Its purpose

Provides you with a sense of achievement as well as generating respect from your family for all you do

Gives you the opportunity to plan the mothering role how you want it to be

How to use it

Work through the 5 steps to identify what you spend your time doing and how you could make changes to your schedule. It might take you a while (up to 1 hour) but it is a very worthwhile process.

Take a moment to acknowledge how much you accomplish each week and what you achieve for your family. Share this with your family (you can print it off).

  • Think about how you've improved existing skills and acquired new skills to take care of your household.
  • You dedicate about hours a week to this job (a week only has 168 hours even if you work 24/7) and all for no salary, insurance, pension, sick leave, holiday leave, overtime, back-up, opportunity for promotion or resignation.

But is this really sustainable or are you exhausted? Are you doing what you want to do or are you overburdened with all the jobs that nobody else wants to do? Move on to Steps 4 and 5 to look at how you might create your job as a mother to really fit you.

Let's break down the job, understand why you are doing what you are doing, so we can then go on in Step 5 to create a job that is manageable and suits you. This is what organisations do when they want to get the best out of their people. So, let's look at:

  • What beliefs are driving your efforts? (Values column) We all want the best but given how much you have to do, be realistic about where your beliefs are strong and not so.
  • What outcomes are you aiming for? (Aim column) These will be driven by your Values. Where you don't have a strong Value, your Aim can be more reasonable. Having seen how much you do in Step 3, hours per week, try to make all your Aims and therefore your job manageable.
  • Which duties do you actually like doing and which are you good at?

Plan the job to make it more manageable and focused on what you want. It is not possible to do it all and because mothers have rarely been as unsupported as they are today, we need to get creative about how to get the job done while allocating time to "Myself" and "Partner" where relevant. So, sort for all the duties you are not good and/or don't like, below. For each of these consider:

  • Do your Values and Aims mean that you need to do this duty yourself or could you delegate to someone who will respect both?
  • Is it important enough to you and urgent enough to warrant that number of weekly hours?
  • If you put hours in the 'Me' column for duties you don't like or aren't good at:
    • Are you understandably but incorrectly assuming that motherhood includes all domestic jobs?
    • Are you doing it because no-one else wants to do it?
    • You are likely to be taking yourself away from what you want to be doing.
  • Who you could get help from (young and older neighbours) and how (arrange a contra or put a value on what you could be doing instead by paying for help).
What are you solely or partly responsible for?
Home Maintenance Household Management Cleaning
Laundry Food And Drink Garden
Animals General Care For Children Family’s Physical Health
Children’s Emotional Development Children's Career Counselling Child Care/Education
Children’s Activities Family’s Social Calendar Travel, Holidays, Weekends Away
Administration Finance Information Technology
Myself Partner Relationship
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What duties do you perform and how long do they take you?

Home Maintenance

OptionalSuggested Hours/wk
Decorating and styling the house hours per 1
Researching and managing (including costing) service providers, eg utilities and IT contracts, builders, gardeners hours per 2
Fixing (clothes, toys, changing light bulbs etc) and organizing Servicing (cars etc) hours per 1
Moving house hours per 0.5

Household Management

OptionalSuggested Hours/wk
Researching and sourcing family’s clothes and equipment eg cars, dish-washers, toys, loo paper etc hours per 0.5 - 3

Cleaning

OptionalSuggested Hours/wk
Clearing kitchen after cooking hours per 3.5 - 10
Dishwasher unloading hours per 1.5
Emptying bins hours per 0.5
Putting bins out hours per 0.1
Tidying, including day-to-day and thorough clear-outs hours per 3 - 5
Cleaning house hours per 3 - 5

Laundry

OptionalSuggested Hours/wk
Day to day laundry (washing, stain removing, drying, ironing, folding, putting away) hours per 3 - 6
Bed linen hours per 0.5 - 1
Dry cleaning hours per 0.25 - 0.5

Food And Drink

OptionalSuggested Hours/wk
Menu planning hours per 1 - 2
Sourcing (shopping) hours per 2 - 4
Cooking for family (babies/kids/adults) hours per 7 - 21

Garden

OptionalSuggested Hours/wk
Design and Maintenance hours per 0 - 3

Animals

OptionalSuggested Hours/wk
Walking hours per 0 - 5
Feeding hours per 0 - 2
Sourcing food hours per 0 - 0.5
Grooming hours per 0 - 0.5
Health hours per 0 - 0.5

General Care For Children

OptionalSuggested Hours/wk
Feeding, dressing, settling, bathing, toilet training, changing nappies etc. hours per 0 - 56

