How To Balance Life As a Mom
Can working mothers have it all? A career, a marriage, health, happiness, and a relationship with her children simultaneously? The answer is so complicated that a universal answer seems impossible, but although “having it all” may be tough it’s definitely possible. Being committed fully to work and family is a task that working moms have to take on. It can be exhausting and thankless, but it doesn’t have to be this way. It is possible to pursue a fulfilling full-time career while taking an active role as a mother, if you learn to find a balance that works for your life.
Let go of the mom guilt
There often is a sexist stereotype where mothers are judged for “abandoning” their children to work full-time, while fathers are expected to go to work to provide for the family. Some women choose to go back to work because they don’t want to give up their career or simply because they don’t have the option of being a stay-at-home mom. Regardless of the reason, deciding to be a stay-at-home mom is a choice that should be admired, not judged. Don’t feel guilty about not being with your child at all time. Instead focus on the positive things that your work life is contributing to your family.
Learn to multi-task
The truth is, being a working mom is exhausting. If you’re not changing diapers all day then you’re reading and responding to emails. Try a whole new level of multi-tasking by doing two things you love at the same time. For example, if you go to the gym, read a book or listen to a podcast while working out. After dropping off your kids at daycare or school, continue your commute while talking to a family member or friend on speaker phone. This may be the only time you find to connect with someone since your busy schedule doesn’t allow otherwise. Try to streamline your daily activities as much as possible.
Find a childcare you trust
Ask your network of friends and family for references to nannies, babysitters, and daycare centers. Create a list of things that are important and schedule time to interview qualified childcare providers or to tour local daycares. If you’re looking to a hire a nanny, make sure you hire one with a history of long-term commitments to families. This shows that they have excellent experience and are adaptable a caring for newborns and older children who need help with homework. You can also schedule a paid play date with the nanny to see how they interact with your children.
Make the mornings easier
Prep as much of lunch and breakfast as possible the night before to make things run smoothly in the mornings. Planning and prepping meals can save you money and time. Pick out your clothes the night before, find your shoes, have your kids set-up their outfits the night before (or set them out yourself if they’re not old enough) and most importantly find their shoes and PE clothes. Nobody’s got time in the morning to scramble around looking for lost items. Right?
Try to wake up before the kids by at least 30-45 minutes, this way you get time to focus and have quiet before the hustle of the kids’ morning routine.
Maintain open communication with your manager
Although a few changes may occur, being a working mom does not mean you will be a less productive employee. Since mothers are typically the primary parent when a child is sick or has an appointment, and the ones responsible for picking up the child after work; so working moms often need more flexibility in their schedules. The important things is to make sure you communicate to your manager what your needs are, as well as how you will continue to do your job well.
Staying Organized and Planning Ahead
Mothers are usually the ones in charge of keeping track of doctor’s appointments, signing permission slips, bringing potluck dishes, remembering birthdays, writing cards, staying on top of clothes and sizes, never letting the house run out of toilet paper, and so much more. Use planners, apps, and other resources to keep track of your never-ending to-do’s and let go of some of the mental weight. Add events to a shared calendar so that your husband can also see what’s going on and help out. Plan ahead as much as possible!
Make time for me time
Don’t get into the bad habit of putting your own need last in order to take care of everyone else first. Because if you aren’t taking care of yourself, how can you expect to take care anyone else. Find the time on a regular basis to relax and recharge. Whether it’s exercising, doing yoga, meditating , reading or catching up with a loved one.