If You Aren’t Using These 4 Money-Saving Apps, You Are Missing Out on Free Money!

If You Aren’t Using These 4 Money-Saving Apps, You Are Missing Out on Free Money!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

(My husband funds his hobby with #3!)

If You Aren’t Using These 4 Money-Saving Apps, You Are Missing Out on Free Money!

Are you ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas?  Do you have all the food and drinks you need for family get-togethers?  What about Black Friday?  Don’t forget Cyber Monday!  With the holiday season upon us, you probably have a laundry list of things to buy ranging from gifts to food.  What if I told you there is a way to get paid for buying things you are already planning to buy?  Here’s my holiday gift to you – 3 FREE money-saving apps (and a bonus) that do just that!  Keep reading and make sure to download and create accounts for these apps before you even think about setting foot in a store or clicking ‘add to cart’.  If you are buying anything without these apps, you are literally leaving money on the table.  Don’t be that person!  Now, without further ado, here are your absolute must-have apps!

#1 Ebates

I’m going to start off incorrectly categorizing from the get-go.  However, you’ll agree that it’s totally forgivable because of how awesome Ebates is.

If you have already heard of Ebates and just remembered you were meaning to sign up, click HERE to get signed up before kids and/or work distract you again!  An added bonus is that by using this link, you get a $10 bonus the first time you use Ebates.

If you aren’t sure what Ebates is, keep reading.  Ebates isn’t new.  It’s actually been around since 2009 (can you believe that is almost a decade ago?). However, I find a ton of people don’t know it exists.  Therefore, I’ll do my PSA to tell you about it.  Ebates is a website you register for (FREE; no credit card required). Then whenever you want to online shop you access the online store via their website.  After that, you just shop like normal and get cash back on your purchases. Checks are mailed quarterly. 

Now, this sounds great, but we online shop for the convenience, especially as busy, scatter-brained moms.  It’s kind of a hassle to remember to go to one website just to get to another.  There’s a solution to that!  There is an Ebates browser extension (also free) that pops up with a reminder whenever you are in a shop that has cashback.  All you do is click the little pop-up bubble to activate and then continue with your shopping.  This is a game-changer for the usability of Ebates. 

If you are ready to sign up, you can do so HERE! Once you make your first Ebates purchase, you will get an automatic $10 as long as you use the link above!

Almost all major stores are on Ebates.  Hotels and travel websites are also included.  Therefore, if you are planning holiday travel, make sure to get your cash back.  Still not convinced?  Just think about the Cyber Monday deals you are stalking, and then imagine getting cash back on top of that.  Are you convinced yet?  I’m sure you are, so go sign up and get your $10 HERE!!

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#2 Drop

Now we will get into the real apps.  Drop is an app I found earlier this year, and I was skeptical.  The app is free to download.  All you have to do is register your credit card (or debit card).  I know what you’re thinking, but don’t worry – it doesn’t ever get charged!  Once you have a card registered, the app tracks the purchases you make with that card and gives you points.  If you use multiple cards, you can register them all to get maximum points.  Every 5000 points give you $5.  Don’t worry, you don’t have to spend $5000 to get 5000 points.  The points per dollar vary per store, but you can get 50 to 100 points per dollar for many popular stores.  Once you earn at least 5000 points, you can start redeeming them for gift cards.  I use my points for Starbucks gift cards, but there are plenty of other choices.

You can find out more about it HERE!

 I registered my credit card but wasn’t sure if it would really accumulate enough points to be worth it.   I put the app on a back screen on my phone and forgot about it.  A couple months later I opened it out of curiosity and realized I had enough points for $15 worth of Starbucks gift cards. I’ve since earned a couple more gift cards with zero effort.  This app isn’t going to make you rich quick, but for no effort, it’s totally worth setting up.  To get you jump-started, my readers can earn an immediate $5 just for downloading the app and registering a credit or debit card.  Make sure you use the code oxpxm to get the offer though! Get started HERE!