Family’s Physical Health

OptionalSuggested Hours/wk
Treating illness at home hours per 0.5
Managing relationships with medical experts hours per 0.5
Health maintenance hours per 0.5 - 1

Children’s Emotional Development

OptionalSuggested Hours/wk
Setting and maintaining behavioural standards and family values hours per 5 - 15

Children's Career Counselling

OptionalSuggested Hours/wk
Identifying and developing strengths and interests hours per 0 - 1

Child Care/Education

OptionalSuggested Hours/wk
Researching and selecting providers hours per 0.2
Managing relationships with providers, eg nanny or teacher hours per 0.5
Getting ready for each day hours per 1.25
Transport to and from hours per 2.5 - 7.5
Attending performances, volunteering, fundraising hours per 0.25 - 3
Homework hours per 0 - 2.5

Children’s Activities

OptionalSuggested Hours/wk
Selecting and Scheduling hours per 0.25
Travelling to and from hours per 0 - 7
Preparing for (e.g. clothing) hours per 0 - 1
Practice time at home hours per 0 - 1
Home play, eg craft, reading, teaching new skills hours per 0 - 5

Family’s Social Calendar

OptionalSuggested Hours/wk
Keeping in touch with friends, family and neighbours hours per 1.5 - 3
Organising or attending child’s events eg play-dates, birthday parties hours per 1 - 5
Organising or attending family and adult events, eg dinners, Christmas hours per 1 - 4
Buying presents hours per 0.25
Arranging babysitters hours per 0.5

Travel, Holidays, Weekends Away

OptionalSuggested Hours/wk
Researching and arranging hours per 0.25 - 3
Packing/unpacking hours per 0.25

Administration

OptionalSuggested Hours/wk
Processing photos hours per 0.1
Keeping records: scrapbooks, medical hours per 0.1
Letters to Santa and the Tooth Fairy hours per 0.1

Finance

OptionalSuggested Hours/wk
Paying bills hours per 1 - 2
Familiarity with government payments hours per 0.5
Sourcing and managing (including costing) service providers, eg banks, insurance hours per 0 - 1
Budgeting of family costs hours per 0 - 1

Information Technology

OptionalSuggested Hours/wk
My own and facilitating my family’s on-line research. Policing content and duration of children’s on-line activity hours per 4 - 5

Myself

OptionalSuggested Hours/wk
Physical fitness hours per 1 - 5
Career progression hours per 0 - 38
Mental/spiritual health hours per 0 - 5
Interests hours per 0 - 5
Personal grooming hours per 1 - 7

Partner Relationship

OptionalSuggested Hours/wk
Nurturing a loving and working relationship hours per 5 - 10
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Responsibility & Duty Weekly Hours Skills Needed Values Aim Am I good at it? Do I like it? Weekly Hours Resourcing
What are the beliefs that are influencing the way and time you take to perform the duty? Ideally, those who take on the duty respect these values. Some suggestions are below. What results show the duty is done? Check your expectations are reasonable rather than over the top. Some suggestions are below. Are you efficient and effective at this duty? Do you enjoy performing this duty? Who could do this? Can you share, delegate or outsource the hours? Divide up the weekly hours from the previous column between you.

Home Maintenance

  Am I good at it? Do I like it?
mepartnerother
Decorating and styling the house Budgeting, Common sense, Initiative, Interior Designing, Organisation, Resourcefulness, Sourcing
Doing everything myself or outsourcing, Taking pride in my home
A home that we are happy with, I have kept within budget
Researching and managing (including costing) service providers, eg utilities and IT contracts, builders, gardeners Budgeting, Common sense, Initiative, Interior Designing, Organisation, Resourcefulness, Sourcing
Doing everything myself or outsourcing, Taking pride in my home
A home that we are happy with, I have kept within budget
Fixing (clothes, toys, changing light bulbs etc) and organizing Servicing (cars etc) Budgeting, Common sense, Initiative, Interior Designing, Organisation, Resourcefulness, Sourcing
Doing everything myself or outsourcing, Taking pride in my home
A home that we are happy with, I have kept within budget
Moving house Budgeting, Common sense, Initiative, Interior Designing, Organisation, Resourcefulness, Sourcing
Doing everything myself or outsourcing, Taking pride in my home
A home that we are happy with, I have kept within budget

Household Management

  Am I good at it? Do I like it?
mepartnerother
Researching and sourcing family’s clothes and equipment eg cars, dish-washers, toys, loo paper etc Decisiveness, Resourcefulness, Stylishness, Time management
Satisfying my family’s basic needs
Clothes that fit, are weather appropriate and are my/their style, My family has their basic needs satisfied

