Skip To Content

    17 Working Women Opened Up About How They Manage Work Life And Home Life, And There's No Sugar-Coating Here

    "I struggle with procrastinating when I’m not working on the weekends because, after a long week, all I wanna do is sit on the couch. So I’ve taken to setting a timer for 30 minutes, and doing as many tasks as I can in that time. Things like starting laundry, cleaning, making a grocery list, and things that are quick."

    Let's get honest for a second: being an adult and trying to be organized in life is incredibly hard, especially if you work a full-time job. (And if you have kids or a pet, work more than one job, or take care of a loved one, multiply this by a million).

    So when I saw that Reddit user u/Amandamangonada asked the r/AskWomen community: "Women who work full time (40+hours/week), how do you use your time effectively on your days off and still find time to relax or have fun?" I was curious to see how other women maintained their schedules and "me time." However, what I found was the near-unanimous struggle of single and married women, families, and even students trying to "keep things together" when, in fact, it's nearly impossible to do without either sacrificing other aspects of their life or one of their weekend days — so they either have to pick between relaxation time or letting things go.

    So if you are interested in reading a realistic depiction of how other women are managing their and their family's schedules, scheduling in "me time," or how they may not even be able to, I highly encourage you to read their stories below:

    1. "I work 40 hours a week plus overtime. Night shift. Two kids, one who is very involved in a competitive sport and the other one who has school activities. I also work a few hours every week for my partner's business, sorting orders. I try to do one to two household tasks a day, which takes about 30 minutes. One day, it may be cleaning bathrooms, and another could be vacuuming upstairs and dusting. I have a Roomba downstairs, which helps keep the more public parts of the house looking acceptable. My partner takes care of the dishes and washing/drying all of the laundry. We usually sort it and put it away together once or twice a week. The one major housekeeping tip I can give is to just put stuff away as soon as you’re done using it. If everything is where it’s supposed to be, there’s no mad dash to find anything or waste an afternoon putting everything back. It keeps the house pretty clutter-free and makes the rest of the housekeeping much easier to do."

    a mom sitting on the couch

    2. "I prioritize relaxing on my days off, keep a running list of chores that need to be done, and don't make myself do more than a few of them each weekend. If there's something I can put off, like a trip to the post office or hardware store, I'll leave it until I have the energy. If I'm low on energy and have to do something like dishes or cleaning, I will order some food delivery or put something in the oven, and clean for the amount of time it takes the food to be ready, then reward myself with a meal."


    3. "Meal planning has really helped. I sit down once a week, plan the menu and grocery list, and shop for the whole week. I try to utilize the Crock Pot as much as possible, so I can come home to a hot meal. I try to run most errands after work to save time driving and not go on days off. I try to take one day where I just don’t leave the house."

    meals in tupperware

    4. "I work from home three days a week (I’m in the office the other two days). The husband has the same schedule. The cleaner comes once a week, so I let the rest slide. So the house is always a bit messy but never a total disaster. Kids are older at this point. 11 and 13. I do laundry all day Saturday every two weeks. The husband does the food shopping and cooks one big pot of food once a week. He generally does more of the cooking than me. I make lunches, tidy, and change beds. I do most of the house admin because I work from home three days a week, so I can actually fit in lots of house admin on those days."

    "The result? Apart from some football matches and training, evenings and weekends are pretty much free. I like to read, knit, play piano, run, garden, watch sci-fi with my son, cook an odd meal, and drink wine. Lots of relaxation as far as I am concerned. Also, do go out at the odd time, with your husband or friends. I’d say once or twice a month. WFH was a game-changer, to be honest. Total new lease on life. More energy for myself, for the kids."


    5. "I balance this really convoluted mix of crippling guilt and the ability to compartmentalize like a boss. By compartmentalizing, I mean that I am able to float in and out of spectacularly deep denial. Deep like a harrowing gulch at the bottom of the ocean."

    a woman with her hands covering her face

    6. "Work from home 40 hours so I can manage the home/pets between work tasks. Work another 15+ hours at a retail store. I was adamant about my availability with the part-time job. Friday/Saturday night after 5 p.m. is my time away from any work. I go out with friends, see live music, etc. on the weekend."


    7. "I struggle with procrastinating when I’m not working on the weekends because, after a long week, all I wanna do is sit on the couch. So I’ve taken to setting a timer for 30 minutes, and doing as many tasks as I can in that time. Things like starting laundry, cleaning, making a grocery list, and things that are quick. Usually, after that first 30 minutes, I have momentum and can tackle bigger things that I need to get to that set me up for the next week, like meal prep or what I call life admin work (i.e. bills, budgeting, etc)."

    people working on a puzzle

    8. "On Sundays, I prepare my lunches for the week. I also take care of grocery shopping, cleaning, bill paying, etc. During the workweek (Monday through Thursday), I knock out at least one to two chores each night for maintenance. From Friday night after work through all day Saturday, that's my fun time. Binge-watching on Netflix, sleeping in, snacking, etc."