# 3 Ibotta

Ibotta is another app that has been around for quite a while (about 7 years), but a lot of people have never heard of it.  Ibotta takes a tiny bit of effort.  Before heading to the store, browse the current offers and select the ones you want. Then when you finish shopping, scan your receipt into the app using your phone camera.  The app registers that you made a purchase and provides the cash back within 48 hours.  Your cash back can either be transferred to PayPal or turned into gift cards. 

Ready to join Ibotta?  Click HERE!

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If you aren’t sure about having to find the offers in the app, there are Facebook groups to help with that.  One example is the group Ibotta Friends and Bonuses.  This group lets you connect with other people that are using the app. They talk about the best deals each week and you can work together to earn team bonuses.

If you like the idea of working with a team so everyone gets great deals, sign up for Ibotta here to get started.

This app has a reputation for grocery shopping.  However, it’s not limited to groceries.  You can also earn cash back at clothing stores and even for mobile in-app purchases from popular shopping apps like Amazon and Groupon.  Also, if you buy wine, you need this app!  I just earned $30 from using the app when I went to the wine store this morning!  It has great cash back on wine pretty consistently.

If you buy groceries, clothes, wine, or things on Amazon, then get signed up for Ibotta HERE!

I find Ibotta is a great app for a husband-project.  My husband manages Ibotta for us and then keeps the cash back for his own interests. He spends about 10 minutes a week on the app and earned $50 this past month.  You can sign up for this must-have app here.

#4 ShopKick

Shopkick is an app that rewards you for walking into stores, scanning certain items and purchases you make.  You earn points in the app that you can put towards free gift cards.  This app is super easy to use.  You can use it when you are at stores, or walk around the mall and earn a lot of points in a short amount of time.  I have been able to earn a $5 Walmart gift card on a Saturday morning just by going to the mall and a few other stores around town. 

You can download the app here.  Make sure to enter the code CARD986984 to get an extra 250 points after your first walk-in points.

As if another way to earn free gift cards isn’t enough reason, this app can even make for a fun family scavenger hunt when the weather is bad.  You and your husband can both download the app here.  Then go to the mall with the kids and split into two teams.  See which team can get all the Shopkick points available first.  This can be harder than it sounds to find all the items you get points for scanning.

Ready to start racking up the free gift cards?  Download the app here, and enter code CARD986984 for an extra 250 points!

Bonus Tip!

This isn’t one of my core apps because it’s not free, and I promised you free apps. However, Amazon Prime is a must-have for any busy mom.  If you online shop, you know how expensive shipping can be and how long it can take to get packages.  Amazon Prime is hands down the best invention ever!  I’m not sure how I could function without it.  You can order just about everything on Amazon, and with Prime it arrives in two days with free shipping!  The shipping is my favorite part because I’m the most impatient person ever.  When I order something, I want it yesterday. 

Make sure to sign up for Amazon Prime here before you add any more items to your shopping cart!

However, there are also a ton of other fun benefits like Prime Music, Prime Movies and special discounts just for Prime members!  All this wonderfulness does come with a price tag though.  Amazon Prime is $12.99/month, which is about the shipping cost on one or two online orders.  Therefore, if you shop on Amazon at all, it’s totally worth it.  Still not convinced?  Click here to try it FREE for 30 days!  If you don’t think it’s worth the cost, you can cancel at the end of your trial.

Get your FREE 30-day trial of Amazon Prime HERE!

Already have Amazon Prime, but know someone that needs it? Give the gift of Prime HERE!

Now that you have all my secrets, go forth and get cash back on all your holiday shopping!  If you need some gift ideas, check out these gift guides on picture books and baby clothes.

If you found this helpful, don’t forget to subscribe in the sidebar.  I’ll send important information, but I promise not to spam you!

If You Aren’t Using These 4 Money-Saving Apps, You Are Missing Out on Free Money!

