Juggling a family and a full-time job is a huge load. But what about moms who add a second, part time job into the mix? As if time wasn't already at enough of a premium, it's now almost non-existent.
I'm a master of delegation. Of course it helps that my children aren't babies anymore. In fact, three are adults, one is a junior in high school, and the youngest is in seventh grade. However, only one child has left the nest -- the oldest. Having adult children at home is an entirely different issue and not as easy as it may seem.
It helps immensely to assign tasks to each family member and expect every one to pick up after himself. Unfortunately, a lot of the times the children don't cooperate. Then bribery often helps. A well-planned movie or social event on the weekend goes a long way to persuading cooperation. Perhaps giving an extra hour of awake time on the weekend will be sufficient incentive.
Switching chores from time to time to prevent boredom is also a big help. We also find this helpful at the day job. Boredom can be a killer.
Planning meals and clothing choices in advance is also a huge help. Cooking double meals and freezing one is a great time saver. Teaching the younger children to cook and do their laundry saves time in the long run.
I'm also a master of multi-tasking and that is a big proponent.
For example, my younger daughter plays on two softball teams this season. Some weeks, we're at the ballfield seven days a week and for the better part of the evening. Although it helps to have the older children prepare dinner so we're not a slave to fast food, it's not enough to keep up with the second job or with staying in shape. During her practices, I walk around the field to stay in shape. During the games, I pull out my trusty Alpha Smart and write. Sometimes I take my laptop, borrow my husband's wireless Internet card, and sign onto live promotion chats. I've also used this to conduct live interviews using Internet phones.
Watching television is a huge time waster. When I do watch television, I multi-task. There's too much to do, and too few hours in the week, just to sit around.
Planning and making out to-do lists helps us manage time to its utmost. Scheduling dates with the hubby, friends, family, and work is a must. Reminding yourself with calendars is also a must. My favorite is the electronic one that pops up on my email at work.
We live in the electronic age. Don't be afraid to take advantage of all the gadgets at your disposal!