Maintaining your career while adding on a new responsibility of being a mother is no easy feat, especially when being a mom is already like a full-time job as it is.
A few years ago I was just like you when I first became a mom.
Lost, confused, and afraid of disappointment. I wanted to fulfill all my roles perfectly but soon found myself overwhelmed with the expectations I set on myself.
Keeping up with so many responsibilities 24/7 will easily lead to burnout. A gentle reminder that you’re not just a mother or an employee, you’re your person; and you deserve to know how to balance between motherhood and career without losing sight of yourself.
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Here are 10 manageable tips to help you balance work and family!
Tip 1 – Drop the mom guilt
The stereotype that moms should stay home to care for the children while dads go to work and provide for the family still exists today. This outdated mindset affects working mothers as you might feel guilty for leaving your children behind when you head off to work or are too busy to pick up your children as other moms do.
If your career is important to you, or you must continue working for financial reasons, you should feel proud for being a working mom. You are contributing to your family and a steady income helps to pay for things for your child to improve their way of life.
Be confident that you’re making the best choice for your family. Your children will understand and feel the extent of your love for them.
Tip 2 – Maintain open communication with your manager
Ask your employer for a more flexible schedule. Most working moms are reluctant to bring it up as they think it makes them look bad as an employee. Instead of thinking that way, it makes you look like you are prioritizing your family as much as work.
Thanks to technology, there’s a lot of work that can be done at home. You can ask if you can work for longer hours on certain days, and leave earlier on days where you can squeeze in time to pick up your children from school or club activities.
The important thing is to communicate clearly to your manager your needs and how you will continue to do your job well. With luck, your manager will appreciate your honesty and be understanding of your dedication to both your family and your job.
Tip 3 – Communicate and spend time with your spouse
It takes two hands to clap. Remember that you’re not in this alone. Communicating with your partner will help them understand the difficulties you face and let them know how to help. A healthy relationship with your spouse is also key to maintaining a good family relationship.
Try reconnecting with date nights or enjoy activities that you and your spouse used to do before becoming parents. Making time for honest conversations can help strengthen your relationship and bring your family even closer.
Tip 4 – Share the workload
Housework should not solely fall on your shoulders.
Get the family to chip in on tasks too! Your spouse can help you vacuum the house or do the laundry.
Your children can learn how to put their toys away or clean their bedroom. This helps build good character and habits earlier while freeing your hands to do tasks only you can do.
Tip 5 – Plan things in advance
You can prepare the night before to ease the stress of the week ahead.
You can decide on tomorrow’s breakfast or what you or your children are going to wear and set them aside. So when the morning comes you’re more prepared to zoom your way through preparations and create a routine that you won’t have to struggle with.
You can also plan your groceries and order online so that they get delivered to your house. This saves you time and ensures that you don’t forget anything. You can also make meals on the weekend and keep them in the refrigerator for a convenient reheat on a busy day during the week.
Tip 6 – Be present and leave work at work
As a working mom, it can be a huge struggle to shift from work-mode to mommy-mode.
It’s easy to blur the lines and you may unintentionally let your work stress influence your mood and take it out on the people around you. Release your stress on the way home or pick up your children and set intentions for your day.
When you’re home, put your phone or laptop away, and spend some time playing with your kids. Help them with their homework and ask them about their day. Your children will feel happier knowing that your full attention is spent on them and you’ll also feel happier knowing that you’re making the most of your time with your children.
Tip 7 – Find a reliable childcare center
It’s important to find a quality day-care center that you can trust so that you can have peace of mind when you’re at work. Ensure that the center has a clean and spacious environment, with flexible hours and experienced teachers.
For nannies, you should look for one with great reviews or maybe ask around if you have friends who have worked with them before and can be depended on. Have at least a trial day to observe if your child and they are a good fit and to make sure they can meet all your expectations.
This is a very personal choice, so you should take the time to find out what works best for you so that you feel assured that your kids will be in good hands.
Tip 8 – Don’t be shy to ask family members/relatives for help
Open up about your issues with your family members or relatives, and ask for help when you need it.
Who knows, your parents might be more than happy to take care of your child when you’re at work. Or, your sibling might already have a schedule to pick up their child from the same place as yours.
Talk things out and see if they can help you drop your child off at home too.
As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. Your family will empathize and support you all the way. You can return the favor by bringing the whole family out for a meal. But even without that, I’m sure your family will feel more at ease knowing that they’ve helped you lift some burdens off your shoulders.
Tip 9 – Have a family planner to stay organized
A family calendar can be useful to keep everybody up to date with everyone’s busy schedules. You can make it a fun family bonding activity where you spend time together to decorate a physical calendar that you can put up on your fridge.
You can also go digital by using Google Calendar or other apps so that you can always access them through your smartphone. Plan as much as possible so that you won’t be caught off guard and nothing is left to the last minute.
Tip 10 – Have me-time
Moms tend to put their own needs last to take care of everyone first.
Here’s a reminder that you need time for yourself to maintain some inner peace and balance within the hectic environment of work and home life.
If you take care of yourself, you will be better able to take care of those you love and deal with the stress that a busy schedule brings.
Enjoy the best of both worlds
Balancing both your career and family isn’t always easy but it can be beyond fulfilling to have the best of both worlds. Take it one day at a time and embrace this beautiful and imperfect life that we have.
You got this working moms!