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

How To Fit In a Workout As a New Mom

How To Fit In a Workout As a New Mom
How To Fit In a Workout As a New Mom

I see you, new mom that was cleared to workout weeks or months ago but hasn’t.  I see you, mom that can’t imagine cutting into the little sleep you get to fit a workout in.  I see you, mom that feels like all you do is take care of baby, pump, work, eat and sleep.  I see you, mom that is exhausted from working all day and then getting up with baby during the night.  I see you, mom that misses the strength and muscle she used to see in the mirror.  I see you because I was you.

Finding time and energy in the already crazy working mom life to do anything for yourself can be daunting.  However, a quick workout on a regular basis may help you feel a little more like your old self again.  That brings us back to the original problem of not having time. How do you fit in a workout as a new mom?  Here are my 5 tips on fitting in a little exercise.

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  1. Be realistic about what you can do. Maybe you spent hours running every week or at the gym pre-baby, but that may not be practical right now.  Keep in mind that anything is an improvement over nothing, and you can always add more.  The fastest way to get discouraged is by trying to do too much.  If baby isn’t sleeping well and you are working full time, it may not be the time to start working out – maybe wait until you get a bit more energy back.
  2. Start small and work up.  This follows with the first tip.  Don’t jump back into the workout routine you had before being a mom.  Start with something that you know is doable.  For example, I started by doing 10 push-ups, 20 sit-ups and a 30 second wall sit every night before bed.  It took less than 5 minutes but made my core muscles plenty sore.  After doing this for a few weeks I decided I could manage a 30-minute workout at home most evenings as soon as I put my son to bed.  I’m still trying to decide if a longer workout is doable, but for now the 30-minute ones are plenty tiring.
  3. Set a start date and stick to it.  When baby isn’t sleeping, and you are exhausted may not be the best time to start, but you could set a start date for when baby only gets up once during the night or sleeps all night.  This goes along with being realistic about what you can do.  However, once you set this date, stick with it.  You will never feel as well rested and ready to work out as you did pre-baby.  You will have to adjust to the new normal.
  4. Change your mindset.  I love the Henry Ford quote, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”  This is so true about exercising after you have a baby.  If you mentally think that you are able to get in a 30-minute workout, you can.  If you mentally think you are too tired, then you are.  I said I would start working out when Paxton slept through the night, but when he did, I was still tired, so I kept putting it off.  Eventually, I had a long mental talk with myself that he reliably falls asleep every night at 7pm, and my husband reliably cooks dinner based on my schedule.  Therefore, there is no reason why I can’t turn on a workout streaming video at home for a quick 30-minute workout before eating dinner.
  5. Get your family on board/incorporate baby. To fit my workout in, my husband cooks dinner (he was already doing this though), and we eat 30 minutes later than we were.  He doesn’t have to work out with me, but his buy in to accommodating my workout makes all the difference.  I’ve also done workouts while entertaining Paxton.  A 20-pound baby makes for a tough arm workout when you do baby lifting instead of weight lifting (see pictures).  Paxton also thinks it’s great entertainment to have mom on the floor doing push-ups and sit-ups next to him.  Working out with baby is a fun way to bond.
  6. Bonus Tip!  Choose workouts that are the most likely to get done.  For me I know that getting to the gym after a 10 hour workday is never going to happen.  However, working out at home is easy to do with baby or after bedtime.  I have this Beachbody online streaming service.  Running is also another great option.  All you need is a jogging stroller and baby can enjoy a nice view of the neighborhood while you get a workout in.
How To Fit In a Workout As a New Mom
Paxton is 20+ pounds.  I usually use 10 pound weights.  Therefore, lifting him instead of the weights was plenty of effort and he thought it was fun “playing” with mommy.
How To Fit In a Workout As a New Mom
Staring at this cute face makes holding a plank much more bearable.  This position also works for push-ups.  Each time you go down, you can kiss baby.
How To Fit In a Workout As a New Mom
Paxton liked having me laying on the floor next to him.  Watching me was his entertainment while I did some upper body and ab exercises.
How To Fit In a Workout As a New Mom
In this exercise, I was holding him next to my chest and then straightening my arms out while twisting to the side.  I would bring him back to my chest while straightening and then twist the other way.  I usually do this with a 5 pound weight in each hand, so Paxton made it a much more exhausting exercise.
How To Fit In a Workout As a New Mom
We start our Saturdays with a family run.

