It isn't all that "simple" going from stay at home mom to working mom. Granted, I've only been doing it 2.5 weeks, but it has been a challenge.
I think it would have been a challenge anyway I would have done it but here are a few things that I've learned so far.
1- If you have to be at work at 7 am, and your kids have to be at morning swim team practice and your spouse is dropping the kids off, you should have something available that the kids can eat quickly before they leave, and then they can eat something more substantial when they get back. For us, most days, it has been smoothies. I usually fix them before I leave, right before I wake the kids up, and they drink them before they leave. But it took me a few days to really work this out. I also need to have other quick breakfast options, in case someone doesn't want a smoothie, because there won't be time for say, eggs or something, before they have to leave.
2-Speaking of food, I should have prepared more dinners ahead of time. It was a rough first week because I was working that week until 4:30 pm (my regular schedule now is 7 am to 3:30) and not getting home until almost 5 and people were starving and all I wanted to do was relax, not rush around trying to find something quick to cook.
3-Again, speaking of food, I should have got more groceries to have on hand before I started working. At least some options that were a little more simple to prepare - things that Mr. Simple can fix quickly or the children can do. However, there is a fine line between easy and "fast food" though, and it is a bit of a struggle for me still to have healthy food on hand that is substantial enough for a meal and easy for everyone to prepare.
4- Laundry. Ugh. I swear we go through more clothes than the average family of five. I feel like I'm always doing laundry. Of course, we use yarn dishcloths, cloth napkins, and cloth paper towels too, and that contributes to it. But I MUST do at least a load of laundry every evening, and then stress to the children that it needs to get put away while I am at work the next day. (One interesting thing that at least early on, having Mr. Simple "remind" the children about their chores seems to be going well. They do their chores much more willingly and quicker than when I'm assigning the chores.)
5-Dishes are the same thing as laundry. I must load the dishwasher before I go to bed, and I have to unload it in the morning before I leave. Otherwise, it just is a problem.
6-I am very slowly trying to let go of some of my control issues concerning the house. I like things done a certain way, and I like things to be tidy most of the time, etc. and I have to realize that it probably happen totally like that. I am going to try and get some improvement over the course of the summer, but I will probably have to deal with things being little less than how I would have it be if I were here.
7-I am very grateful for the garden again this year. And I'm thrilled that it is right outside my door. It enables me to go out and do things after dinner or on the weekend. It enables us to have ultra fresh salads and strawberries for dessert. If I had still been garden at church plot, I am sure that it would already be full of weeds because the last thing that I want to do in the evenings is drive across town. But being able to just walk 25-50 feet? I can handle that.
8-I have not yet learned how to balance working full-time and maintaining Simply Living In The City. I haven't blogged over at Simply Living In The City for weeks now, and I have even been kind of hit and miss at the Facebook page. And I was supposed to reschedule the May class for last weekend, and that didn't happen. I'm hopeful to still be able to do a June class though.
9-I sit quite a bit at my job, and I'm totally not used to that. I've found that I have to walk the (10 flights) of stairs a few times a day so that I don't feel like such a slug. I'd love to be able to figure out some time to do more traditional exercise, but with full time work and the kids with their very full summer schedule and all their drop offs and pick-ups, and laundry and dishes, and meals, well, I haven't yet figured out when I could fit in a run or going to the gym.
10-I'm driving my car back and forth to work because I need to be home in enough time to take the kids to evening practices, but starting in the fall, I'll be able to bike or ride the bus to my job. I'm pretty excited about it! I've never been able to use public transportation or bike as my regular form of transportation.
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