays, school events, sports games, doctor appointments, etc.
- Meal prep on Sundays
- Set aside one hour for homework help (have older children to assist)
- Follow bedtime routines for children
- Set out your work clothes for the week
- Use a daily or weekly planner
- Limit screen time and distractions (turn off TV, phones, tablets, and social media)
- Enforce boundaries with spouse and children
How do you organize a hectic schedule?
It’s completely okay to plan your week ahead at home.
Sunday is the perfect day to whine down and meal prep for the week, but it’s also a great time to write out your family’s weekly schedule too!
- What’s on the menu?
- Who’s the house leader?
- Are chores assigned?
- Are evening roles delegated? (Setting the table, kitchen cleanup, homework helpers)
- Carpool duty – who’s picking up groceries or taking the kids to practice?
- What boundaries are you setting to ensure you engage in self-care?
Time blocking your daily schedule with working mom morning and evening routines helps. When you’ve prepped everything the night before, mornings should be a breeze.
Try this! Answer the questions you’re often asked in the morning at night instead.
Are alarms set for morning wake-ups? Set an alarm in at least two places on your digital clock and cell phone.
The weekly menu cuts back on all the ‘what’s for breakfast and dinner?’ questions.
What are you likely to forget? Equipment and bags should be packed and placed in the car before heading out the door in the morning. Make a checklist if needed.
Developing a healthy life work balance is pertinent to eliminating a hectic schedule as well.
Don’t allow work to spill over into your working mom evening routines.
Set a hard-stop at 4pm or 5pm answering no additional phone calls or emails, no matter the sense of urgency.
Employers pay you for eight hours of your time per day. Anything outside of that should remain off-limits.
Implementing a few of the strategies above should have your schedule in tip-top shape in no time.
Just make sure you block out time for the minor inconveniences and unexpected emergencies that often come with life.
Why Do I Need An Evening Routine As A Working Mom?
I’m not sure about anyone else, but after a long, hard day at work, I look forward to following the relaxing nighttime routine I’ve set in place.
Yes, even more so than my morning routines!
By the time 6 p.m. hits, my body’s flow state has already ended, and it knows at least 8 hours of a good night’s sleep is near.
Without a routine to follow, I’d never get the proper amount of rest, and I would set no boundaries to focus on myself.
As a mother, you’re not obligated to give around the clock access to your children.
Working moms have needs too!
A clear plan eliminates the morning rush, especially when everything gets prepped the night before.
When creating an evening routine, ask yourself the following questions:
- What you’ll wear to work?
- What you’ll eat for breakfast? (These overnight oats are easy and delicious to grab on the go!)
- What rooms do you need to tidy up before bed? (No one wants to wake up to a messy house in the morning!)
- Are lunches packed and ready to go?
- Is homework checked and forms signed?
Evening routines boost productivity levels, because they allow us an extra hour or two to indulge in self-care and hobbies without interruption. However, they also contribute to a higher quality of sleep.
Have you ever noticed that a few more hours of sleep results in your body feeling re-energized and your brain is much sharper the next day?
Research has proven that getting an adequate amount of sleep is imperative to how our brains function.
Sleep repairs the pathways in which our nerve cells communicate to create memories, help us concentrate, and respond faster.
Easy evening routines reduce stress the morning after.
Check out 15 ways to create an evening routine as a working mom:
- Create a 5-step plan
- Use alarms, reminders, and productivity apps
- Prepare as much as possible the night before
- Set a cap on screen time
- Read or journal before bed
- Don’t answer emails or take work calls after 5pm
- Lights out before 10pm (children’s bedtime routine is complete!)
- Incorporate a daily mini-Spa into your skin care routine
- Create a to-do list for the next day
- Eat dinner at a consistent time every night
- Avoid alcohol and late night snacks
- Keep a bottle of water at room temperature to stay hydrated
- Swap out TV and podcasts for soothing music or silence
- Light a candle for aromatherapy
- Set your phone across the room to eliminate distractions in the morning
While there isn’t a one size fits all working mom evening routine, I’ve shared a sample below that you can edit to make it your own.
What is a simple evening routine for working moms?
5AM: Wake Up (Allow at least 2 snoozes)
6AM: Grab a cup of coffee and eat breakfast
6:30AM: Exercise, then shower
7AM: Journal or meditate for at least 15-20 minutes
7:30AM: Write and/or review to-do list
8AM: Double check the door for children’s backpacks, lunches, and extra-curricular uniforms
8:30AM: School drop-off
9AM – 5PM: Office Work (Don’t forget to take micro-breaks and hour long lunches)
6PM: Change out of work clothes and prep lunches for next day
7PM: Family dinner and free time
8PM: Children’s bedtime routine
8:30PM: Lay out work clothes and tidy spaces
9PM: Self-care and meditation
9:30PM: Read a book or journal to reflect on your day
10PM Relaxing activity (no screen time)
10:30PM Lights Out
Feel free to use this stay at home mom schedule as your own!
How To Create Your Working Mom Evening Routine?
Can you feel the stress being lifted off of your shoulders already?
That’s what happens when you create a schedule that makes sense for your lifestyle.
If you have a fitness class or have to pick up the kiddos from sports practice, dinner may have to take place an hour later.
Your evening routine schedule may also differ because of your family size.
Little helpers are great, but having a partner to lighten the heavy load of paying bills, doing the dishes, taking out the trash, or making sure the children are all cleaned up and ready for bed while you take a much needed break is even better.
The more, the merrier is true in this case, but all mothers aren’t all blessed with additional help.
Single working moms pinpoint resources that can help you get more rest at night.
Can you outsource deep cleaning your home to a monthly cleaning service?
Can you sign up for meal prep programs like HelloFresh that only requires you to heat dinner in the oven on weeknights?
Maybe you don’t have time to grocery shop throughout the week and can use a delivery service.
Evaluate your working mom evening routine regularly to see where you can get your time back.
A basic need based fit assessment will do.
What’s lacking in your evening routine? How can it improve? Is more preparation needed at night, more time to clean, relax, or sleep?
Working moms with newborns may struggle with returning to the swing of things after their maternity leave ends.
Use your evening routine as a step-by-step guide to make sure you aren’t missing any meals, you have time to breast pump, and follow a regimen that adjusts to your newborn’s sleeping schedule.
Remember to save space in your working mom evening routine for self care and seek additional support as often as possible.
So, are you ready to kiss those hectic days goodbye?
Use the evening routine checklist for working moms below to leave those crazy mornings behind!
Evening Routine Checklist
- Kitchen is clean
- Play room intact
- Lunches packed
- Homework checked
- Write a new to-do list
- Dinner prepped
- Whine down activity
- Children’s bedtime routine is complete
- Family hour activity
- Lights out before 11pm
Overall, working mom evening routines lead to calmer households and daily habits that will keep your house cleaner and in order with less mess to wake up to.
All working moms can benefit from fresh starts and predictable mornings, so don’t hesitate.
Start your journey with the daily routine planner below to create your working mom evening routine today!
I teach entrepreneurs how to simplify their life and business with less + own their time and maximize productivity towards their personal and monetary goals.