THE WORKING MOM
She is focused, she is strong, and it feels like she really can do it all– she is Mom.
They always say, us, mothers are the light of our homes, the all-knowing mom who seems to always know what everyone needs; whether it be a hug, an advice, a nice snack, even down to the smallest things like where did that pair of socks go? In between housework, taking the kids somewhere, and helping with homework, we also need to take care of ourselves. In this day and age where women are a phenomenon in their own right, combining career and motherhood is an extremely demanding role.
A working mother, who works at home or who works away from home, is a woman with the ability to make her own financial independence with the added responsibility of raising a family. Both these jobs are equally important to mothers, and to be effective to each without neglecting the other is an overwhelming task. As a working mom, we face a special set of challenges, making us prone to stress. And when we’re stressed and preoccupied, it affects our relationship with the kids and can even decrease productivity. So finding that balance is vital in order to feel more confident in this challenging yet fulfilling journey.
While the perfect work-life balance may feel impossible, I want to share with you some useful tips to maintain that Supermom energy:
Create a routine.
Establishing some sort of day and night routine can set out a smooth and productive day. This might include packing your child’s school bag and laying out their clothes the night before school, in order to avoid the risk of being rushed then forgetting something. Sound familiar? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there before.
Prioritize and delegate tasks.
This might mean making a list of 3-5 tasks you want to accomplish that day and tick them off as you go. By doing this, you feel pleased that you are making progress and that you are capable of accomplishing multiple tasks, even the small ones, both at home and at work. Resist the urge to do everything by yourself and teach kids to be responsible for things they can accomplish like making their beds, cleaning up their toys, and putting away dirty clothes.
Take advantage of the online services available to you, especially now that almost everything can be done online. Use online retailers or deliveries when it’s time to stock up on everyday essentials. This definitely frees up my time and I use that free time for relaxing, learning a new hobby, or spending more time with family.
Set healthy boundaries.
Becoming a working mom also means reevaluating other commitments. Learning to say “no” is important so you won’t have too much on your schedule. Although sometimes it’s not that easy to turn down an invitation, time management is the key, my fellow Moms. Alternatively, try to say “yes” to occasions that will allow you to bring your children and family along: get together with family and friends, or a virtual kid-friendly dinner with workmates.
Find childcare providers you trust.
Knowing that our child is cared for gives us that peace of mind. Find a quality daycare that could provide care as well as education for your child. Enlist help when needed and find people who can watch over the kids or do some chores at home. You can ask family members, neighbors, or hire a nanny from your community to help with tasks while you.. drum roll, please… Get some sleep.
Get sufficient sleep.
Working moms seem to put themselves last on the list and sometimes work double shifts resulting in lack of sleep. I, myself, am guilty of this. But getting enough rest is crucial to performing well at home and at work. When we feel stressed, it affects our productivity and sometimes our relationships.
Enjoy some time for yourself.
Consider what self-care looks like for you. Is it going to the gym, doing yoga, walking on the park or the beach, visiting a museum, meeting a friend for coffee, pampering yourself in a salon, or working on your new hobbies? Taking care of ourselves is important too so we can build that inner strength, feel recharged and replenished, which are vital for having the energy to continue as a mom balancing life and work.
Make time for stress management practices.
Learn about your stress triggers. This might be when you’re preparing the kids for school, or facing deadlines at work. When you are aware of what causes your stress, you have an idea on how to manage it and find activities or practices that can help you feel less overwhelmed. Try healthy practices like proper breathing, meditation, and exercise. These activities are something that you can do as a family, too.
Be fully present.
One of the struggles of being a working mom is having to spend only a few hours with our kids each day. Make the most of these precious times by giving your undivided attention. Laugh with them, talk to them, and just simply be there with them.
Fulfilling the role of Mom while trying to be successful at work is both an exhausting and rewarding job.
As a mom, it’s easy to feel frustrated because of the overwhelming responsibilities which will bring much stress not only to us but also to the whole family. Balancing work and parenting is never an easy feat but with a little planning, cooperation and support, we can overcome pretty much anything life throws at us. To all the working moms out there who make it look easy, cheers to you! And to the moms who are still finding that balance, trust me, it will all be worth it!