Cleaning

  Am I good at it? Do I like it?
mepartnerother
Clearing kitchen after cooking Attention to detail, Discipline, Hard working
Having a clean and organized home
A home that is clean and organized to my satisfaction
Dishwasher unloading Attention to detail, Discipline, Hard working
Having a clean and organized home
A home that is clean and organized to my satisfaction
Emptying bins Attention to detail, Discipline, Hard working
Having a clean and organized home
A home that is clean and organized to my satisfaction
Putting bins out Attention to detail, Discipline, Hard working
Having a clean and organized home
A home that is clean and organized to my satisfaction
Tidying, including day-to-day and thorough clear-outs Attention to detail, Discipline, Hard working
Having a clean and organized home
A home that is clean and organized to my satisfaction
Cleaning house Attention to detail, Discipline, Hard working
Having a clean and organized home
A home that is clean and organized to my satisfaction

Laundry

  Am I good at it? Do I like it?
mepartnerother
Day to day laundry (washing, stain removing, drying, ironing, folding, putting away) Attention to detail, Discipline, Hard working
Having clean clothes/linen
A family that is dressed in clean clothes
Bed linen Attention to detail, Discipline, Hard working
Having clean clothes/linen
A family that is dressed in clean clothes
Dry cleaning Attention to detail, Discipline, Hard working
Having clean clothes/linen
A family that is dressed in clean clothes

Food And Drink

  Am I good at it? Do I like it?
mepartnerother
Menu planning Imagination, Knowledge of food and alcoholic beverages, Knowledge of health and nutrition, Organisation
Planning meals that are healthy/home-cooked/home-grown/organic/locally sourced
Planned for 21 breakfasts, 21 lunches, 21 dinners, countless snacks (family of 3 for a week)
Sourcing (shopping) Budgeting, Environmental knowledge, Organisation, Resourcefulness
Having a well-stocked kitchen, Having an environmentally-friendly household, Minimising waste and packaging
Sourced 21 breakfasts, 21 lunches, 21 dinners, countless snacks (family of 3 for a week)
Cooking for family (babies/kids/adults) Calm in high pressure situations, Creativity, Culinary skills, Flexibility
Catering for the different tastes of family members, Taking pride in my cooking
Cooked 21 breakfasts, 21 lunches, 21 dinners, countless snacks (family of 3 for a week)

Garden

  Am I good at it? Do I like it?
mepartnerother
Design and Maintenance Garden design skills, Hard working, Horticultural knowledge, Organisation, Physical strength, Sourcing
Growing my own fruit/vegetables so my child develops knowledge and respect of how food is grown, Taking pride in my garden
A garden that is alive and healthy, Children that have knowledge of how food is grown, Vegetables grown and harvested

Animals

  Am I good at it? Do I like it?
mepartnerother
Walking Animal husbandry, Hard working, Organisation
Owning healthy animals, Teaching my child life-skills through caring for animals
A child that can care for animals, Animals that are healthy
Feeding Animal husbandry, Hard working, Organisation
Owning healthy animals, Teaching my child life-skills through caring for animals
A child that can care for animals, Animals that are healthy
Sourcing food Animal husbandry, Hard working, Organisation
Owning healthy animals, Teaching my child life-skills through caring for animals
A child that can care for animals, Animals that are healthy
Grooming Animal husbandry, Hard working, Organisation
Owning healthy animals, Teaching my child life-skills through caring for animals
A child that can care for animals, Animals that are healthy
Health Animal husbandry, Hard working, Organisation
Owning healthy animals, Teaching my child life-skills through caring for animals
A child that can care for animals, Animals that are healthy

General Care For Children

  Am I good at it? Do I like it?
mepartnerother
Feeding, dressing, settling, bathing, toilet training, changing nappies etc. Attention to detail, Calm in chaotic situations, Endurance, Hard working, Imagination, Knowledgeable, Organisation, Patience
Satisfying my child’s basic needs
A living, breathing child!

