How to get to work on time looking fine when you’re a mum

Getting to work on time and without vegemite fingerprints on your clothes or Weet-Bix encrusted in your hair is no mean feat when you’re a mum.

I returned to work when my eldest was just under 10 months old, so I know how real the struggle can be. Gone are the days where you can take your time getting ready for work. There are no more uninterrupted cups of coffee while you watch the morning news. There’s no more leaving your outfit choice to the last minute, nor taking your time on your hair and makeup.

Little people are demanding your attention now and you need to kick those superior organisational skills you were employed for into high gear as soon as you roll out of bed. The last thing you want is to rock up to work wearing one earring and two different shoes.

Here’s how to get out the door on time and looking fine when you’re a working mum. (Keep an eye out for some bonus advice from some of my working mum friends).

The early bird catches the worm

Now is the time to become a morning person. I shower, do my hair and makeup, and get dressed before the kids wake. I know this can be tricky if you have a baby and if the kids have a habit of waking at 5am every day. Once they’re awake though, you’re inundated with requests, pleas and demands and you’ll be chasing your tail attempting to give them the attention they want while getting yourself dressed. Getting ready before they wake will make you feel more organised, focused and calmer in the mornings.

Make like a movie star

If you’ve succeeded in getting dressed and ready for work before the kids wake, high five to you. The big challenge now is keeping your clothes clean and free of breakfast fingerprints. My tried and true method is wearing a dressing gown over my work clothes. Make sure you get a light and breezy one for the summer months.

Teamwork

Nothing drives me to distraction more than seeing my husband sit on the couch with a cup of coffee and toast, while I’m running around like a madwoman trying to get everyone ready. In the words of Dora, ‘Teamwork, teamwork, everybody teamwork’. When the kids are older you can get them to help too.

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Iron free clothes are a gift from heaven

I have this affliction where I can’t go out in public with crumpled clothes. I spend plenty of time on the weekend ironing my husband’s and kids’ clothes. I don’t want to add more work to what I’m already doing. When I’m buying work clothes I seek out items that don’t require ironing. All you need to do is wash them, hang them out to dry and then pop them away when you’re done. Winning.

Pre-plan your outfit

Either lay out your outfit the night before or have it clear in your mind what you will wear the next day. There’s no time for early morning fashion parades or last minute choices. Choosing your outfit the night before will take the pressure off. Make sure it’s ironed – if needed – and good to go.

10 minute makeup

Have all of your makeup essentials easily accessible. The last thing you want is to be rummaging through your makeup drawer looking for your mascara at the last minute. My work makeup look is fairly simple. Moisturiser, foundation, powder, blush, eyeliner, mascara, eye shadow – if I’m feeling fancy – and lippie. I change my look up with different lipsticks, but mainly keep the same look every day.

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Prepare the kids

I pack the kids’ lunch and bags the night before and have school uniforms, socks and shoes at the ready. Miss Four is going through a phase where she likes to choose her own clothes which can take up to 15 minutes – precious time in the morning. Choosing her outfit with her in the evening takes away unnecessary morning stress.

Keep control of your keys

These little beggars have a habit of going missing when you need them. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve screamed for the neighbourhood to hear me, ‘Does anyone know where mummy’s keys are? I’ve lost my keys! Christ, we’re going to be late now. For the love of God where are my bleeding keys?’ Cue tears, sweat, and general craziness.

Things bound to get a little cray

The most important advice I can impart, however, is that you need to accept that things will get off track every now and then. Take a few deep breaths and power on. You don’t want to be worked up before work or school / daycare drop off. It’s not good for anyone and starts the day on a bad foot.

corporatemum3What advice/tips would you add to the list?

If you’re looking for more corporate mum advice or style tips, join the conversation on Instagram #corporatemumstyle

corporatemum4Linking up today with Kylie Purtell for IBOT.

31 comments on How to get to work on time looking fine when you’re a mum

  1. Sare
    January 31, 2017 at 5:37 am (5 months ago)

    This post is very well timed Renee. Gwen is 8 months old and I head back to work in just a few short weeks. Diving in the deep end and going back full time shift work.
    I can see where I can save time to some other mums. I wear a uniform so that’s five minutes saved in choosing an outfit. I wear zero make up so there’s another 15 minutes saved.
    The areas I will need to be super organised is with Bub and various times I work. As a shift worker, my morning shift starts at 6am and daycare doesn’t open until 6:30am. Bub’s other mum is on a night shift finishing at 6am. So it will be taking bub to work and doing a dynamic parent handover. There will be many of these at various times of the day and night. I’m thinking of having a play mat and a few toys that I stash at work to occupy Bub during the transition time. Any other tips are welcomed.
    There

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 31, 2017 at 9:26 pm (5 months ago)

      Gosh, Sare. That is going to be hectic, but I know you can do it. I’m sure Gwen will get plenty of love at work before the changeover. You guys are a great team and that’s half the battle. Good luck. I’ll be thinking of you. Enjoy your last few weeks.

      Reply
  2. Raychael Case
    January 31, 2017 at 7:05 am (5 months ago)

    Great tips. I’m so glad I didn’t need to return to the corporate world with three under three. Especially with the youngest 10 weeks early and needing a lot of special care that first twelve months. Some days it was a struggle just getting myself dressed for around the house.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 31, 2017 at 9:27 pm (5 months ago)

      I can imagine. My brother and sister in law have three under 20 months, so I’ve gained insight into just how hectic it is!!!

