The Five Step Program For Successful Working Motherhood.

…Since we KNOW you don’t have time for all 12.

by Amy Eschliman and Leigh Oshirak, authors of Balance is a Crock, Sleep is for the Weak [1]Every mom – working or not – is looking for a few tips to make life go a little more smoothly. But busy moms just don’t have tons of down time to pour over a thousand-page shmoopy selfhelp manual. We’re not certified life coaches on this subject, but we’ve screwed up enough times and have our share of 20/20 hindsight, making us –we think – accidental pros who can help other moms avoid our fates and even, enjoy each day of modern motherhood. Here’s our
abbreviated 5-step program for just that:

1. Get your childcare settled – and make sure you trust it. If your childcare isn’t right, nothing will be. You’ll be worried that the kids aren’t healthy or happy. There is no worse feeling in the world and please save yourself from the horror, and learn from our mistakes. If you don’t trust your childcare you’ll be miserable all the time, especially when at work; you’ll start thinking “I’m a bad mom AND (because I’m thinking about this all the time and not focused on my job) a bad employee.” DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN. Trust your gut and find childcare you love.

2. Take time for yourself. Working moms have a hard time thinking this is a good idea. We’re already thinking we don’t spend enough time with the kids, with the spouse, putting in the extra hours at work… The list goes on and on. But, you must remember to take a bit of time to enjoy yourself and take care of you. We don’t care how you like to kick up your heals and take a load off – yoga, American Idol on the couch with a glass of wine, reading a good book, People
Magazine while locked in the coat closet – we don’t care! We just want you to enjoy it. And those several moments of enjoyment are going to help you be less stressed and a better mom.

3. Stop trying to be perfect. We’re going to tell you a little secret – you’re not perfect. And trying to be perfect is only going to cause you trouble, stress and angst. If you stop trying to be perfect you can let go of so much – constantly cleaning the house, cooking fabulous meals every night, over-committing yourself at work, and taking care of everything but your own mental health. Now, we’re not saying take it to extremes. We certainly don’t want to hear that your kids have eaten nothing but pop-tarts for the last six months. But, if you take it down a notch, you just might find that the kids are happy, your husband is happy, and you are happy.

4. Get some help. You can’t do this alone. For real. There is no way that a mom with a full time job and a kid or two or three can manage the chaos all on her own. You need to outsource a few things. This does not mean we’re suggesting you empty the bank account and outsource everything. It does mean that you should be strategic about what you can rely on others to do. Have you already made sure to get your spouse as involved in the domestic chores as you can possibly can? Can you afford a cleaning service once or twice a month? Can you swap a few child-care hours on the weekend with a fellow mom and get the breathing room to get some errands done?

5. Let go of the guilt and remember the joy. Why are you feeling guilty? Because you need to work, because you haven’t spent enough quality time with your kids or husband, because you never call your friends anymore…? Welcome to the club – there are only a gazillion of us in the same boat. Try to set the guilt aside. It’s not fixing your lack-of-time problem; it’s exacerbating it. A woman that is happy with her choices and satisfied in her life is going to be a better mom. We firmly believe that. And tomorrow you’ll get that call off to your best friend — from your
cell — while commuting to work…See, it took no time to read this. And now you’re armed with the five steps you need to make it through this day of motherhood, the next, and the next. We didn’t even make you meditate on it
or gaze at your own navel…Who has time for that?

First Published on Mommy Tracked (

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