Like so many parents out there, I work full-time outside my home. I have a job I love that sometimes requires late nights, weekends, and on very rare occasions, an overnight trip. Work is where I thrive and grow in my skills but it can also be a challenging place to be if things are a little crazy at home. Somedays, I leave the house barely dressed, unfed, and un-caffeinated. After wrestling with kids all morning, I have very little time to get my life together for the day. But I’ve had almost 6 years now to learn a thing or two that I’d like to share with you.
- Emergency kits are a must. I keep not one, but 2 emergency kits in the two places I spend the most time outside of my home: my office and my car. Emergency kits provide a safety net for the days I leave the house barely ready for work. Each one of my kits has the following:
- Hair and makeup: Makeup, bobby pins, hairbrush and hairspray
- Hygiene: Toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, sewing kit and deodorant
- First Aid: pads, cough drops, pain meds, bandaids and anti-diarrheal pills (for when you realize all too late, you DID get that stomach virus your kid had last night)
- Granola bars and instant coffee packets because you don’t want to know the me that is without caffeine.
Pro Tip: You don’t have to spend a ton of money, just get travel sizes and drugstore makeup! The goal is to feel and look like a winner, even on the roughest days.
- There’s An App for That. Late for a meeting and forgot to print your notes? Left your paper calendar in the car? It’s 2017, you should have basic versions of your entire life in documents on your phone/tablet/laptop. Google Drive, Evernote, the Outlook App and DropBox are my favorites. When in doubt, back them things up.
- Food Prep. I may work full-time but I still can’t afford to eat out every day. I rarely leave the house without food and drinks. Take 20 minutes right before bed to pack your lunch and prep your coffee maker. You’ll be glad you did when things occasionally go off-script in the morning. Not to mention, you’ll save so much money! Here are a few of my favorite tips for meals on the go: Easy Lunch Ideas for Work and Bento Box Ideas
- Lay out your clothes. Just like taking the time to meal prep, if you pick out your work clothes the night before, you’ll be relieved if and when you step out of the shower and onto a lego or a kid that just threw up. While you’re dealing with the unexpected, it’s nice knowing you at least already know what you’re going to wear.
- Work your escape into the workday. Sometimes, the only alone time I get is when I’m at work. If that is the case for you, then work your small daily escapes like work outs or shopping into your work day. Take your lunch and plan to do something you can feel good about for a little self-care.