Being a working mom today is harder than ever. On one hand, you’re being told to “lean in” and focus on your career. On the other hand, you want to spend as much time with your family as possible. The pressures of social media don’t help. We’re constantly bombarded with so many “Instagram-perfect” lives out there, you start to believe that you’re the only one who isn’t able to achieve this delicate balance. Although it’s not necessarily easy, you can find a way to excel at your job while still being a great mom to your children. Here are some tried and true tips that the most successful working moms use to stay sane in this busy world.
Keep a detailed calendar
Doing it all is hard enough as it is without having to keep everything straight in your head or on little scraps of paper! Whether you prefer a traditional paper agenda or a handy calendar app on your phone, find a reliable repository for the day-to-day details of your life. Lunch with your boss to discuss the new proposal you submitted? On the calendar. Dentist appointment for your daughter? On the calendar. Evening book club with your favorite friends? Definitely on the calendar! By putting it down on your schedule, you’re freeing up your mind from having to keep track of a million little things. This will allow you to focus on spending more quality time with your family without worrying about all those things you may be forgetting. Just give your calendar a quick review each morning and you’ll stay organized and stress-free.
Divide up your duties
Being a working mom does not mean that you have to do it all! Unfortunately, even though many moms are working just as many hours as their husband in the office, the majority of the work at home is still relegated to them. Now is the time to sit down with your spouse and ensure that you have evenly distributed the household tasks among the two of you. If one cooks, the other one needs to do the dishes. If one is starting the laundry, the other one needs to fold. Dividing up tasks like picking up the kids from school or making the trips to the grocery store can also relieve a lot of the burden that comes from being a working parent. Just remember that the two of you are a team during this time. It shouldn’t be the two of you battling each other, it should be the two of you battling the problem together. This is also a great time to start introducing your children to age-appropriate chores. They can help our after homework is done in the evenings or on weekends during down time. By teaching them tasks like cooking and cleaning, you’re helping them become more self-sufficient and teaching them crucial life skills.
Make time for mom
Burn out is real and can occur much faster when you’re juggling both home and work duties. So carve out time for yourself on a regular basis. Many families have found success by swapping out days so one parent can sleep in while the other wakes up with the kids. Others swap weeks where each parent gets an evening out with friends so they can relax and unwind. However, don’t forget to nurture your relationship with your spouse either. Call on grandparents, babysitters or trusted friends once or twice a month to watch the kids for you so you can reconnect with your husband. When your marriage is strong, many of the small struggles in life are much easier to deal with.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
There are going to be days when, despite your best efforts, you drop the ball on something. Maybe you blow a deadline at work because you’ve been up every night with a teething baby and just can’t concentrate at your desk. Or perhaps you lose your cool when you ask your kids to get ready for bed for the eighth time and they still won’t listen. It’s ok! You’re a real person who makes mistakes, just like all the other women out there! Even those families in their cute matching outfits on Instagram aren’t always perfect, despite how their pictures look. Be gentle with yourself and understand that even when you’re doing your best, every day is not going to go exactly according to plan. If your family is happy and healthy most days, that is all that truly matters.
Millions of women across the country juggle work and family every day. Although there’s no magic secret that makes it simple and easy, it’s good to know that it is possible to do both with a little bit of organization and help. If all of these women can do it, so can you!