With women making up 46.7% of the labor force according to the U.S. Department of Labor, and with a total of 23.2 million working moms in 2010, the do-all woman is becoming the everyday woman.
But there’s still a certain super hero awe that other women feel towards working moms who find a way to do it all. We ask ourselves how they so gracefully juggle thriving careers, motherhood, kids’ extracurriculars, social lives, cooking, quality family time, housework etc., with a sigh and a smile, reaching deep for and finding that glue that holds them together.
Don’t be deceived. It’s not easy for anyone.
So we asked other everyday LA working moms for ideas and tips on how to save time and how to keep the hats revolving more smoothly.
- Make lists.
- Prioritize, but go easy on yourself.
- Enlist help from the little ones. Even though it takes them forever to do stuff they can do a simple task while you do the harder one. For example: You wash the dishes while they stack a few.
- Reward yourself and kids with together time that's free time. That makes chores go faster.
- For family entertainment, stay on top of calendars for local theaters and concert venues to save activity planning time and prep the night before with, cash for the parking lot, directions, snacks, change of clothes etc. (Memorial Park in Pasadena hosts a free summer concert series with Wednesday family night).
- Also, take advantage of package activity deals. In the long run, they’re cheaper and you don’t have to waste time hunting for things to do. You already have your tickets, so avoid waiting in lines. (Alex Theater in Glendale in cooperation with LACO, Los Angeles County Orchestra, hosts great kids-geared concerts to buy in packages and Hollywood Bowl has series of tickets you could buy that are kid-friendly).
- Make use of the shuttles that go all over LA to get some R&R on the ride over, or if you’re really ambitious, incorporate an educational activity.
- When out somehwere interesting, go to the gift shop and buy unique gifts that you can use for birthday parties, so you don't have to scramble before the parties.
- Victoria Ortiz, LA Mom, Editor
It's the little things that make mom life in L.A. run smoothly:
- ALWAYS have quarters in the car for the meter. Not in your purse, pocket or wallet. In the car! Then, use your phone alarm to go off 15 mins before your meter expires. That way, you won't get a ticket and will have plenty of time to shlep your kid back to the meter if you have to plug it.
- If you take a little one to an unfamiliar restaurant for some ridiculous reason (like your childless friends want to meet you at their favorite place in the most family unfriendly neighborhood in the city and you don't have anyone to watch your baby) - call ahead and check to see if they have high chairs/boosters/whatever you need. You would be surprised how many simply don't have them. If they don't - kindly suggest a new meet up spot to your well-rested, clueless friends.
- Move to the Valley.
- Amy Anderson, LA Mom, Comedian
Prep the night before. You’ll save time and stress and be a good example for your kids.
- For the kids:
- Set out clothes, including shoes and socks, for the next day.
- Make sure their homework is in their backpack.
- Pack whatever you can for their lunches, if you make lunches.
- Re-stock the diaper bag.
- For you:
- Set out your own outfit, including jewelry, bag, shoes.
- If you have a big meeting, try on your outfit to avoid the morning panic.
- Charge your cell phone.
- Place your car keys by the door.
- E-mail or text yourself details like a meeting address, or contact numbers of someone you need to call back.
- Pull out your calendar:
- Is it your turn to bring snacks?
- Is it show and tell day?
- Is there a form you need to sign?
- Is there a birthday party Sat that you need to buy a gift for on the way home?
- Lee Rose Emery, LA Mom, Writer, LACityMom.com
- Pre-plan errands by scheduling from farthest location and ending closest to your home or child’s school for easy pick up. LA moms must also consider traffic hours.
- Set up a pick-up or drop off carpooling with another parent. This way you can have extra time to work or unwind.
- Order groceries online for two weeks
- Invest in a crock pot.
- Multi-task. For example: Take a conference call/business call while doing a quiet chore like folding laundry.
- Leave sports equipment like ice skates, soccer balls, softballs in the trunk after each game to avoid running around collecting everything last minute on game day or practice days.
- Don't waste hours on social media sites.
- Laura Filipowicz, LA Mom, CEO/Founder of BagLady Promotions
- Use the rail lines whenever you can. They cut down on travel time, searching for parking and dealing with crazy LA traffic. Kids love riding the trains, and they stop at many of LA’s main locations, including downtown for work.
- Plan meals. This way, you budget groceries according to what you’ll use and have a menu prepped ahead of time to avoid the "what am I going to cook?" quandary every night. You can also break from routine and try new, quick recipes almost every day.
- Yolanda, LA Sassy Mama, Student, Professional
- Cook food for the week on Sundays – like a veggie soup from Farmer’s Market vegetables, lentil salad, easy pasta and tempeh with Braggs Amino Acids. It provides some staples you won't have to create during the mad 5-to-7pm power hours.
- Amy Swift Crosby, LA Mom, Founder of SMARTY