Monday, March 04, 2013

My Life as Secretary Mom

Before I had my kids I worked as an Administrative Secretary for 10 years and I was pretty good at it. Since having kids I quit that job to be a full-time, stay at home mom. I've been home for 13 years now and I love every minute of it.

To my surprise, there are some skills I learned from my secretarial job that I use almost every day here at home. Skills that could help you whether you are a mom who stays home or not.
Organize Your Desk
Almost all secretaries have their own desk to do their work. Don't have a desk? No problem. Neither do I.  I have a small hanging file box, a 13 section expanding file folder and a sheet protector hanging on my fridge.

My hanging file box is sitting on my kitchen counter and contains folders with medical info, class lists, bill paying supplies, and any important papers my kids brought home.

My expanding file folder sits on top of my refrigerator. Stored inside is every single receipt and bill paid in the corresponding month. This way I'm able to find any receipt or bill pretty quickly.

I also have a multi-page clear sheet protector that keeps the family calendar, the kids' schedules for the day including their special classes (media, art, etc.), school lunch menu, and a yearly school calendar. All these important papers are in one convenient spot for easy access.

Keep a Calendar
We use a printable monthly calendar to record everyone's schedule all in one place.  That way we can see in one spot what we have going on that day.

Get the Boss Ready
One key responsibility of most secretaries is to help their boss get ready for the day. This could mean printing out a report for a meeting, sorting mail or scheduling meetings.

Now I'm not suggesting you let your hubby and children run over you like a mean boss, but there are definitely skills that fit in here. Helping your children remember their homework each morning, making sure they have their library books, musical instrument or running shoes for their day,  reading and responding to notices that come home from school and of course scheduling dental appointments and play dates.

Each school morning I make sure my oldest is awake and getting ready. Then I check her backpack to ensure she has the needed supplies for the day. I also pack a nutritious lunch and stick it near her back pack. Then I wake the younger two and do the same for them.

Keep a Budget
As a secretary, I was responsible for keeping track of the finances. Every penny had to be accounted for and I had to order all kinds of things, make sure they were received in good condition, and of course get approval from the boss first.

I no longer need a boss for approval, but the hubby and I do discuss purchases ahead of time, especially major ones. Like many moms, I'm responsible for almost all the purchasing including groceries, cleaning supplies, home maintenance materials, clothing, etc.

Another part of keeping a budget is making sure your accounts balance with the bank and that all bills are paid in full on time. Hubby and I write everything down on a separate calendar - every bill, every paycheck.  Then we determine which bills can be paid with a certain paycheck.

Of course it is important to pay your bills, make sure your children have nutritious meals to eat and have a organized filing system so you can find needed papers. But you don't need to be a secretary to do that. This is what works for me, I hope it helps you find a system that works for you and your family.

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