3 Ways Working Moms Can Manage Their Schedules to Fit Around the Family Dinner

As a married mother of two energetic boys and the CEO of a company, I know that effective time management doesn’t come easy. It takes a lot of planning in advance and conflict minimizing like making lists each night of how you’re scheduling the next day and setting the kids clothes out the night before to glide through the usual morning obstacles with (some) ease. And the way you manage your time, believe it or not, greatly affects your dinner schedule, especially if you make it a point to end each day with a meal with your family. But time can still be on your side if you work to ensure that your schedule fits around the family dinner.

1) Discuss dinner at the beginning of the day.

This is especially crucial if both spouses work outside of the home. Both my husband and I both work and we enjoy cooking dinner at the end of the day. However, depending on which one of us arrives home first, we could wind up eating something very different than we imagined. He could want artichokes, I could be set on tacos, and the kids, well, if they had their way it’d be corn dogs with Pop Tarts for dessert! That’s why we discuss dinner at the beginning of the day. Not only do we agree on something delicious for everyone, but everyone’s involved in the decision process and nobody gets left out.

2) Unplug. Seriously.

We’re always going to have emails to answer, meetings to accept on Outlook, and “urgent” paperwork to fill out, but for the next 90 minutes, make like an airplane and turn off and stow away all your electronic devices. Being present at dinner with family is more than just being physically present – you want to be mentally there too, excited and eager to catch up on what everyone did that day.

3) Communicate with everyone – even yourself.

Don’t be the parent who says they’ll be home by a certain time, but decides to squeeze in one more five minute phone call after work and winds up arriving home late each night. You’ll miss out on the conversation, not to mention the food will be cold! The most important way you can plan ahead comes with good communication with your spouse, family members, and even yourself. If you think you’re going to run late, let everyone know instead of keeping them guessing as to when you’ll make it home. Not only does this serve as a common courtesy, it also shows that you take dinnertime seriously, just as much as everyone else does.