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Working Mothers – How Do You Do It?

By arianne |

I’m entering my third month as a full time working mother with a newborn and 3 older children. I have to say: this is hard! I work from home and it doesn’t really seem that much easier than if I worked outside of the home (except I do get to see the family throughout the day and nurse my baby whenever she needs me, for that I am so grateful!).

I miss the kids, I miss having a little control over the household (epic mess, anyone?) and I wonder how other mothers do this seemingly effortlessly. We are still getting routines down and now that the baby is no longer so extremely colicky we certainly are having an easier time of it, but still.

I want things to be much more smooth than they are. I want everyone to have great routines and be ok with mom working all day. I want to have a productive enough day that I’m not working all evening when it should be our family time together.

I want something that doesn’t exist: work and life balance.

I’d love to hear how you part time, full time, work at home, work out of the home moms do it. How do you juggle your deadlines with the family’s needs? Even with help with the children I’m finding that it’s difficult for everyone to understand my new role. Maybe as the baby continues to get older everyone will settle into THEIR new role too (and clean, cook, babysit, do school work, without a fuss!).

How do you do it, moms?

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About arianne



Arianne Segerman writes about homeschooling, autism and walking through grief after losing her daughter Mabel in 2010 on her blog Mabel and Riv. She blogged for the Parenting channels at Babble about pregnancy, motherhood and all things family.

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11 thoughts on “Working Mothers – How Do You Do It?

  1. Justice Fergie says:

    Oh Arianne! Girl, we need to Skype over a cup of coffee :-) Juggling it all is exactly what I’ve blogged about for the last 6 years on And have SEEN my Day In the Life post? It’s a constant struggle to keep all of the balls in the air. I’m working on something for all of us working moms though – stay tuned!!!!

  2. arianne says:

    @Justice Fergie I did see that post and so related! I absolutely love working full time now (only because it’s from home) and LOVE my work but the balance and kids and yada yada – hot mess most days! I can’t wait to see what you’ve got cookin!

  3. Heather Solos says:

    I finally hired a mothers helper. Yes, I can attend to big things, but making lunch, and general entertainment? That can be done just as well by someone else. It’s making a huge difference in my stress level which is a huge help now that I’m about to undertake a new (and big) project.

  4. Amy says:

    I work 40 hrs/wk for a bank. I work 2-3 days at home and 2-3 days at the office. For 9 years before this year, I was 30 hours/wk for them at home. I’ve done it all (working mom, that is). It is my biggest struggle and daily, even minute by minute, I am questioning whether I should be and if so, how to make life “balanced”.
    My coworkers call my kids “office trained”. They know to be quiet when I’m on the phone and that I can’t get up much until 5pm. I feel AWFUL about this sometimes. But then, just this weekend when I was off they were asking me to do something but I told them no, I was busy doing laundry. I know it would just be something else keeping me busy.
    One huge thing I do is have my house cleaned professionally every 2 weeks so it doesn’t eat up precious family time on the weekends.
    Also, my husband is EXCELLENT at running the kids places and helping with dinner if I have it planned out.
    Also, we don’t take on a lot outside the home so that when I am off, I’m giving them attention.
    I’ve found that working from home/office IS different. When I’m at home, I can run errands in the morning or at lunch and cook at lunchtime or go visit them at school during breaks. I wish I was full-time at home again. It really does make such a big difference not to have that commute time.
    I’m not sure I have any other answers except to say I’m with you and yes, it’s hard work. If God calls us to it, though, we CAN do it!

  5. Amy says:

    @Heather, when I was full-time at home, I would hire middle school kids during the summer to entertain the kids, particularly when they were younger. It was fantastic!

  6. Mom101 says:

    All I can say is, it’s never effortless. It seems that way, you’re not looking closy. Good luck mama. You will do the best you can, and that’s all anyone can expect.

  7. arianne says:

    @heather we’re going to get some help too, with the special needs kids and newborn it’s just too much for one parent (in this case mu hubs) to handle, and I’m having to be interrupted too often! It will be a relief to get help, but that won’t really help the mom guilt. Womp womp.

  8. arianne says:

    @mom101 thanks Liz! It helps to know other people get it, at least. xoxo

  9. MainlineMom says:

    I’m with Liz, it’s FAR from effortless. But most of the time I would say I have a nice work-life balance. I see the key as knowing which balls can be allowed to drop at which times. Sometimes it means telling someone I simply can’t join a conference call on Tuesday, my day “off” when my preschooler is home. Sometimes it means I have to put him in childcare an extra day so I can go to a meeting and try not to feel guilty about it. Sometimes it means I can’t plan a healthy dinner and we need to eat out…again. And yes, I DO have my house professionally cleaned to save time, stress and sanity. And I DO have my little one in daycare during my days “in the office” three days a week. We can’t do it all but we sure can do a lot. I know that when things get busy at work, I have to start saying No to fun things or “me time” things, but I also know that when things are slow at work I have to jump on the opportunity to spend time with my family or even on myself to keep everyone happy and whole.

  10. Paige says:

    I work full time (out of the home) with two under 3 years, and have decided there really is no balance. I constantly feel the push/pull from both sides. I agree with Mainlinemom that you have to take the busy and slow times at work in stride and make the most of the slow times to spend more hours with family. I try to pick up the kids early any afternoon I can so I feel less guilty on days I have to work late. I try to be present with them in the evenings and turn off my phone so I know the time is quality, if not always high quantity. And, although I don’t feel like I have balance, I do feel happy. And I’ll take it!

  11. Karen C says:

    I am a single full time working mother of a 2.5 year old. What works for me is I wake up at 5am in the mornign and head to work while my son is still sleeping. His grandmother takes him to school. This way I have my full days at work and still make it back to pick him up from preschool. I find it works better when I go to work and he goes to school. Even if i manage to work at home, i still bring him to school. That way i can focus and do a good job so i can support us. I would stop by the school when he is having lunch if i do work at home. I dont know how mom work at home with their child. Koodoos to them. After, we get home, we are in the kitchen together. I cook while my son pretends to cook. On the weekend when he is with me i give him my full attention. We visit place and go to the playground. On the weekend when he is with his dad is my cleaning and social time. KC

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