How I Cheat At Being a Working Mom

Being a working mom is tough. Your day starts at the crack of dawn and ends long after the kids have gone to bed. Not only do you have to make sure your kids are cared for, homework gets done, the house gets cleaned, everyone gets fed and all of that, you have to show up to your job and be the best employee you can be.

I’m exhausted even thinking about it and I do it every day.

Then there’s the guilt. You feel like you’re never enough. You’re never a good enough mom. Never a good enough housekeeper. Not good enough at your job. Forget about being a good enough wife/partner.

For six years I have been trying to find the balance between home and work, and here are a few “cheats” I’ve done to get myself there. I’ll be honest, most of them involve spending money. But I figure, if I’m trading my family time for work time, I can invest some of that back into having more time for my family.



1. House Cleaning

I pay for house cleaners. I’m not a great housekeeper to begin with (although, I’m working on it), but I just don’t have time for the deep cleaning that my house seems to need on a regular basis. For less than $200/month, very nice ladies come and clean my house for me, freeing me up to spend more time with my kids on the weekends.

2. Meal Plan Delivery

For awhile, I was in a food rut. I know how to cook, and I like to cook, but I never got around to meal planning and shopping. I ended up making the same meals over and over again and ordering pizza and fast food more than I care to admit. Now, we use Home Chef. Home Chef doesn’t do the cooking for you, but it does send you fresh ingredients for meals that are delicious and easy to cook in 30-40 minutes. We have tried almost every ingredient and recipe subscription service out there and, for us, Home Chef wins. The meals are always tasty and I cannot buy the ingredients for the amount I am paying. I usually get 3-5 meals Want to try it? Want $30 off? Click here. This is my referral code; if you order through my link, you get $30 off and so do I. Win win! I’m serious guys, this was life changing!


3. Recruit My Kids

Now that two of my kids are old enough to clean up a bit, they are required to do so. Toys on the floor? Pick them up if you ever want to see them again. Finished your lunch? Put that dish in the dishwasher. My husband even pays them a dollar a week to pick up the dog poop in the backyard – which they fight over. Yeah, I’m hanging on to that one for their teenage years. “You used to beg us to pick up dog poop.”

4. I Became a Minimalist

There’s a lot less to clean and worry about if you don’t have that much to begin with. I also adopted the Capsule Wardrobe concept. Getting ready in the morning takes much less time when everything coordinates and works together. Also life changing! If you’re intrigued with the idea of a capsule wardrobe, I recommend Project 333 (<<<Not an affiliate link, I just like her structure) as a great jumping off point Now, if I could just convince everyone else in my house that we are now minimalists.

5. I Cut Back on Shopping With Amazon Prime

We use Amazon Family and subscribe and save for just about every household consumable you can imagine including as much food as possible. It’s so much more than diapers and wipes (though, if you’re in the market, I haven’t found a better deal short of extreme couponing)! And hey! Here are some deals for that too.

39 thoughts on “How I Cheat At Being a Working Mom”

  • I think it’s called outsourcing lol when you pay someone to do something for you. Being a mom alone is tough – so good on you for “cheating”. I think it’s good decision making.

  • Great ideas! I’m all for outsourcing jobs that don’t contribute to your purpose. Right now I’m at the point where I have a bit more time than money (#newlywedstages), so it’s better for me to just clean the bathroom than try to get money together to have someone else do it – BUT, I could definitely see in the long run us using services like cleaning or meal delivery (. . . although, I often love cooking). Great post! I love that you want to regain your time so you can spend it with your family. Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

    • Every stage of life Makes me wonder why I used to think I was busy. Congrats on being a newlywed, that’s the perfect time to create a foundation for building a wonderful life together.

      And I still cook almost everything from scratch. Home Chef, Hello Fresh, Blue Apron companies like that just send you the ingredients and recipes so you don’t have to meal plan (which I’m terrible at) or shop (which I don’t have time for).

  • I am definitely with you on the guilt thing. Everybody’s situation is different. Having a cleaning lady is awesome and I remember for a while I was working and doing my own everything. I was never done and always tired. Enjoying life is worth paying for if you can and if you can’t I believe it’s ok to have an imperfectly messy home and simple meals and a happy family.
    I refuse to grow old and regret not making any memories but pat myself on the back because my house was perfect. You know what I mean? Just not worth it. Memories are better.

    • My mother-in-law is a neat freak and thinks I’m a huge slob. She used to talk all the time about how you could always eat off her floors and that her children were never dirty. But I’ve also heard her wonder out loud if she should have just spent more time just being with her kids.

  • It’s so unfair! It seems, no matter what we choose, as women, we always feel torn. Stay at home mom? She feels guilty that her kids don’t have money to participate in a thousand extra-curricular activities, and that her husband has to shoulder the financial burden alone. Work outside the home mom? She feels guilty that she has to spend all of the family’s “free time” shopping, cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry. I think we all could benefit from being more kind to each other, and extending a LOT of grace. This seems to be a problem that is unique among women…I think few men feel guilty about dividing their time and energy between work and family. I love that you have taken charge and made a choice to outsource some of the more menial household tasks to allow you to spend more quality time together! Good job, Momma!

    • I think you’re right that men don’t feel the same burden we do. No one ever tells a man that someone else is “raising” their child because they have a job, it’s silly.

  • Awesome article! I can totally relate to your dilemma! Although I work remotely, it’s still pretty hard juggling household duties, a toddler, demands of the job, and everything else! I definitely think that “cheating” to spend more time with your family is understandable! I love using Amazon as well, especially Prime and Amazon Fresh! It’s a realy life-saver! Love your article! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • These are some great tips! Heck, I am a stay at home mom and I wish I had a maid service! I can’t wait till my daughter is old enough to help around the house!

  • Great tips! I use Amazon a lot. It saves SO much time. I do meal planning and create very simple meal plans and then I do a lot of prep work on the weekends and even make freezer meals. I wish I had a house keeper! My last one quit to do other work and I haven’t found a replacement. I miss having the help around the house!

  • Great tips! My husband and I just recently bought a business and I am therefore working out of the house for the first time in years and I’m definitely going to have to “cheat” a little just to keep my sanity!

  • I DON’T EVEN HAVE KIDS AND I NEED THESE IN MY LIFE! Seriously though, the hustle is REAL and I feel like between blogging and working full-time, I just do NOT have time for cleaning or getting my shit together on a regular basis, lol. I’ve already adopted the extreme Amazon Prime usage (who has time for Target runs?! Those turn into entire evenings…) πŸ˜‰

  • Working at home is not as easy as other people think. I have been juggling trying to make a perfect routine that will work for me. I have a young one and a dog, as well as chickens I need to take care off. It’s tough sometimes but I just tell myself I can do this. Sometimes I think being a super mom comes out of me hahhahha. This is a great cheat list, thank you so much. I am trying it.

  • I agree! Sometimes you just have to cut corners. We’ve often talked about getting a cleaning service because it takes up so much time and our schedules don’t always allow for it!

  • I don’t think this is cheating! It should be ways that you succeed at being a working mom (and prioritizing what matters most)! The cleaning companies around here charge $150 per week if you do weekly cleaning (it’s higher if you do less frequent). So, $200/month is a great deal!

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