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Remember something is better than nothing but give yourself grace.  You will learn to fit fitness into your life just like you’ve learned to fit everything else in.

What are your hacks for fitting fitness into your daily routine?  Share what’s working in the comments.

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How To Fit In a Workout As a New Mom

Mom Organization Hacks

Mom Organization Hacks

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Mom Organization Hacks

Who knew that babies came with so much stuff?  Certainly not my husband and me. 

As you start collecting baby stuff, you will need to become a master at organization if you have any hope of maintaining some order in your house.  But as a new parent, mastering organization is likely falling pretty low on your list of priorities.  Therefore, I’m here to help. 

If your kids are a little older, still check out the tips in this post, but also grab these tips on teaching kids to declutter for themselves.

I’m not going to solve your organization issues by telling you to get rid of a lot of things.  However, there is no doubt that it’s easier to organize when you have less stuff.  If you want tips on decreasing your things, check out the Marie Kondo show on Netflix or grab her book here

In the meantime, keep reading for my tips and ideas on how to organize all of the baby items to minimize clutter.

If you want some personal motivation and small steps to get the clutter under control, join my free one-week organization challenge here.

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Organizing Hacks

Pack away things that are not appropriate for your baby right now. 

Most things that you have for baby are needed frequently, so you want ready access.  However, you likely have some clothes and toys that your baby has outgrown.  Pack these away.  On the flip side, you may also have clothes that are too big or toys that are too advanced for the current stage.  These can also be packed away.  I keep a small storage tote in the back of my son’s closet for clothes that are too big.  I then also keep a box for clothes that he’s outgrown.  Once the box fills up, I move the clothes to space-saver bags.

Baby clothes in storage bags then shown in space saver bags.
We took two large, overflowing storage totes and condensed them into 3 space saver bags which then shrunk down to be thin enough to fit two per storage tote with room left over.

Maximize your storage space. 

Identify where you might be able to store things that don’t need to be readily accessible, and then make the most of that space.  If you have a closet, find which size storage tote fits best and then get a bunch that are the same size.  By using a uniform storage tote size, you will have easier stacking and therefore, can fit more.  I also highly recommend these storage bags.  Use these for all of the soft items like clothing and bedding.  You can then put them into the storage totes if you desire.  If you have a garage to store items, consider shelving or even overhead shelves to maximize the space for totes and boxes.

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For large, odd-shaped items, save the boxes. 

Many baby items that are used short-term are had to fit into storage totes.  For these items, save the boxes.  Just breakdown the boxes and store them up against a wall behind a dresser or storage tote.  Then when you are ready to pack away the item you have a perfect size box for it.  We did this with the newborn swing and the jumperoo

Store accessible items off the floor when possible. 

A crib, rocking chair and dresser take up a lot of space in a small nursery.  Therefore, decrease the items needing floor space as much as possible.  For stuffed animals, grab an animal net like this oneThis keeps all the stuffed animals contained without taking up any valuable floor space.  For books, get a couple of floating shelves like this or this.  They give you great storage without taking up any floor space.  If you have a closet, you could hang a lot of your baby’s clothing to decrease the size of the dresser you need.  Regardless though, use your closet as a place to put plastic storage drawer sets to increase your storage.  You can likely fit one high underneath of hanging clothes, or you may be able to stack a couple if you aren’t hanging clothes.  These are helpful for storing various items like diapers, wipes, formula, baby food, etc.

Roll clothes. 

When storing clothes in a dresser, you want to fit as much as possible but still be able to readily find all the cute outfits.  I found that rolling each item maximized the amount I could fit in each drawer while still making it possible to see everything. 

Mom Organization Hacks
With the items rolled, I can quickly find whatever I’m looking for by being able to see all the shirts at a glance.

Skip the diaper changing caddy. 

Instead of having a designated cart for all your diaper changing essentials, dedicate a top drawer of the dresser to diaper changing items.  This means one less item taking up floor space.

