By Elizabeth Smith

A couple of months ago I wrote a blog with a list of tips and tricks for how to help manage the crazy that is being a working mom. Unfortunately my list of tips and tricks was not enough. I am still getting my arms around this adventure that is being a working mom of two. When my conscious decisions were not enough to keep it all straight my brain took it upon itself to forget some things. While I would not recommend these activities I am hoping you will join me in a good laugh at them.

~ Matching. This was my first unconscious act of survival. The picture above is an actual image of me at work at 3:30 in the afternoon, which is how long it took me to realize that I was not wearing matching shoes. After my co-worker and I rolled around in laughter word started to spread through the office and people came by to check it out. My favorite question was, “Did you get dressed in the dark?” and this was a sincere question from people. The dark? No I was just getting dressed while getting two children dressed, packing a lunch, feeding the dog and trying to not be more than 10 minutes late out the door.

~ Driving the Speed Limit. The first time I got pulled over in February I was horrified to learn that I was driving 40 in a 25. I was sure that it was 35, but nope, the officer was absolutely correct it was 25. The second time I got pulled over in February I am not even sure how much I was speeding because I was crying so hard. After the officer left, I took a minute to reflect and my only defense was that I was too busy (in my head) to pay attention to speed limits. I mean, why was everyone on my case? All I was doing was creating my grocery list, thinking of things I needed to tell my husband, and mentally creating the agenda for the next PTA meeting? Was I really supposed to pay attention to every time the speed limit changed during my commute? I mean it changes a lot and I ain’t got time for that.

In addition to these subconscious actions I have adopted some more habits to help me survive. These I would actually recommend you start trying..

~ Avoid Stores. At first I couldn’t imagine that paying $5 to the grocery store to fill my online order would be a good use of my money. But after having my second baby I didn’t want to take her to the grocery store so I tried it out. The end result was quite different than I anticipated. I actually saved money! With online shopping, the temptation to grab a few extra things is barely there. Also, you have all of the sales information at your fingertips and you can substitute one brand over another. If I forget something at the last minute, it just takes me a second to add it. All in all, $5 typically saves me $15, and I like coming out ahead!

~ Lists. Lists, lists and more lists, but I never use paper. I love a list. Checking things off makes me feel great the whole activity makes me feel organized. But after two kids, I could never find my lists. Where was I when I started it? Was I here or at work? Was it Monday or Wednesday? And then I remembered there is a notepad on my phone, and if there is one thing I try never to lose (not counting the kids), it is my phone. Grocery list is there, honey-do list is there, cleaning list is there, password list is there. Then I have adopted a love of Pinterest. Party ideas, gift ideas, clothing ideas, etc. I can’t remember anything these days and it drives me crazy! So it is either on a list on my phone or on a Pinterest board.

(On a side note, don’t ever search Pinterest for lunch packing ideas. I thought PB&J and turkey were getting boring so I figured I would take a look. The HORROR! There are moms that have entire blogs written about using cookie cutters in their kid’s lunches or creating amazing theme meals in the lunch box. If you have never experienced a Pinterest-induced low self-esteem moment then be forewarned before you get on the website. There are moms out there with way more time on their hands then we could ever imagine and their stomping ground is Pinterest.)

~ Audio Books. I love reading. It is my favorite pastime, but since having two kids, I just can’t make the time for it like I used to. When people used to mention audio books to me, I thought it was the lazy person’s way to read. (I was so quick to judge pre-kids!) Now that I have downloaded an app, I listen to books during my commute or while doing laundry or washing dishes. It helps me fit in some me time without having to add any additional hours to the day.

Working moms – what can you add to Elizabeth’s list?