Working Mom Life: The “New Normal”

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The working mom “New Normal” was kicking my butt, so this is how I adjusted.

I love to plan.

Back in the day, Filo Fax or Franklin Covey were the planners of choice. Today there are hundreds of ways to plan and organize your schedule!

I’ve had to work to be good at this.

Time management and good habits are something I have had to work at, and using a planner was not always my strength. In my career, I coach others and there is no better way to learn a subject than by putting it in to practice yourself. Participating in and subsequently delivering training on time management, my habits improved.

My ability to plan improved.

Devoting time to what was most important to me and my values first improved. It was never perfect, but the intention and attention to making the most of my days were there.

Planning During a Pandemic

When the pandemic started, which also meant working from home and virtual school, calendar items were being canceled left and right. And in March/April things started going off the rails. What day is it? What time is it?

I cast my much-honed way of planning aside because my planners and wall calendars were not working for me anymore.

I switched over to a digital calendar and planning methods.

Without the structure of a regular workday and school day, sports and a social calendar time got fuzzy. Good habits got broken, and bad habits formed. It was fun for a while. It reminded me of my childhood when school was canceled for two weeks because of a blizzard. In the beginning, it was so exciting, and then it wasn’t fun anymore. I just started feeling blah.

With getting back to work in the office and school starting up again, it was time to get back on track. But how?

My search for a solution led me down several rabbit holes. There are so many options for keeping track of schedules, habits, self-care, meal planning, and budgets.

You could fill your phone with apps. And I did.

As I tried app after app: One Calendar, Calendar, Noom, Calm, Digit, and the list goes on. It became dizzying, having so many places to check and check-in.

There had to be a simpler solution.

I had my “A-Ha!” moment a few weeks before school was scheduled to be back in session. I needed to go back to my old friends, the paper planner, and wall calendar.

Choosing these items could be another rabbit hole; there are so many to choose from. I kept it simple and went back to my favorite planner, Passion Planner.

It’s the one I used most successfully, and they happen to make a version that follows the academic calendar. I stepped up my game a little for the wall calendar and bought a quarterly one in a nice frame.

The calendars from banks and insurance companies are hard to come by these days!