Diapers and gloves in a drawer.
The drawer on the top right of the dresser keeps diapers organized and readily accessible.

Get multi-purpose furniture. 

In the past, once baby was ready for a toddler bed the crib got stored for the next baby or sold/donated.  However, that’s no longer necessary.  There are a variety of cribs that are well-made and convert into a toddler bed, then a full bed.  A crib plus two small conversion sets provides a bed until your baby is ready to move out.  This means there is much less to store compared to storing an entire crib after the first couple years.  It’s also more economical than buying a completely new bed every few years.  These conversion cribs also often have matching dressers that double as changing tables.  The dresser we got for my son has a changing table topper.  Another way to decrease the amount of floor space taken up.

Take advantage of cute storage boxes. 

There is a good chance you will want an end table next to the glider.  When you get one, grab one of these that has an open space to fit a storage box.  You get the table and you can pick out a cute box to match the nursery décor. The box then works as a place to store items in a readily accessible way.  If you like the look of these boxes, you could even do larger shelves with them (either floating or regular if you have the floor space.). You could even use this awesome hack and roll the clothes inside the cube boxes!

Mom Organization Hacks
These are some of my Target favorites.

Use multi-purpose toy storage. 

For keeping toys contained, grab an ottoman like this one.  It looks nice in your living room and doubles as extra seating. 

Store puzzles efficiently.

Those chunky baby puzzles are great learning toys, but finding a way to store them and not lose the pieces can be challenging. I use plastic legal-sized envelopes that are see through like these. They are great for the Melissa and Doug chunky puzzles. You can then fasten them closed and store in a decorative box.

Repurpose containers. 

Some food containers make great storage!  I repurpose the Costco animal cracker containers for toy storage simply by making a label to cover the current one.  I also use drink mix containers to store small toys or diaper bag snacks.  If you want a baby-proof container, Tide Pod plastic containers work well.

Mom Organization Hacks
After my little piggy finishes the giant container of animal crackers (with hubby’s help) I put it to use because it’s really a great container.

Use small storage trays to keep drawers organized. 

When storing small items in drawers, it’s really easy for them to become disorganized.  Grab some of these plastic trays to compartmentalize your drawers and keep small items organized.  I also love these storage containers for keeping small toys contained inside an ottoman.

Mom Organization Hacks
Black storage baskets look nice in a drawer and keep hats, shoes, baby leggings and socks organized. Pro tip: Zip Tie the baskets together in the middle to keep them from sliding apart if they don’t completely fill the drawer.

Try to limit baby items to what is actually necessary. 

For what I’ve learned about which baby items you actually need check out the articles here, here, here, and here.

Final Thoughts

There are my tops tips and organizing items.  One final thought, when designing a baby nursery keep it practical with regards to storage.  So many nursery designs emphasize the cute but aren’t practical for storing all the items you will accumulate.  When designing your nursery, try to incorporate bins/baskets, drawer space, floating shelves and storage under the crib.

What Next?

I know the concepts seem easy, but actually having the motivation to tackle organization can be challenging. I’ve got two motivation solutions for you to try!

Right Now

Head over the YouTube and find some cleaning/tidying channels to follow. I really like Anna O’leary’s channel because watching her videos actually makes me want to go organize.

Overwhelmed at the Thought of Starting?

Mom Organization Hacks

If you are reading this, I’m guessing you are a parent, and I’m guessing you are tired. The thought of trying to organize when everything has gotten so far out of hand can be overwhelming. I want to help you tackle everything in a week. Join my free organization challenge where I break everything down into small tasks spread out over the course of the week. You get emails with simple tasks you can work through to tackle just one group of items at a time. If you follow along, you will make huge progress by the end of the week. You can sign up below or read more about the challenge here.

Organization Email Challenge

Join the completely free organization email challenge.

Do you want motivation to finally get all the baby/kid clutter under control? Sign up for the challenge and get daily tasks directly to your inbox.

    We won’t send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.
    Mom Organization Hacks

    Happy Organizing!

