Balance for Back-to-School

By Maria Bailey

The lazy days of summer have quickly faded. When the back-to-school ads start popping up, many moms feel bittersweet: the kids are back in school (yeah!) but here come the school schedule, homework, fund raising events, and family obligations. Let's remember to add in time for mom.

Here are some quick tips and thoughts to help busy moms balance the demands of work, life, family and self.

  1. Define Balance: You donít know when you get there if you donít know where youíre going. Draw a picture of yourself in balance so you know how you define balance.

  2. Values vs. Priorities: Many moms have a long list of tasks that donít always fulfill their personal values. Make a list of your individual values and then view it against your priorities today. Moms feel out of balance when their values and priorities are not aligned.

  3. Do a Time Audit: It works for money. Many mothers donít value their time in the same way that they value their money. If you change your value mentality about time, you will likely possess it differently.

  4. Own Your Stress: No one likes to be told to do something or feel like they are unwillingly being forced to complete a task. Look at the items on your ďto-doĒ list and ask yourself if you are doing it because you really enjoy doing the task? You may discover that the tasks causing you stress are actually tasks you enjoy doing. Own it!

  5. Pay it Forward: Repay the favor with other moms before you actually need to ask another mom for a favor. If you happen to be off from work, then volunteer to drive other kids with your children so when you need the same favor later, youíve already paid it forward.

  6. Create a Good Support System: Look to high school kids and retirees to hire for an extra set of hands.

  7. Cook on Sundays: Meal planning takes a lot of time and effort during the week when you are tired. Pre-cook meals on Sundays so during the week, you have them ready to go. Roast a chicken, make some pasta sauce or pre-boil rice and refrigerate for later.

  8. Donít Forget to Use Your Business Skills at Home: As a working mother, you have organization skills you use in the office. Donít forget to bring them at home. Use an Inbox and Outbox to direct school paper traffic. Use post-it notes to label calendars with childrenís needs and activities.

  9. Exercise: An object in motion stays in motion. Get your body moving and it will produce the energy you need to juggle it all.

  10. Donít forget to laugh.

Maria Bailey is the co-founder of, and and the host of Mom Talk Radio. She is the mother of four and author of The Ultimate Mom.