7 Tactics Every Working Mom Should Employ To Balance Work and Family

4 min read

Being a mom is by no means an easy task, and that goes double for the working moms out there. Compared to a pre-mom lifestyle, it almost ends up being twice the work, especially for new mothers. But it doesn’t have to be. It was hard for me at first too when I found myself trying to play the balancing act between being a mom to my little girl, earning a wage, and finding time for my hobbies. My solution was to change vocation from teacher to a more work-from-home lifestyle to try to get everything under control. That was a necessity on my end due to outside factors, but, after doing some extensive research, I’ve managed to find 7 tricks that will enable you to successfully juggle work and family time without burning out.

women holding kid and working

1. Don’t Get Pulled too Deep into Your Work:

Despite the temptation of overtime and a bigger paycheck, it’s not worth pushing through the designated work period just for a few extra bucks. All you’ll end up doing is exhausting yourself and then not having any time for yourself or your kids. To avoid this, put together a specific schedule that you’ll be working in – one that will satisfy company requirements and still work for you. Only take the extra if you can afford to, but you have to face facts that more often than not, you and your family will suffer for it.

2. Don’t Say Yes to Everything:

This goes for both work and home. You don’t have to be the go-getter every time something new opens up at work, no matter how much you want that promotion. And, you don’t have to agree to every single event and/or activity your friends and family throw at you. Otherwise, you’ll end up swamped and your schedule will look like a suitcase that was panic-packed an hour before a flight. Some bits of free time are meant to stay just that – free – so you can have time to relax. Make sure to section that part off first and leave the rest as free game, adjusting as needed.

3. Take Time to Decompress and Relax Every Day:

Following tip #2, it’s important to always have parts of the day dedicated to recharging your batteries and decompressing everything you’ve taken in so far. Get some coffee and a handful of those delicious, homemade lemon cookies. Grab a nice cold glass of aqua from the watercooler. Go outside for a stretch and some fresh air. At work, capitalize on your lunch break and, if your company allows for it, possibly spacing it out in a way that works best for you. At home, this time is usually spent by catering to your hobbies or simply having a nap or watching an episode of your favorite TV series. Being with kids can be relaxing at times, but that’s not something you can control, so don’t count that as relaxation time.

4. Prioritize Tasks:

I’ve found that most of my time was wasted by not knowing how to organize the tasks on my to-do lists. But once I figured out that doing them in a specific order made a huge difference, I’ve felt much less pressure and exhaustion from work. You can do the same by prioritizing your tasks based on their priority, level of impact, and/or the amount of work needed to finish them. Once done, you clear the ones that take the lowest amount of effort but produce the best results, and go down the list until you get to the last one.

5. Work with Your Manager, Not Against Him:

Contrary to the complaints everyone usually has about their higher-ups when talking among friends, being good with the manager pays off for your mental health. If you maintain your employer-employee relationship, you’ll be able to properly discuss your daily workflow with him and optimize it so it benefits you without conflicting with your work performance. This way, you’ll be able to maybe come in a little later so you can hand your kids off to the sitter, or have time to make breakfast and pack lunches without having to wake up extra early. You’d still have to do the expected workload of course, but now you’re in a sense making your own hours.

6. Use Your Time Off as Needed:

The biggest mistake you can make is to not take days off, thinking it’s better to prioritize everything that needs to be done over your personal health. Trust me when I say that many of these things can and will wait for you when you get back. If you feel like you need some time off, take it. There doesn’t have to be some strict schedule for it, even a single day off can help reset you if you’re feeling overworked. You’ll find that you’ll be a more efficient employee and a much more relaxed and happy mom and partner back home.

7. Separate Work and Family Time:

As tempting as catching up on work at home may be, it’s not healthy for you to be in “working mode” all the time. Those emails and calls can wait. It’s family time at that point – make sure that that’s clear to everyone. You may be a working mom, but you’re still a mom and you need some time to devote to taking care of your kids too. If you work from home, reserve one room as your work environment and treat it as if it’s separate from the rest of the house – a place where you enter “work mode” once you walk in and revert to “mom mode” once you leave.

If there’s one lesson to take away from all of this, it’s that time management and social skills are your most important tool in finding that work-family balance. Once you master that, you’ll find it a lot more manageable to go about your day-to-day life.

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