Family’s Physical Health

  Am I good at it? Do I like it?
mepartnerother
Treating illness at home Empathy, Medical knowledge, Multi-tasking, Patience
Prioritising a sick child over everything, Using natural remedies where possible
A well cared for child
Managing relationships with medical experts Decisiveness, Determination, Instinctiveness, Sourcing
Prioritising a sick child over everything, Using natural remedies where possible
A well cared for child
Health maintenance Determination, Knowledge of health and nutrition, Mental and emotional fortitude in the face of opposition, Persistance
Keeping my child healthy through good diet, adequate exercise and non-toxic environment
30 minutes of exercise a day, A diet of 3-5 veg/fruit a day, 1 snack with sugar a day, Brushed teeth

Children’s Emotional Development

  Am I good at it? Do I like it?
mepartnerother
Setting and maintaining behavioural standards and family values Calm in high pressure situations, Consistency, Discipline, Emotional resilience, Empathy, Negotiating, Patience, Physical Resilience (Sleep Deprivation), Skilled at managing incentives program and juggling multiple needs, Strong interpersonal, teamwork, leadership and problem solving skills
Providing a safe and loving environment for my child to express themselves and develop, Upholding family values
A child that is competent and resilient

Children's Career Counselling

  Am I good at it? Do I like it?
mepartnerother
Identifying and developing strengths and interests Mentoring/Coaching
Facilitating my child to reach their potential
I have shown my child the possible career paths that will capitalize on their skills and interests, eg exposing them to extra curricular fields of interest

Child Care/Education

  Am I good at it? Do I like it?
mepartnerother
Researching and selecting providers Broad knowledge of providers, Organisation, Sound judgement in finding the right place for my child
Giving the best possible care/education to my child
Both me and my child are satisfied with the care/education experience
Managing relationships with providers, eg nanny or teacher Broad knowledge of providers, Organisation, Sound judgement in finding the right place for my child
Giving the best possible care/education to my child
Both me and my child are satisfied with the care/education experience
Getting ready for each day Multi-tasking, Organisation
Giving the best possible care/education to my child
Both me and my child are satisfied with the care/education experience
Transport to and from Multi-tasking, Organisation
Giving the best possible care/education to my child
Both me and my child are satisfied with the care/education experience
Attending performances, volunteering, fundraising Multi-tasking, Organisation
Giving the best possible care/education to my child
Both me and my child are satisfied with the care/education experience
Homework Multi-tasking, Organisation
Giving the best possible care/education to my child
Both me and my child are satisfied with the care/education experience

Children’s Activities

  Am I good at it? Do I like it?
mepartnerother
Selecting and Scheduling Broad knowledge of the activities’ offered, Initiative to identify and develop my child’s interests and skills, Organisation, Sound judgement in selecting the best provider for my child
Creating a well-rounded life for my child: art, sport etc
A child who is finding or building a talent
Travelling to and from Broad knowledge of the activities’ offered, Initiative to identify and develop my child’s interests and skills, Organisation, Sound judgement in selecting the best provider for my child
Creating a well-rounded life for my child: art, sport etc
A child who is finding or building a talent
Preparing for (e.g. clothing) Broad knowledge of the activities’ offered, Initiative to identify and develop my child’s interests and skills, Organisation, Sound judgement in selecting the best provider for my child
Creating a well-rounded life for my child: art, sport etc
A child who is finding or building a talent
Practice time at home Broad knowledge of the activities’ offered, Initiative to identify and develop my child’s interests and skills, Organisation, Sound judgement in selecting the best provider for my child
Creating a well-rounded life for my child: art, sport etc
A child who is finding or building a talent
Home play, eg craft, reading, teaching new skills Creativity, Focus
Limiting TV time
A child who is finding or building a talent

Family’s Social Calendar

  Am I good at it? Do I like it?
mepartnerother
Keeping in touch with friends, family and neighbours Discipline, Emotional resilience, Organisation – managing diaries, goals, action plans and deadlines (albeit informally)
Building a supportive and fun communal life for my family
Our family feels part of a fun and supportive community
Organising or attending child’s events eg play-dates, birthday parties Discipline, Emotional resilience, Organisation – managing diaries, goals, action plans and deadlines (albeit informally)
Building a supportive and fun communal life for my family
Our family feels part of a fun and supportive community
Organising or attending family and adult events, eg dinners, Christmas Discipline, Emotional resilience, Organisation – managing diaries, goals, action plans and deadlines (albeit informally)
Building a supportive and fun communal life for my family
Our family feels part of a fun and supportive community
Buying presents Discipline, Emotional resilience, Organisation – managing diaries, goals, action plans and deadlines (albeit informally)
Building a supportive and fun communal life for my family
Our family feels part of a fun and supportive community
Arranging babysitters Discipline, Emotional resilience, Organisation – managing diaries, goals, action plans and deadlines (albeit informally)
Building a supportive and fun communal life for my family
Our family feels part of a fun and supportive community

