Sure you’ve had days when you felt like you were being pulled in 50 different directions. You’re not only trying to keep up at work after sleepless nights, but you’re also trying to keep it all together at home. Let’s not forget that you’re probably running on empty the majority of the time. It is entirely possible to have a thriving career and a family at the same time (while also feeling like your best self!).
Here are nine pointers to help you balance your career and motherhood:
1. RESPECT YOUR DECISION
If your career is important to you, this is one of your values that you should honor and feel empowered by. If you must continue working for financial reasons, recognize that you are doing what you need to do – what you believe is best for your family. Rather than allowing negative and guilty thoughts to creep in, think about all the wonderful things your children will learn as a result of you feeling empowered in your career. Women whose mothers worked outside the home are more likely to have jobs, hold supervisory responsibility at those jobs, and earn higher wages than women whose mothers stayed at home full-time, according to research and colleagues. Men raised by working mothers are more likely to help out around the house and devote more time to family members.
2. BE AVAILABLE
Be at home when you’re at home. Put down your phone and spend some time playing with your children on the floor or in the backyard. Assist them with their homework and inquire about their day. Drive them to their activities or gather the family for a meal. Not only will your children be happier, but you will be as well, knowing that you are making the most of the time you DO have with your family by being fully present.
3. FIRST, FILL YOUR OWN CUP
When you’re on a plane about to take off, the flight attendants go over their safety presentation. They always say that you should put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. There’s no way you’ll be able to help those around you if you can’t breathe properly. Make “me-time” a must-have. When we’re empty inside, we can’t keep giving, let alone have the brain power to balance a full life. Our bodies, like a car, cannot function on empty. Every day, make a conscious effort to do something, even if it’s just a short yoga session at home or 20 minutes of reading before bed.
4. WISELY SPEND YOUR TIME
Sometimes it appears that there aren’t enough hours in the day. Make it a point to decline activities or commitments that are simply unimportant, and prioritize those that are. Concentrate on activities that give you energy rather than ones that deplete it.
5. LEAVE WORK ALONE
If it’s Friday, let go of the workweek and set intentions for the weekend. This can be done in the car or anywhere there is a few moments of silence. Take 5 long, deep breaths while closing your eyes. Consider your workday and everything you accomplished that day or week, clearing and releasing it from your body. Be grateful for it, acknowledge it, and then let it all go. Then make your intentions clear. Repeat your intentions as you drive away from work and you’ll be able to pick up your kids in mom mode rather than stress mode.
6. CHOOSE A CHILDCARE YOU ENJOY
This is a very personal decision, but knowing where your child will be spending their time away from you makes life, work, and motherhood SO much more enjoyable and less stressful. It’s a wonderful feeling to know they’re happy and in a beautiful environment with caring people. It’s entirely personal. Find what works best for you so that you can feel confident that your children are in the best possible care.
7. APPLY A FAMILY ORGANIZER
This is a lifesaver and a must-have. Switch to activity tracker apps, and they’re fantastic! You can access it on your phone and see everyone’s activities no matter where you are. It also includes a section for grocery lists and to-do lists, allowing you to stop at the store and get what you need without having to drive home first to find your list! There will be no more texting mile-long shopping lists!
8. STOP STRIVING FOR PERFECTION
With Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, it’s all too easy to get stuck in the rut of “not being enough.” We are constantly comparing ourselves to everyone around us, and even worse, to their social media highlight reel. This has no positive outcome. Stop comparing your life to that of others. This is your existence. You make the decision to live it the way you want to live it. Let go of the need for perfection in everything. Your career does not have to be perfect, and neither does your family life… You are not required to be flawless.
9. HAVE A GOOD TIME
The last thing we need is for our lives to feel like a never-ending to-do list. So, what’s the point? Fun leads to joy, which leads to feelings of fulfillment and happiness overall. Make an effort to do at least one enjoyable activity each weekend (on your own or with your family). You’ll begin your workweek refreshed, knowing you made the most of your time at home, and feeling more prepared to do it all over again!
The journey to motherhood is thought to be the most blissful event for a woman. It certainly changes her life, and the pregnancy and childbirth journey instills in her the deepest love, tenderness, and patience. This is the time in her life when she realizes how strong she is. Work-life balance can be difficult for mothers who are raising a child, raising a family, and pursuing a career.
Set only attainable goals for yourself and your children. Learn not to overwhelm them with your ambitions and dreams, and instead take things in stride. Nonetheless, life is not meant to be perfect, and beauty can also be found in flaws. Sometimes it is the mess that brings out the happiness in our lives. All mothers should keep this in mind.