Before I became a mom, I would languish over decisions. Shall I eat breakfast at 9 or 10? I wonder if I feel like a cycle this afternoon…Hmm, should my dinner be popcorn or hummus? Or both?
Enter a 6-year old. And she’s an easy 6-year old. But, my decisions now have to include things like, “She probably needs breakfast before first break.” I work as a writer and editor. I write loads of online content, as well as a few other exciting projects (like a wedding planning book, memoirs, and short stories). I work from home, which has taught me that I’m an even more fabulous boss than I am an employee. Sunshine? Work shmork, I’m off to the beach. Just kidding, all my faithful clients.
Here are some tips on how to balance being a mom with having to work (full-time or part-time, from home or an office):
- Remember why you work – rather than resenting the work you have to do, remember the benefits of it. You can feed your family, use your skills, save up for a vacation with your little ones, and be a great example of productivity and time-management to your children.
- Be at peace with not always having EVERYTHING under control. There are going to be good days and bad ones. Then, there are going to be those that make you doubt everything you’ve ever known and opt to stay in a foetal position with nothing more than a bottle of Jack at your side. Be prepared and start again when you can.
- Only worry about what you can control, and about what really matters. The rest needs to pale in comparison if you’re going to avoid burnout. So, before the full-frontal freak-out, think, “will this really matter in an hour, tomorrow, or next week?”
- You time – you absolutely have to make regular time for something that makes you happy and has nothing to do with your work. Gym, sauna, yoga, nails, coffee with your bestie. It doesn’t matter. Insist on it.
- Focus on what you do have, rather than on what you don’t. Being an optimistic woman that enjoys the positives will help you to focus on the joy of your family, and will draw attention (and energy) away from dwelling on stress or hardships.
- Connect with other working moms. There are so many articles on the working-mother-guilt that they feel, the battle they have with personal schedules, how they juggle time with their spouse, kids and colleagues, and so on. These help. A problem shared is a problem halved and all that.
- Keep your weekends / holidays sacred. Don’t be tempted to pick up the phone or check your emails. Time off is crucial.