Balancing Your Life-Part 3: Working Moms
Working moms do a balancing act every day.
Between work responsibilities outside the home, spending time with your spouse, chores and housework, taking care of children and driving them to various appointments, working mothers can often find themselves at the lower end of the priority list. I believe this is true for moms whether they work inside or outside the home, or stay-at-home with the children all day.
Moms who work outside of the home can face criticism from others who may choose to stay at home with their children and also they may struggle with feelings of guilt for pursuing a career instead of staying home with little ones.
I’ve been a working mom, a stay-at-home mom, a crazy mix of the two and now a working from home mom, and I believe that moms should not be made to feel guilty for having a career and a life outside of the home. I also feel like moms who stay at home with their little ones shouldn’t be made to feel “less than” because they aren’t in the workforce at the moment. Parenting is hard enough, and we need a support system.
When I worked outside of the home, I found that what helped me most was to have a plan. I knew when I worked everyday what my hours and days would be like and what I needed to do and how I needed to plan to meet goals at home. Gotta be at work for 7:30? I’d get up early at get my workout in at 5, then wake the kids up around 6 and get them ready for school before I would head out to my job. Once there, I was allotted certain break times where I could have a little “me” time for a few minutes, then get back to work refreshed. Once the workday was done, I had a plan to get kids from school and where they needed to be and a plan for meals and a bedtime routine. Planning ahead helps so much.
Delegation is another important tool moms who work can utilize. Sure, not everyone will do things the way that you do, but sometimes, it’s not that they are doing it wrong. It’s just different. Don’t be afraid to delegate certain responsibilities around the home to the sitter, your spouse, or even enlisting the help of older siblings. It takes a whole team of individuals to keep a household functioning.
Here are a few ways to achieve some balance:
- Schedule some “me-time”. Self-care is so important! Even if it’s just closing your office door for a bit for a 10-minute meditation, it’s enough to refresh you and help you achieve a little balance.
- Make Lists. Keep a list for things that need to be done over the next couple of days, including kids’ activities, business matters, and personal things (like dental appointments.) Prioritize and move less important things to the next day if necessary.
- Reconnect with your spouse. Date nights, cuddle sessions, and just spending time together after the kids go to bed is essential.
- Use technology. If you have to be at your child’s function, be available for work emails and phone calls on your phone. It’s great to be present and in the moment, but if you have something pressing that can’t be avoided, make technology work for you.
- Find a support system. Friends and neighbors who can help in a pinch, or carpool together to and from practices can be a huge asset to the working mom.
- Do less. Simplify family life by consciously scaling back on outside activities and commitments. Limit kids to 2 extracurricular activities and make choices where you many be overscheduled and decide which events are more important and skip the rest.
- Exercise regularly. Having a consistent exercise routine can help you feel better and handle everyday stress more effectively.
- Lower your expectations. You don’t have to do everything perfectly and store bought muffins are totally acceptable. Do a little cleaning each day and save the heavy duty stuff for another day.
- Create the job you want. If you need or want a certain schedule that is more flexible for you and your family, don’t hesitate to ask for that. Be clear in your expectations with your employer and let them know that you’re a mom first and you can deliver great work, but it will be balanced with your family life.
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