Forget all notions about being Superwoman. By now, you’ll know that it was fictitious and she didn’t have children anyway!

Being a working mum takes some effort. All the juggling of childcare, shopping, work commitments, social activities for the children, and then just taking a breath for yourself can be exhausting.

Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, author of a book we recently review here on Mothers Who Work – Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, says: “Trying to do it all and expecting that it all can be done exactly right is a recipe for disappointment. Perfection is the enemy.”

It’s true that we strive to have as much of that cake and eat it as we can swallow, but asking for help, demanding it and making your circumstances work for you is key to the success of working mums.

If you needs some tips to make home life easier, you’ll find them here.

1. Do as much as you can online

Whether it’s the weekly shop, or paying bills, try to get as electronic as you can. with the grocery shopping, order as much as your home and budget can hold, and store them away. Your regular essentials can be stored on most supermarket websites so you don’t have to keep adding the same items each time you go to order. Make the most of this.

Pay your bills by direct debit (what aren’t you doing this already?). You can keep track of the goings on in your bank account by mobile banking, too, so that you know when bills have been paid, and to keep track of your spending.

2. Start to say, ‘No’

Being polite doesn’t mean being a walk over. If you really can’t attend the opening of an envelope (social activity), make your apologies and leave it there. Trying to please everyone in every social circle in your life will drain you! You probably won’t be the best company if your exhausted and irritable, anyway!

3. Don’t do the laundry or ironing everyday

If you can afford to pay the laundrette to do it for you once a week, then do. That would leave you to just unload the washing and put them in drawers at home. If you’r happy doing the washing but hate ironing, try folding clothes as soon as them dry, so that they don’t crease. Or pay someone else to do it for you. There are companies popping up to do ironing collection and delivery, so you might want to use them for school uniform and work clothes, so that you don’t have to worry about it during the weekend or your days off.

4. Plan your meals ahead

Cooking can be time consuming, but there’s a certain resentment that stirs when you have to slave over a hot stove after a long day at work. Try batch cooking for the week and save yourself a few hours in your evenings to put your feet up.

You can take this as far as you want, but for tips on how to meal plan and batch cook for families, head to YouTube and do a search for those terms; there are many mums with large households (especially from the US who homeschool, work from home and do everything else) posting videos about how they batch cook – you’ll be enlightened.

5. Start to delegate

Being a martyr won’t get you further than on your sickbed. start asking (demanding) for help. Get older children involved in tidying up after themselves and doing chores. It takes a household to create the mess, so it takes a household to tidy up. Think of it as good training for when they go off to university or move out!

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