When you think of time, do you have the right perspective?
The mindset of time scarcity versus abundance fundamentally shapes our perception and approach to time allocation. In time scarcity, working moms believe that time is limited and insufficient, leading to a constant struggle to balance responsibilities. In contrast, time abundance embraces the idea that there is plenty of time. Having this perspective results in a sense of calm, the ability to focus, and a better chance at harmonizing work and family duties with personal aspirations.
So, how do we fully embrace—or at least work toward—the time abundance mindset? Here are five practices I recommend.
1) There is time for everything that’s important to you.
Even though it sounds cliché, it's true: each of us has the same 24 hours in the day. It's extremely easy to fall into that trap of thinking we're busier than everyone else—but the truth? I believe no one is more efficient at maximizing time than a mom. The big thing is, we have to believe there's plenty of time for everything that truly matters to us—and prioritize it.
2) Make a schedule for every day, but don’t overschedule.
I have a routine where I slot everything onto my calendar—both work and family-related items. Taking a glance at my calendar as the week kicks off really reinforces the idea that all my to-dos have a place in the schedule. I'm proactive about signing up early for my exercise classes and figuring out when I'll be taking the kids to the park, the library, or the farmer's market. Flexibility isn't off the table, and spontaneity still has its space, but having a plan makes me feel like I've got a grip on my time.
Now, I'm all about the importance of relaxation and recharging, but those all-out "lazy days" aren't really my thing. During weekends, I usually have something scheduled for the morning, then I carve out a few hours to relax in the afternoon. As a mom, letting days go without structure just ends up in a bit of chaos. That's not to say our schedules are crammed to the max; having a “plan” could be as simple as hitting the park or taking a stroll by the river.
3) Multi-task in a way that’s healthy for your body and mind.
Don’t be afraid to do work in unexpected places or settings. When I’m planning out big goals, I don’t sit at a desk and work on them. I get most of my inspiration while I’m walking. These days, I walk at least three miles every morning (usually right after drop-off). Then, I’ll calendar a spot to start executing a new idea.
4) Involve your family in the abundance mindset.
Figure out ways to get your family to take advantage of the day with you. As a family, we are up and at it most days. Our teenager needs a little more downtime than the rest of us, but he is very active with his interests, too. We try to make the most of our days, especially weekends, where we prioritize adventure.
5) Seek out or establish worry-free boundaries.
I believe that good employers establish work/life boundaries, and employees shouldn’t need to assert them. If a working mom requires more flexibility beyond this framework, an open, productive conversation with the employer is vital. It should be a collaboration, not a struggle. At my firm, we maintain a 36-hour workweek and offer nearly 7 weeks of PTO, factoring in holidays, so this allows peace of mind for many of our team members.
Working moms have to establish time boundaries with family, too. My husband and I both work full-time, so we coordinate schedules weekly. However, we anticipate exceptions like business trips or special events and adapt accordingly. Despite my efforts to balance my career and family, there are times when work takes precedence, like an emergency with a client. In those moments, I communicate to my kids in simple terms why I need to work (or have personal time) and emphasize that we'll have quality time afterward.
If you need help with a master game plan—of how to tackle your professional goals and balance with family priorities—I’m here to help.