Travel, Holidays, Weekends Away

  Am I good at it? Do I like it?
mepartnerother
Researching and arranging Knowledge of the options available, Organisation, Setting expectations, Sound judgement to select the best option for the family
Experiencing different places, people and activities
Taken a holiday (when possible) that everyone enjoys a part of
Packing/unpacking Attention to detail
Experiencing different places, people and activities
Taken a holiday (when possible) that everyone enjoys a part of

Administration

  Am I good at it? Do I like it?
mepartnerother
Processing photos Attention to detail, Creativity
Relishing and recording the magic of childhood
Recorded 1 memory per month, e.g. photo taken etc
Keeping records: scrapbooks, medical Attention to detail, Creativity
Relishing and recording the magic of childhood
Recorded 1 memory per month, e.g. photo taken etc
Letters to Santa and the Tooth Fairy Attention to detail, Creativity
Relishing and recording the magic of childhood
Recorded 1 memory per month, e.g. photo taken etc

Finance

  Am I good at it? Do I like it?
mepartnerother
Paying bills Budgeting, Finance, Organisation, Resourcefulness, Sourcing, Systems management
Feeling like I am earning by saving and not spending too much
I have met the budget, I have paid the bills
Familiarity with government payments Budgeting, Finance, Organisation, Resourcefulness, Sourcing, Systems management
Feeling like I am earning by saving and not spending too much
I have met the budget, I have paid the bills
Sourcing and managing (including costing) service providers, eg banks, insurance Budgeting, Finance, Organisation, Resourcefulness, Sourcing, Systems management
Feeling like I am earning by saving and not spending too much
I have met the budget, I have paid the bills
Budgeting of family costs Budgeting, Finance, Organisation, Resourcefulness, Sourcing, Systems management
Feeling like I am earning by saving and not spending too much
I have met the budget, I have paid the bills

Information Technology

  Am I good at it? Do I like it?
mepartnerother
My own and facilitating my family’s on-line research. Policing content and duration of children’s on-line activity Awareness of children’s on-line activity, IT knowledge
Limiting screen time
Informed and technically able family, Time limits on screen time have been met

Myself

  Am I good at it? Do I like it?
mepartnerother
Physical fitness Discipline - able to prioritise myself within the constant 24 hour role of the mother, Focus – able to temporarily shut out the thoughts and feelings (guilt etc) that come with motherhood to focus on myself, Organisation – what happens to the family when I am having ‘me’ time, Resilience
Being a role-model for my kids, to lead by example, to inspire and motivate them, Being able to pursue my own interests, Being financially independent, Being physically and mentally able to mother, Taking pride in my appearance
I feel good about myself
Career progression Discipline - able to prioritise myself within the constant 24 hour role of the mother, Focus – able to temporarily shut out the thoughts and feelings (guilt etc) that come with motherhood to focus on myself, Organisation – what happens to the family when I am having ‘me’ time, Resilience
Being a role-model for my kids, to lead by example, to inspire and motivate them, Being able to pursue my own interests, Being financially independent, Being physically and mentally able to mother, Taking pride in my appearance
I feel good about myself
Mental/spiritual health Discipline - able to prioritise myself within the constant 24 hour role of the mother, Focus – able to temporarily shut out the thoughts and feelings (guilt etc) that come with motherhood to focus on myself, Organisation – what happens to the family when I am having ‘me’ time, Resilience
Being a role-model for my kids, to lead by example, to inspire and motivate them, Being able to pursue my own interests, Being financially independent, Being physically and mentally able to mother, Taking pride in my appearance
I feel good about myself
Interests Discipline - able to prioritise myself within the constant 24 hour role of the mother, Focus – able to temporarily shut out the thoughts and feelings (guilt etc) that come with motherhood to focus on myself, Organisation – what happens to the family when I am having ‘me’ time, Resilience
Being a role-model for my kids, to lead by example, to inspire and motivate them, Being able to pursue my own interests, Being financially independent, Being physically and mentally able to mother, Taking pride in my appearance
I feel good about myself
Personal grooming Discipline - able to prioritise myself within the constant 24 hour role of the mother, Focus – able to temporarily shut out the thoughts and feelings (guilt etc) that come with motherhood to focus on myself, Organisation – what happens to the family when I am having ‘me’ time, Resilience
Being a role-model for my kids, to lead by example, to inspire and motivate them, Being able to pursue my own interests, Being financially independent, Being physically and mentally able to mother, Taking pride in my appearance
I feel good about myself

Partner Relationship

  Am I good at it? Do I like it?
mepartnerother
Nurturing a loving and working relationship Teamwork
Considering the relationship in the overall planning
We are happy with the way things are between us
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Section Completed in Previous Steps

Objective Achieved

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