Tips for working moms to balance work and family
From involving your partner, planning for child care, and knowing your priorities, to taking time for yourself and staying focussed will help reach an ideal work-life balance.
Saturday October 30, 2021,
5 min Read
It is undeniable that working mothers are masters of multitasking. But between changing diapers, organising game dates, and juggling conference calls, today's professional women struggle to achieve unrealistic expectations for work-life balance.
Consistency, or even balance, may be unrealistic because sometimes one responsibility will occupy more of your life than another. The first thing you need to do is to define what balance means to you, and don’t compare it with others.
Some mothers define balance as the ability to work a few days a week. These mothers strike a balance by working part-time and being able to do drop-off and pick-up, after-school activities, and tutoring.
Set time limits for checking email and making phone calls, which you can do while the kids are sleeping. When possible, avoid multitasking, especially when spending time with your children.
Remember to take care of your relationship with your partner, who will often be the person you rely on the most. Begin with monthly date nights to help you get closer, feel rejuvenated, and enjoy each other's company. When you’re stressed out at work and at home, it's easy to neglect your partner.
Learn to separate work from home
You can make it a rule that when you are with your children, you do not work, and when you are at work, you do not do things for your children.
Considering the high demands of work and family, this may not be suitable for everyone.
Instead of worrying about how you are not with your children, think about how your role in the company benefits the family. Perhaps you can offer certain courses or educational opportunities for your child, or you can save money for college.
Request references from your network of friends and family for nannies, babysitters, and day-care centres. Make a list of important criteria and then set aside time to interview qualified childcare providers or tour local day-cares. A good childcare service provider should have a wealth of experience, excellent reference materials, and good records to prove this.
Most mothers sacrifice something to make family and work go smoothly. Whether they are sacrificing sleep, work, or other household chores, or skipping meals due to a complicated schedule, which is not recommended, they are making some kind of sacrifice.
However, taking a few minutes break during the day can also help mentally. There is a happy home with a happy mother. If you are not in your best condition either physically or mentally, your family life and work-life will suffer. Practicing self-care can teach you to love yourself and help you become the best version of yourself. This is mutually beneficial for everyone.
Tips to meet the challenges
1. Involve your partner
You feel as if you only have a limited amount of time with your baby and want to make the most of it. That's excellent. However, if you are overly possessive, you will most likely end up doing all the work yourself.
2. Make a plan for childcare ahead of time
Good, dependable childcare is essential. Start looking into day-care centres and interviewing nannies well in advance of your return to work. Before you return, develop confidence and trust in your childcare provider to make those first days a little easier.
3. Know your priorities
As a hardworking professional and a great mom, your home will not pass the white glove inspection. Or you can't make a delicious dinner every night or even any night.
If you can afford additional help, such as cleaning services, that would be great. Or choose something that is important to you, such as staying on top of your clothes and letting the rest slip off.
4. Creating a family calendar
There is a section for each family member's work schedule, appointments, commitments, and other comings and goings. This is the key to balancing work and family life.
You can see what you need to do that week briefly, and it also allows your caregivers to keep track of your family's schedule.
5. Divide and conquer
If you have partners, sharing responsibilities will make a difference. Before you return to work on the first day, make sure you two are on the same page.
Coordinate your childcare plans and arrangements and share housework. Don't forget to make a sick leave plan. If your baby is sick and/or needs to see a doctor, learn how to divide who will care for your baby.
6. Take a stand
If you want to continue breastfeeding once you return to work, figure out where you can pump and when you'll do it ahead of time. Inform your boss that you will be working on this during scheduled breaks.
7. Take some time for yourself
This is not easy, especially in the first few months back to work. But you need to recharge. Meet a friend who is also a working mother. Talking to other women in the same boat will help you feel less alone.
8. Stay focussed
Many working parents find that even though they have more to do, they are more efficient and productive than ever. Make a to-do list every day and don't deviate from it for unnecessary things, like blindly checking your email repeatedly, or running to the store when you can simply order online.
Edited by Megha Reddy
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)