Sound familiar? Where in the typical daily life of working moms do we get to truly focus on bonding?
For most of us it’s a few hours after work when we’re drained and still have a million other things to do. Then there’s the weekend where we have much more free time, but still so much gets crammed into those 2 days.
The same thing was happening to me until I figured out how to literally use my time wisely. All of the things need to get done.
That’s just life and adulting, but give yourself some grace on how and when they get done. That’s the ticket!
If you would like to learn how to maximize the time you get during the week to bond, then keep reading. It takes so much stress off of the weekend plus you can get more done in less time.
It is important to bond daily throughout the week so you’re not trying to play catch up over the weekend. Daily bonding is like those little sprints that get you trained up for the weekend marathon. But how?!
Focus on prioritization of your time. Make a list of things you do while you have your kids that takes focus away from them. Keep a few items on your list in mind as we work through this article.
Here’s the deal
So the thing is with any routine you want to make sure it’s realistic and reduces stress. Something I’ve noticed with a lot of working mom routines is that we don’t include our own self wellness enough.
Yes, we all want to maximize bonding time, but that doesn’t mean we must stretch ourselves too thin to avoid feeling guilty.
Let’s start with what maximizing bonding time with your kids does not mean as a working mom.
Does not mean :
Spend all of your free time with your kids
You don’t get alone time
You don’t get to spend time with friends, enjoy a girls night out, or a date night with your spouse
So now that we know what it isn’t. Lets focus on what maximizing bonding time does mean. Here’s a glimpse at what this looks like for the working mama.
1. Use free time
Use up any free time without your kids that you can get your hands on. There’s lots of hidden pockets of time you can use if you really think about it.
For most of us it’s the kids’ nap time and bed time. Maybe even early morning. Once you figure out where these hidden time gems are start focusing on organization.
Organization will create structure and consistency which punches overwhelm right in the face!
When you get the free time, take things off your bonding time and put them somewhere else. Rearrange time so that you can free up that time to bond when needed without secretly worrying about the other things that need to get done.
Some of the most common chores that come to mind are cleaning and cooking. I’m a fan of delegating these tasks if you have the opportunity, but what if that’s not an option for you right now?
Divide the chores into sections and put these on a schedule throughout the week. This way you can dedicate time to these things throughout the week so you free up your bonding time in the morning and after work when your kids are with you.
2. Get strategic with work breaks
If you are blessed to get break times at work then you need to be using them to your advantage!
I have been able to create grocery lists, do my online Christmas shopping, and even plan birthdays and meal prep ideas all on the beloved 15 minute break!
Now that you see what you can do with a 15 minute break you should know what’s next. Yep, your lunch break my friend.
If you work near a grocery store you are golden! One thing I despise is grocery shopping after a long day or rushing through it on the weekend. When I’m tired and unable to focus it takes me forever and I feel like a lost zombie. As you already know, rushing just means I’m going to forget the most obvious items I need. I cannot express how frustrated that makes me lol.
What if you don’t have a roomy fridge at work to store your goods? Keep reading.
Remember when I said you don’t have to dedicate all of your free time to other people?
There’s so many other options here besides doing things for your family or household. Use your free time to focus on yourself as well!
Hair appointments, exercise sessions, a peaceful lunch that you don’t have to share. Well hello there, self care!
You can even schedule lunch or FaceTime with a friend for some much deserved social time.
What is something that you want to do for yourself that you can accomplish in 15 to 45 minutes during the work day on your breaks? You need to be doing this at least weekly for self care anyway.
3. Create an evening routine
If you haven’t created an evening routine by now I strongly encourage it. Why? So glad you asked. It goes back to what we were discussing in the first point of this article. Organization killing the overwhelm.
A structured routine creates a sense of control and therefore less stress. This doesn’t mean you have to be a robot and plan every second of the day.
It does mean that you should have a reliable structure to the day that allocates time slots to the most important tasks and family time.
For example, if you allocate 8:00pm on Sundays to meal prep for the week, then you know not to schedule things during that slot and having time dedicated to it will cause less opportunity for distractions.
Once it’s routine it just becomes another part of the day like showering and brushing your teeth.
Evening routines are like the golden ticket of working motherhood when it comes to strengthening bonds with our children while decreasing stress.
Here is a free 5 step roadmap to bonding with your kids after the work day to get you started. It pairs well with any working mom’s evening routine.
Here’s a pro tip. You don’t have to get it all done, mama.
Also, there will be times where the weekend flies by and you just didn’t get as much time as you wanted to bond.
Guess what? Time keeps moving at the same pace and you get another shot. Try spreading out chores if you cant delegate them.
Maybe Monday mornings you run the laundry while the kids are still asleep. While the washer is going you could squeeze in a workout or plan meals for the week.
When the kids go down for the night try tidying up a little each night so that the weekend cleaning is done. Maybe bathrooms one evening and the living room another day. The possibilities are endless!
Did you make that list?
Remember in the beginning of this article when I asked you to make a list? Below is an actionable 5 step plan to apply the 3 points we just discussed.
5 Step Plan :
- Make a list of things you are doing during time you could be bonding with your kids during the week.
- Prioritize that list.
- See how the items on the list can be broken down into smaller chunks of time.
- Document all of your free time and evaluate how it’s currently being used.
- Schedule the smaller chunks on your to do list from Step 3 into free time during the week instead of the bonding time in Step 1.
This 5 step plan will allow you to find your free time, use work breaks strategically and create routines that work!
This is more work on the front end, but the pay off of having more quality bonding time with your family throughout the week and through the weekend is priceless.
What do have on your to do list that keeps interrupting your bonding time? Let me know. Give this 5 step plan a try and let me know how it works for you.
Thanks for hanging out with me.