      Reply
  3. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    January 31, 2017 at 8:17 am (5 months ago)

    These tips are awesome for anyone who wants to get out of the door with the best look and the least stress in the morning, with or without kids! You always look fabulous and I love the tips from the online community too x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 31, 2017 at 9:28 pm (5 months ago)

      Thanks so much, Sam. Yes, the tips really can relate to anyone 🙂

      Reply
  4. Nicole @ The Builder's Wife
    January 31, 2017 at 8:26 am (5 months ago)

    My goodness I don’t miss having to run out of the house. Most days I don’t have to leave until the kids have gone to school, that said that is getting earlier now that sport is back, most mornings around 5.30. Having a spare outfit ready to throw on in an emergency is a BRILLIANT idea. Great tips Renee xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 31, 2017 at 9:29 pm (5 months ago)

      Thanks Nicole. Gosh, that is an early start!! I hope my girls choose afternoon sports 🙂 x

      Reply
  5. Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    January 31, 2017 at 8:30 am (5 months ago)

    Great tips!
    Especially the iron free clothes one. I don’t iron so this is a must in my house.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 31, 2017 at 9:29 pm (5 months ago)

      It really makes a difference 🙂

      Reply
  6. Kylie
    January 31, 2017 at 9:05 am (5 months ago)

    What a great post, Thanks for the mention and I love your tips. Great ideas for anyone really, I’m so clumsy and manage to spill my own breakfast over me half the time!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 31, 2017 at 9:30 pm (5 months ago)

      Lol. I have a similar issue. It’s the toothpaste that’s my enemy 🙂 Thanks for joining in 🙂

      Reply
  7. Bec Senyard
    January 31, 2017 at 11:04 am (5 months ago)

    All great tips for mums who just want to look good when they do the school drop off. Will be sharing this on my Styled by Bec page. xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 31, 2017 at 9:31 pm (5 months ago)

      Thanks Bec, and thanks so much for the share x

      Reply
  8. Em Toxward
    January 31, 2017 at 11:55 am (5 months ago)

    Oh my friend I am proud of you – you’ve got this! We don’t iron around here… naughty me! x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 31, 2017 at 9:32 pm (5 months ago)

      Naughty or smart – I’m not sure which one 🙂 x

      Reply
  9. Vanessa
    January 31, 2017 at 12:57 pm (5 months ago)

    I don’t wear makeup, so that’s a huge time saver for me in the morning. I also do what Em does – wash my hair at night so it only needs quick attention in the morning. Personally I hate corporate clothing with a wild passion and I’m as non corporate as I can get away with (which is a lot, thankfully) – but I love that you’re sharing tips here for those who need it.

    Reply
    • Vanessa
      January 31, 2017 at 12:58 pm (5 months ago)

      Oh, and I’ve literally never ironed in my life, so that’s another time saver!

      Reply
      • mummywifeme
        mummywifeme
        January 31, 2017 at 9:33 pm (5 months ago)

        OMG. I can’t even … 😉

        Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 31, 2017 at 9:33 pm (5 months ago)

      Thanks Vanessa 🙂 Doing the hair the night before is a big time saver, especially if you have wild hair like me!

      Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 31, 2017 at 9:34 pm (5 months ago)

      Thanks for sharing your post, Jacq. I’ll have to check that out. I need all the help I can get in the hair dept.

      Reply
  10. Jodi Gibson
    January 31, 2017 at 3:41 pm (5 months ago)

    You always look gorgeous Renee. Love all that colour you wear. The only thing I miss not working out of the home is being able to dress up!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 31, 2017 at 9:35 pm (5 months ago)

      Yes, it is a bit fun 🙂 Thanks for your compliment. I always feel happier these days in a splash of colour 🙂

      Reply
  11. Karin @ Calm to Conniption
    February 2, 2017 at 8:12 pm (5 months ago)

    Great tips on getting out the door. Items that don’t need ironing are essential. I got around in a chambray dress today and didn’t get to iron it… my confidence certainly wasn’t soaring!

    Reply
  12. Sam Stone
    February 4, 2017 at 4:12 pm (5 months ago)

    Such great tips Renee! I pretty use them all.
    Especially the team work…hubby and I are expert jugglers now 🙂

    Reply
  13. Debra Dane
    February 5, 2017 at 3:16 pm (5 months ago)

    Such a great post and tips – love the emergency outfit idea. I am looking for work this year and if and when i find a job will need new clothes if it is corporate based! will be following you ladies for ideas!

    Reply
  14. Jo @ You had us at hello
    February 5, 2017 at 6:24 pm (5 months ago)

    Fabulous tips Renee! It’s always a blessing in disguise when the husband helps. My boys are going through a “let’s move as slow as a snail” phase!! Drives me batty!! Getting up early though, although painful waking up is a great way to get ahead. Hang some washing, make beds – always a good start. 10 minutes for makeup is awesome – some days I’ve slapped that makeup on in 2 minutes!! Haha!! #teamIBOT ps. Big fan of no ironing outfits too 😉

    Reply
  15. Lauren @ Create Bake Make
    February 7, 2017 at 6:35 am (5 months ago)

    Your outfits always look amazing Renee. While it’s not to go to work, making sure I’m dressed and kind of presentable and all three boys are dressed each day by 8am so we can leave for school is my current challenge. I’m the same as Em, I wash my hair at night so I just need to straighten it in the mornings and I also try and get both my clothes and the boys ready the night before 🙂

    Reply

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