Practical tips for working mums

How do parents manage to get out of the house to work when they have a small child? Here are some tips from real parents on how to juggle your career and baby

“Keep an eye on the time. We have an hour and a half in the morning and we section it into three slots – feed and dress the kids, one of us gets dressed and showers, and the other one gets dressed and showers. Having 30 minutes to myself makes a huge difference to how I feel and stops me getting stressed and grumpy.”

Sarah, mum to 14 month old Jess

“My friend used to use voice notes on her phone to make work notes while she was pushing the buggy to nursery so she felt organised and ready to go when she arrived.”

Rachel, mum to 10 month old twins Robert and Andrew

“Make your boundaries clear. Don’t check email while you’re trying to get your baby out of the door for nursery but when you get to work, do be present.”

Julia, mum to Rory, 8 months and Leah, 23 months

“I put the bowls, cereal etc. out and the kids’ bags in the car the night before, with their whole outfits hanging up ready to go so that we have as little as possible to do in the morning.”

Zoe, mum to Josh, 14 months and Rosie, 3 years old

“Use your network of mums to help, take turns picking up each other’s children and dropping at nursery or school. It takes a village and all that.”

Susie, mum to Lyra, 21 months

“You’ll never have time to make dinner when you come in from work so batch cook at the weekend then in the morning, just pull something out of the freezer for that night.”

Lucy, mum to Benny, 19 months

“If you have older children, get them to do tasks to help – they can be ‘shoe monitor’ or ‘coat monitor’, they will generally love to contribute anyway.”

Rose, mum to Billie, 18 months and Rosie, 3 years

“Shower, wash and curl/straighten your hair and pick your clothes out the night before. That way when you’re juggling in the morning, at least all you have to do for yourself is shove your clothes on, do your make-up and you still feel a bit ‘done’ and like your old self.”

Janine, mum to Joseph, 15 months

“First down the stairs and ready chooses the cereal. That gets them moving…”

Anushka, mum to Aliyah, 22 months and Ishmael, 5 years

“Never choose your baby’s outfit in the morning. Lay it out and pack their changing bag the night before too so that first thing, you just grab it and go. Same goes for your bag too actually…”

Annie, mum to Henry, 16 months

“I used to shout and scream at the kids and we had really stressful mornings until I had the revelation to set the alarm an hour earlier. It’s ridiculous how big a difference it’s made to our mornings. And definitely worth it even if I get a bit less sleep.”

Roma, mum to Naveen, 17 months and Baya, 4 years

“If pushed for time – and I’m not saying this is ideal parenting – I find getting them dressed and teeth brushed etc. happens a lot more quickly if they are in front of Paw Patrol/Fireman Sam/whatever programme they’re currently obsessed with, just for ten minutes in the morning.”

Maggie, mum to Rebecca, 8 months and Alexander, 24 months

“If they’re old enough not to make a mess with breakfast, make sure they get dressed before they come downstairs. It sounds simple but if they come down in their pyjamas, it’s a nightmare herding them back up to get ready.”

Sam, mum to Isabel, 22 months and Shaw, 5 years

“Leave ten minutes before you need to, always. I don’t know how it happens but that time is always eaten up in the mornings, somehow.”

George, mum to Lily, 19 months

Further information

Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.

You might find attending one of our Early Days groups helpful as they give you the opportunity to explore different approaches to important parenting issues with a qualified group leader and other new parents in your area.

Make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area for support and friendship by seeing what NCT activities are happening nearby.

Working Families is the UK’s leading work-life balance organisation. The charity helps working parents and carers and their employers find a better balance between responsibilities at home and work. You can call their helpline on 0300 012 0312 or email: advice@workingfamilies.org.uk

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