Part II: The Ultimate Juggling Act – Young Children and Work – Organized Moms Are Happier

March 22, 2023

Second in a Series

Trying to find that oh-so-delicate and important balance between children and work can be exasperating. There are ways to successfully navigate this unique time. Here’s the second in a series of articles on how to make it a more joyful and manageable time for you and your family.

Set up a family calendar.

How can a parent possibly keep track of each family member’s comings and goings in their head? Its’s just too much – no one can keep it all straight without a calendar! Help yourself stay sane by noting each week’s work schedules, who’s assigned to pick up the children ─ when and where  ─ daycare closings, caretakers’ availability, visits from friends and family, activities, etc. You can use family organizer apps like Cozi or Hub and add a daily reminder on your smartphone to update the calendar. Or you can use a traditional wall calendar. If you go this route, look for one with a layout that allows enough space on each day for all your notes and use an erasable pen to make changes easy. A family calendar can turn chaos into calm and be your new best friend.

It takes a village. 

Even before children come into the picture, your routine already feels like it couldn’t get any busier. But as young ones shift your life’s focus, tasks and chores that were once manageable often fall through the cracks. Sleep is more important than ever especially when baby has been up in the night! Is there a partner, friend, or family member in your “village” who can share some of the responsibilities? Would someone be able to regularly pick up diapers, formula, groceries, or sundries when they go shopping, do a load of wash, fetch your child from daycare, or babysit while you take a nap? It may be difficult at first to let go of your pre-baby routine but getting help during this new phase of your life will help you be a better parent and employee.

When you head home from your Luminous Early Childhood Learning Center in Brooklyn or the Bronx with little ones in tow, how can you squeeze in cuddles and a little playtime and still get a nutritious dinner on the table quickly?

  • Plan meals weekly. Make a weekly menu, list the ingredients required, and make one shopping trip for everything. A roasted chicken or turkey breast is tasty and just needs warming. Frozen vegetables can be a good alternative to fresh ones that may perish if not used right away. If you run out of something, be brave  ─  try substituting ingredients.
  • Prep over the weekend. If you’re missing your more complicated meals, do it when you have more time, like over the weekend or when baby’s sleeping or napping. Make enough for at least a few meals, and freeze what you’re not going to eat immediately.
  • Use your slow cooker if you have one, prepping ingredients the evening before so you just have to fill the pot and turn on before you leave for work!  Voila, dinner is ready when you come home!
  • Prep finger foods. For those days when you’re too busy to make a meal, at least your little ones can still eat pretty well. Prep healthy finger foods like crumbled-up hard-boiled eggs, washed and finely chopped, baby-safe fruits and veggies, and small cubes of cheese. For teeny ones, you might try preparing purees ahead of time by storing them in ice cube trays to be thawed out when necessary.

Stick to a bedtime routine for your little one.

When you’re missing time with your little one during your workday, it’s sometimes hard to say goodnight when playtime is so much fun! But then, where is the downtime for you that’s so important to your mental health? If you can bring yourself to stick to the same bedtime every night, your youngster will become accustomed to falling asleep at that time and you’ll discover the benefits of having a little time just for you.

Be sure to ask your Luminous child care team about how much your baby is sleeping during the day. Without enough sleep, your child can be overtired or wake during the night more frequently. If your little one didn’t nap that day, try an earlier bedtime.

Luminous removes the hassle of arranging for tuition vouchers and helps make childcare affordable. Vouchers can help ease your financial stress – reducing the cost to as little as $1 to $50 dollars per week per child depending on eligibility. Learn more about qualifying for HRA and ACS vouchers at our seven Bronx and Brooklyn centers. Payment can also be made by SEIU/1199 Child Care, check, credit card, and through the Luminous reimbursement program. Contact Luminous Early Childhood Learning Center at or call us at 929.228.1180.


Thanks for contributing writer Sara Novack for assisting with this series.