Are you a working mom who is struggling to juggle a full-time job with a family life? Then you have flipped to the right section, to be honest I am a working mom and to find that work life-family balance is a struggle every day but we are working on it. And I’m here to share some tips, (based on research of course) on how you could get closer to reaching an ideal work-life balance.
It’s the 21st century and let’s face it, there are more moms in the workforce than there ever was back in the day. And needless to say it has been found that nearly 4 in 10 homes have a mom who is also a working mom in the United States. And I’m sure you can agree with the fact that this statistic is raging its way to developing countries, much like our own- Sri Lanka.
Being a full-time working mother can lead to feelings of guilt and stress because of divided attention between work and family. The key is to focus on a plan, get organized and find the right balance between profession and parenthood. Here are some ways to help make sure both your career and your family flourish.
- Learn to Let Go of the Guilt
Sure enough you will feel guilty for not spending enough time with your kids, possibly missing out on those incredible milestones, parent teacher meetings or singing competitions because your busy trying to pitch ideas for a project at your work place, but instead of dwelling on that, focus on how your role in the company is benefiting your family financially, and possibly helping your career in the long run. Another way to let go of the guilt is joining a focus group for working moms/parents or even talking to a friend about the world wind of emotions you are feeling will really help to get the edge off.
- Accept That There Will Be Good Days and Bad Days
Not every day will be a walk in the park. Some days you will feel like super mom, having met all the deadlines and organized in every way possible keeping up to the needs of your family and your job and on other days you will feel like the world just came crumbling down. But don’t let that get the better of you! Accept that not every day will be exactly how you plan it to be.
- Find Quality Child Care
Ask your network of friends and family for references of nannies, babysitters and day care centers. Create a list of the possible references and schedule appointments to go meet with them. If you don’t feel comfortable in sending your child to a daycare or having a nanny looking after your child, you could reach out for help by asking members of your family or friends if they could babysit while you’re away at work.
- Make Your Mornings Easier
To avoid getting yourself all frustrated in the morning before heading to work, you should organize and plan yourself the night before. Prep meals/meal plan, pack the kids school bags as well as all the essentials the night before so you could get a head start to the day, Although lets be real, this is probably easier said than done, we all have those nights where we are simply too tired to do anything and leave it for the next day but it’s a start and it is alright if you do have off days but aim to stay organized.
- Create a Family Calendar
You must remember to prioritize family time and you could do that by creating your very own family calendar. Your calendar can include when bills are due, a list of school and family events, extracurricular activities, birthdays, special family get togethers etc. This would help you stay organized and if you are ever caught up with work, you can depend on your trustee calendar to help sort you out. Another tip would be to use Google calendars that can be easily synced to your smart phone. By being able to prioritize and organize the time spent on family life, the better you will be able to improve the efficiency in the home front.
- Stay Connected During the Day
To stay connected and make frequent calls while you are busy at work may seem challenging but try your best to use at least five minutes of your free time to call your kids and ask them how their day is going, this way you know you are involved. Your child is likely to feel comforted to know that you are near. At the same time, maybe hearing your child might help you through a rough day at work.
- Try to Avoid Multi-Tasking
We all know, as a working parent, it’s not easy to completely dodge an important phone call or reply to emails while interacting with your child, but it is possible. You would find that spending 20 minutes of quality time with your child by leaving aside any distraction is so much more appreciated than having spent two hours with your child while multi-tasking and finishing up some last minute office work.
- Spend Time with Your Partner
Remember to nurture your relationship with your partner, it is just as important as spending time as a family. Schedule more monthly date nights, do something special once in awhile to surprise one another, just to keep your marriage exciting. And if that doesn’t work for you then settle for a cozy date night in your home, a great home cooked meal, a glass of wine and enjoying each other’s company and engaging in conversation (not about work or kids) but just about the two of you.
- Create Special Family Bonding Times
Making time for your kids is crucial. Make it a point to organize special family bonding sessions, maybe a board game or a movie night at home. You could set up a casual family dinner at the kid’s favourite restaurant every weekend. When you are at these family outings, avoid checking your phone and instead focus on your kids interests such as friends, classes and hobbies. In the end it doesn’t really matter what you do as long as you do it together.
- Try to live in the moment
If you are able to manage time wisely and achieve a good balance in your work and family life, you will find that you are able to fit in valuable “me” time on a regular basis. “ME” time is crucial for you to feel like you have accomplished the day. You need a time to out to breathe and take in all the positive energy around you. Lose yourself in a book before bed; treat yourself to a spa day or a coffee break in a relaxing café to just wind down. Do something special for yourself, you can’t be an effective spouse or parent if you’re irritable, so take care of yourself. You deserve it mama!
By Zahedi Samsudeen