    If you found this helpful, subscribe in the sidebar to get all the latest news and tips.

    Mom Organization Hacks

    Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

    The Secret Life of Working Moms

    The Secret Life of Working Moms
    The Secret Life of Working Moms

    Being a Working Mom Is Hard

    Simply being a mom is hard, so there is no question that being a working mom is hard.  Even those that aren’t working moms don’t need much convincing.  However, exactly what that hard looks like varies greatly depending on your family situation and your career.  Here I’ll share what my schedule looks like as a working mom and share some thoughts from other working moms with very different careers and family situations.  If you are a mom getting ready to go back to work, grab my tips for returning to work.

    Working Mom Schedule

    Here’s what my typical day looks like with a 13-month-old and a career as a veterinary pharmacist.  Grab all my tips for managing working mom life here and here.


    Get up and get a quick 25-minute home workout in.  Grab my tips for fitting in a workout.

    6:25am – 6:50am

    Shower and get ready.  I’m a big fan of sleep, so my mornings don’t start early enough for me to fully style my hair.  Whatever I can do with it while it’s wet is the style of the day.


    Pack my lunch and breakfast and make coffee. I love fancy coffee, but a daily trip to Starbucks is not something I have the time or budget for. Therefore, I use my Nespresso and milk frother to make my skinny latte in the comfort of my own kitchen.


    Wake Paxton up


    Get Paxton started eating breakfast. He usually eats either a banana or an Ego waffle with butter and cinnamon sugar and water to drink. If he’s still hungry after that, we top off with some blueberries.


    Brief hubby on where Paxton is at in his morning routine. I’m lucky because John is a stay at home hubby, so I only have to get myself ready and out the door in the mornings.    When I leave, Paxton is usually still eating breakfast and wearing nothing but a diaper.


    Run out the door so I’m not late to work


    Arrive at work.

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    7:30am – 1pm

    Work. I’ll also find time to drink the coffee and eat the breakfast that I brought from home.  Some days it’s close to lunchtime before I get breakfast of overnight oats eaten but that’s a gamble I’m willing to take so that I can get a few extra minutes of sleep.


    Lunch break where I work on blog stuff, read the current book for my book club or browse social media.

    1:30pm – 6pm



    Leave work


    Get home. 

    6:20pm – 7pm

    Play with Paxton and get him ready for bed. John has already fed him dinner, so this time includes a bath, lotion, a couple of stories and a bottle of milk.

    7pm – 7:15pm

    Snuggle time with Paxton as he’s falling asleep.


    Put Paxton in his crib.  At this point, I won’t hear from him again until I get him up the following morning.


    This is the extent of my free time.  During this time, I catch up with hubby, eat dinner, pick up around the house, work on any projects I have going, watch TV and get ready for bed.  If I’m not in bed by around 9:30, my 5:45am alarm is awfully rough.

    Alternative Thursday Night

    On Thursdays, I work a second job in retail pharmacy after finishing my first. On that night, I go straight from job number one to job number two.  I end up getting home at 9pm in time to eat dinner, catch up with hubby and go to bed.

    This schedule allows me to work 4 days that are 10 hours each which gives me three full days to spend with Paxton.  While I have limited time with him on the days I work, it’s nice having an extra day completely free.

    This is what my typical weekday involves.  However, it doesn’t capture when I have weekend work trips or pick up an extra shift in retail. I usually have one or the other of these once to twice a month.

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    Doing housework either falls to hubby or I do it on my days off because I’m generally too exhausted after a long day at work.  If you are managing to find time and motivation for organization, you can grab my organization hacks here. If you are overwhelmed by baby clutter, but don’t have the mental energy to tackle it, join my free email challenge where I help you get all the kid items under control in small steps.

    Working Moms in Other Professions

    Now that you’ve seen my schedule, career and family differences mean that no two moms have the same working mom experience. Here are summaries of working mom life from 4 other working moms.