    9. "I work full time and am a full-time grad student. I just reprioritize when I need to. Have a school assignment due? Top priority. I need to move around or I might kill someone? Go for a hike, but do it locally so it doesn't kill too much time. Big deadline due at work? Guess what takes the front seat. Generally, it's just prioritizing."

    a woman and her dog hiking

    10. "I spend an hour a day on myself: taking a bath, watching a movie, etc. On my days off, I try to sleep in. I schedule my appointments early on my off days so I have the rest of the day free. I listen to my body on those days; if I'm tired, I sleep. If I'm hungry, I eat. If I want to take a walk, I go. And every night, 30 minutes before sleep, I put on a podcast that I like."


    11. "If I happen to have two days off in a row, I don't do much the first day except sleep in a bit and take the dogs to the dog park for an extra long play. Maybe throw in some laundry. On the second day, I get up in good time and try to get some stuff done so I can relax in the afternoon/evening. I work evenings (2 p.m. to 10 p.m.) and nights (10 p.m. to 6 p.m.) so my sleep schedule is wonky."

    a pile of laundry in the house

    12. "I don’t have kids."


    "Yeah, I work 40 hours a week and have a husband who cleans up after himself. Fridays, I sleep and catch up on the sleep I missed throughout the week. Saturday, I do whatever. Sundays, I prepare for the upcoming week. And it still feels like I don’t get enough time to myself. I don’t know how in the hell women with kids do it."


    13. "I work full-time and study part-time but my schoolwork is hella more than my workload. When exam week is approaching, my relaxation is taking a warm bath while reading my notes and drinking some ice-cold Moscato with a face mask on. I study and do my homework after I clock out of my shift. I’m pretty lucky to have a great boss who lets me use our office equipment for personal use. My weekends are also for schoolwork. I barely have the time to work out. I’m single and I have no kids, so work and school are my top priorities for now."

    a person doing school work

    14. "I plan nearly all of my waking hours and make sure I get a good balance between work, social, and relaxation time. I tend to look at the week ahead each Sunday. I don't agree with social plans if it's going to be really hectic and I know I want to recharge. Conversely, if my week is looking empty, I'll hit up friends and organize something. But really, if I'm working eight hours a day, that still leaves me usually two hours before work and six hours after work of free time. I try to exercise and shower in the mornings. Then after work maybe an hour is taken up with cooking and eating dinner, another 30 minutes with washing up and cleaning. The remaining four and a half hours is the time I plan each week as either socializing or relaxing with my hobbies."


    15. "I work 50–56 hours a week, have eight-year-old twins, several high-maintenance pets to care for, and I am 12 weeks pregnant. My house looks like a tornado has gone through it while I am presently laying in bed nursing a headache and nausea. One day at a time. Pick your battles. Mental health and family are everything — social media lifestyles are not."

    a messy house

    16. "Friday is grocery shopping after work, then I crash. I may get takeout, but I mostly just melt on the couch. Saturday is chill: breakfast, pilates, and then the fun starts. I also usually clean my apartment and load the washer and the drier between things, but this is the day I see friends, mostly for dinner, and sometimes for coffee, too. Sunday morning might include brunch with the friends who weren't available on Saturday, but it is most often either chill or gym, then lunch at my parents where we stay until about 3 p.m. Rest of the day, I will rest a bit, then do some meal prep until dinner time. After dinner, I prepare for the week to come and then go to bed."


    17. "I pick and choose what to keep up with and do as much 'life admin' as I can at work. I balance my budget, place grocery pickup orders, maintain my calendar, etc. at work. Cleaning gets done when it gets done, the house isn’t a disaster but it’s rarely fully clean either. We always have clean clothes but they may not be folded, I’ll do half a sink of dishes one day and half the next (or the next), and so on. If my options are spending a day with loved ones or scrubbing the tub, I’m going to have a dirty tub, I know some people can’t stomach that but that’s where my priorities lie. But I’ve found a dedicated 30 minutes of cleaning twice a week keeps the place livable and presentable, and I’ve made peace with not living in the immaculately clean home I grew up in."

    dirty tub

    As a person who works 40+ hours a week, do you have a particular way you try to schedule things so you can have some R&R time? If so (or even if not!), tell us what your schedule looks like and how you currently feel about this in the comments below.