Finding balance as a working mother
“I’ll make it work,” we say to ourselves as we run home from work to drop Johnny off at piano lessons and then Sally to soccer. We pick them up in a rush, stopping through a drive-thru for dinner and eating in the car. Getting home just in time to tuck them both into bed after a bath, story, and kisses. And then, we clean the house.
“It needs to get done,” we say to ourselves as we scrub up the kitchen, pick up the soccer gear and toys, and then throw a load of laundry in.
Finally, we can relax. Maybe we switch on the telly or lay in bed with a good book. It doesn’t matter, we’re nodding off anyway.
Motherhood is a full-time job. It’s a job that requires long hours, constant availability, regular overtime, and high stamina. The rewards, of course, are many, and there are very few of us who would give it up.
So what do you do when you also have a full-time career? Whether you work in the home or out of the home it’s really hard to find balance in your life when you have two parts of your life that demand 40+ hours a week.
Here are 5 Tips on creating more balance between work, your family, and you
- Schedule, schedule, schedule
Write down the things you want most. Do you want more time with your partner? Maybe you want more time to read or pursue a hobby? Do you want more sleep? Write it all down and schedule it in. Put down that pencil! Schedule these things in PEN! They’re important, treat these appointments as if they were appointments with clients or as if they were of the utmost importance (which they are!). Don’t let yourself move them around the calendar. Choose a date, leave it where it is, and honor it.
- Give yourself permission to get help
It’s O.K. to ask for help. Remind yourself of that. Look at your calendar and how you spend your time. What can you hire out? What can you ask for favors? What can you barter for? If you can budget for it, allow yourself to have someone come in to clean the house every other week, send out your laundry, or order a few pre-assembled meals for the month. Scour your list of friends and family and see who might be willing to help you for free, cheap, or who may be willing to barter with you. This includes babysitting time. Hire a sitter once weekly so you can have some time to yourself or maybe so you and your partner can have a night out. You can even start a rotating sitter system with some of your friends who have children and trade evenings off.
Most importantly, don’t forget to make sure that you are doing at least one thing that is solely for you! You matter. Your needs matter. Take some time for yourself.
Wake up 30 minutes early and spend some time with yourself, calming your mind and clearing your head. This will set the tone for your day and prepare you to deal with anything that might come your way. You’ll be less stressed, more clear and balanced, and better equipped to face the day. Visit my Freebies page for a free course on meditation and some free guided meditations.
- Cut down the extracurricular activities
Have your children choose only one after school activity. Extracurricular activities are fun and valuable, but so is time spent at home, in their own environment with people they love. You and your sanity is valuable as well. Take this extra time and spend it doing something that enriches your well-being.
- Schedule time for your children
Choose a time, either once weekly or daily, whichever works for you, to regularly give your children your full attention. It’s hard to give them your attention when they start to talk to you about their day while you’re cooking dinner or wrapping up some loose ends from work. Make sure they know that this is their time. You’ll find that they start looking forward to it and they may even start saving their best stories to tell you during these times. Having this regular time with them will help to deepen your bond which will make things easier when your day or week gets hectic.
Try not to stress, Mum, and don’t forget to take care of yourself!