Moms Who Work Outside the Home: Organizing Your Day

Business womans purse with cosmetics, accessories and baby things emerging from the opening

You walk into daycare, toddler Emma in tow, and you can already tell that drop-off isn't going to be smooth. In fact, you'd like to drop off the planet right about now. The teacher greets you in her robe and slippers, and just as you start to wonder about her mind, you remember: It's Preschool Pajama Day.

When Emma realizes the mistake, the waterworks begin. A quick call to your husband yields one late-for-work daddy, but he saves the day by bringing a pint-sized pair of PJs for Emma. "Being a hero has its price," you tell him when he starts to complain, and then you give both him and your daughter a quick kiss, a weak smile and an apologetic shrug.

On the way out the door, your stomach growls, and you remember that you also forgot to eat breakfast. Working outside the home is hard enough, but these morning transitions are killers.

"I've got to get it together," you mutter to yourself," or we're all going to fall apart."

If you work outside the home, you've probably been there — and made a similar vow not to go there again.

My goal is to help you lay out some solid routines, spawn some organizational ideas and encourage you to plan ahead in order to avoid falling apart. I wish I could promise you that if you follow these tips, you'll never forget Pajama Day or be in such a hurry you forget to eat breakfast — but we're all human, and even the best of plans sometimes fail.

Your goal is not to create a perfect life devoid of bumps and interruptions; it is to smooth out what you can, create systems that help control the chaos and then learn to go with the flow when all else fails. A little humor, a little innovation, a little creativity and, frankly, learning the skill of "letting it go and blowing it off" is a big part of being a happier, more realistic and peaceful mom.

From The Working Mom's 411 © 2009 by Michelle LaRowe. Published by Regal Books, Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Next in this Series: Taming the Transition Times