    Working At Home

    Abby Jacobs has a 16-month-old and is a parenting blogger. For her, being a working parent looks a bit different than most. She said, “I work from home, so the time I put into my blog is broken up throughout the day. As soon as my son is down for a nap I hurry to get to work and try to get as much done as I can in that time period. It also means I’m up working after his bedtime most nights. But, it also means I get to enjoy him while he’s awake. My job allows me the unique opportunity to raise, support, influence, and be a key part in his life–all while making money from home!”

    Working With Other People’s Kids

    Mary Smith is a teacher with a 5-month-old and a 2-year-old at home.  Here’s what being a working mom is like for her. “As an elementary school teacher, I spend my entire day with children. I wake up at 5AM to get myself ready before I get my own babies ready for daycare. The drive to work is the only peace I will see until my head hits the pillow at night. Many don’t realize being in education is so much more than just teaching. I plan every minute of every day, accounting for different learning abilities and interests. I manage disciplining 20 tweens going through 3 learning stations per hour, and also make sure they are staying on task. I mediate disputes between students and counsel the ones having problems. Tutor, nurse, janitor, and lunch lady are a few of the other roles I play each day. And breaks? Spent in the closet pumping milk for my infant, then speeding off to meet/call parents, write lesson plans, grade papers, finish documentation…or if I’m really lucky, I get to sit for a brief moment to eat some lunch in the 15 minutes I have left for myself.

    By the time I leave work, I am mentally exhausted. I’ve given all my energy to my students, and sometimes feel I have nothing left over for my own kids. It’s a mad dash to get in the front door, let the dogs out, change the diapers, get dinner fixed, clean the kitchen, bathe the boys and then try to find a few minutes of quality time with them. Some days we don’t even manage a story before bed. But I do the best I can and make the best of the weekends and holidays. When it gets tough, I just remind myself how lucky I am to get off for so many breaks and summer vacation, because some working parents don’t even have that.”

    Fixed Working Hours

    When asked what being a working parent is like, Clio Franconi said, “Running all the time.”  She has a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old and is a director’s assistant.  She explained working life as, “I have fixed working hours, and even if my work environment is cool, I still struggle to get there on time and then have to rush to go pick-up the kids. Everything has to be calculated, organized, and planned so that either one of us parents can go take care of our kids before the school closes. (Plus of course, all the rest of the chores). It’s great to be able to have some adult time and share it with awesome co-workers, but frankly, it is exhausting. There’s so little time to just be together, as even when we do spend time to play or read in the evening, everyone is so tensed and tired after the whole day running around. On the other hand, when I’m at home, I can completely shut the work drawer in my head and dedicate myself fully to my husband and kids. The boundaries between the two are very clear and they don’t get mixed, which helps me concentrate on the present moment.”

    When You Have a Lot of Kids

    Trish Brockway is a labor & delivery nurse with 7 kids at home ranging in age from 4 to 28!  Here’s her take on working mom life. “My career was my dream and calling from a young age. I love it! I love the hours and how I can work it around my family life. For many years I have been a travel nurse. Traveling has worked well for our family, as we also homeschool. I love that my children have toured the country and seen more of it than most adults can claim. We studied the Alamo while walking through it. My kids could stop and imagine the life of the men trapped inside the walls. How cool is that?
    I am also fortunate to work as a PRN nurse when not traveling, which means I set my schedule. The hours a nurse works, twelve-hour days, is a blessing and a curse. My day starts early and ends late. I leave my younger children before they wake. I kiss them goodbye while they sleep and most often, kiss them next after they are asleep at night.” 

    Final Thoughts

    Working mom life varies greatly depending on how many kids you have and their ages, the demands of your career, your husband’s work situation, and your work schedules. For example, my daily schedule looked very different when I had a newborn and I was still breastfeeding. 

    Just don’t let the working mom guilt get the best of you.  You can read my story with mom guilt here. But remember this is a mental battle.  After you read my mom guilt experience, read about why being a working mom is awesome. No two experiences are the same, but they are all hard and can all be rewarding. 

    Are you a working mom?  What has your experience been like?

    The Secret Life of Working Moms