It’s not easy to juggle the responsibilities of work and home. Being a working mother can be tough, exhausting, and challenging. You are often made to feel like you are doing a thankless job, and people perceive that you’re never fully present at work or as a mother. But that’s far from the truth. You can still have a great career while fully being present as a mother.
But how do you do that?
When you have a job, there are times you cannot make it to your daughter’s rehearsal or their PTA meetings. Other times, the responsibilities of a mother can hold you back from attending an overseas conference.
The key is to find a work-life balance where you can manage both your roles efficiently without feeling guilty that you’re compromising on either of your responsibilities.
Below, we list down eight ways moms can balance work and family (and feel good about it).
1. Let Go Of The Mom Guilt
No matter how much you plan and organize, there are gonna be days that you cannot be present with your child. But rather than dwell on it, you can focus on how being a working mother is benefiting your family. Even if it means less time with your children, your work might be contributing to providing them a better education and childhood, or even save up for their college funds. It’s important to come to terms with the choices that you will have to make and focus on the priorities at the moment.
2. Find Childcare Providers That You Can Trust
Finding quality childcare will give you peace of mind when you’re at work. Knowing that your child is cared for by someone that you trust — a nanny, daycare, or babysitter — will help you focus on work without any worries. Take your time to interview a childcare provider and make sure they meet all your criteria. A quality daycare will have flexible hours, up-to-date licenses, and a low teacher to child ratio. If you plan to hire a nanny, find someone with excellent references and extensive experience. You could also try a paid playdate with the candidate for a day to see if they are a good fit for your child. It’s also important to make all your expectations clear from the beginning to avoid any confusion or conflicts.
3. Time-Saving Hacks
Planning strategically becomes a necessity when you are a working mother. So, plan ahead, find shortcuts, and don’t be afraid to try new time-saving hacks.
Here are a few things that you could do that will help you better manage your time:
- Order groceries online
- Use curbside pickups
- Run quick errands during lunch breaks
- Schedule conference calls while on the commute
- Plan your outfits the night before for a relaxed morning.
4. Make Your Mornings Easier
Planning ahead is key to having a peaceful morning. You could get organized the night before by laying out clothes, packing lunches, and dividing the schedule between you and your partner. This will allow you some free time so that you can have a peaceful morning breakfast with your family without having to rush out the door. Create a to-do list beforehand so that both you and your partner can divide the chores equally and be aware of their individual responsibilities, such as who will cook breakfast, dress the kids, and buy any necessary groceries.
5. Maintain Open Communication With Your Employer
Being a working mother is challenging, and that is why some flexibility in your work schedule would do you good. You could still be the most committed employee even if you have to pick your kids from the daycare in the midst of office hours. Talk to your manager, and try to be as open and honest as you can. Come up with a proposal with some flexible arrangements that will ensure your employer that you will continue to do your job well and meet all your deadlines. If your boss is understanding, he/she will appreciate your transparency and dedication.
6. Prioritize Your Relationship
As much as you prioritize your job and kids, focus on the relationship with your partner. Reconnecting with your partner and spending quality time together will help you feel rejuvenated and closer. You could find time to go for date nights once a month or simply sit back and relax with a glass of wine every other weekend.
7. Lower Your Expectations
Nobody is a perfect mother. You don’t have to cook delicious home-cooked meals three times a day and keep your home spotless all the time. Instead of putting unnecessary pressure on yourself, it’s best to lower your expectations and set realistic goals. It’s fine if you order take out every once in a while and get store-bought cookies instead of baking them yourself.
8. Take Time For Yourself
Me-time usually takes a backseat when you’re hustling through life with work and family. Working mothers often feel like they can’t afford me-time and are made to feel guilty of taking time for themselves rather than spending it with their family. Finding time for yourself is crucial for inner peace and balance. Remember, you can’t be a good partner or parent if you’re cranky and exhausted. So, take time for yourself to relax and rejuvenate.
It’s possible to have a successful career and a happy family. Let go of unnecessary pressure, find ways to manage your time, divide responsibilities, and most importantly, focus on yourself as well. It may not be picture perfect or like how you imagined it at all. But the best thing you could do is learn to appreciate all that you can do for your family and yourself and enjoy the little and big moments in life.