While I have been far from being the perfect mother or wife, but I have always believed in living a balanced life. As working mothers, I am sure we all have gone through our share of feelings of guilt and stress because of divided attention between work and family. There are plenty of things that we can do to live a happy and successful life beyond our family and career, but it is important that we find the right balance between these two. And this is where most of us struggle. From my own experience I have learned that if the proper balance between our family and career is not achieved, every part of our life is likely to suffer the consequences. The key here is to focus on a plan, get organized, and strike the right balance between work life and motherhood.
8 Tips For Balancing Your Career And Child The Right Way
As mothers we want to be around our kids, cherish all the moments of their growing years and I am no different. As a mother to a tween, I want to be a part of all her memories, to listen to her woes and to share her joys. For this, it is imperative that I find the right equation between my work and spending time with my child. If you are juggling between home and work then here I share with you 8 ways that helped me to ensure that there is a right balance between my career and my child.
- Flexible working hours: Companies these days give all the mothers returning to work the flexibility to work from home or have flexible work timings. Look for a place of work where you can have that flexibility so that you can enjoy your work and spend time with your child as well. Flexible working hours have helped me in ensuring that I am available at home when my child returns from school or I am present at all the important events happening in her life
- Get support from your family: Another important thing required to achieve the balance will be the support of your spouse and family. Check with your husband if he can pitch in some days/ hours to help you around with the kids and household chores. Don’t feel hesitant to seek help from your mother, mother in law or a paid help. It is important that you have someone to look after your child when you are away
- Do things together as a family: One thing I have realized after starting work is no matter how busy we are in our work life, spending quality time as a family and doing things together is very important. Having one meal together as a family, playing board games, going out for movies, watching our favorite shows on television are some of the things that we love to do with our kid
- Little mess is ok: I know there is nothing more stressful than coming back home to a messy house. But don’t be that mother whose home is spotlessly clean, who manages kids and has a perfect job. Know your limits. I have realized that there are certain things that need to be compromised and one such thing is ignoring little mess around the house. Sweating over small things only adds to your stress. This will leave you edgy and in return affect the peace in the family. One trick that I have resorted to is asking my husband and child to pitch in. We have distributed the chores and this way we all contribute and as a team ensure that the systems are all running fine. So our house may not be spotless but we all take pride in contributing towards tidying it up
- Get organized: This is one thing that I have learned as a working mom. Getting organized is essential in striking a right balance between work and family. We have set our days to buy groceries, I plan ahead in a lot of household things like do all the meal planning for the coming week on the weekends so that we can stock up all the ingredients rather than running for it at the last minute. This gives me some peace of mind during the week and this way I am able to spend more time with my child and concentrate on my work
- Accept that you can’t have it all: The sooner you realize this fact, the better it is for you. Stop trying to be the superwoman and concentrate on just being the real woman. With my own bittersweet experiences, I have accepted the fact I can’t do everything as things take time. So now I prioritize. As a result, I have fewer things to focus on and I am left with more energy for my child. It is rightly said “Life is what you make it, so stop worrying and whining about everything and make the best of what we have”
- Make “me” time: We all have heard that “happy mothers make for happy kids“. Trying to do everything by yourself will only wear you out. As a working mother, you need to recharge your batteries so that you have enough energy to deal with everything else. So go ahead take out some “me time”. I love to indulge myself in relaxing pedicures or hanging out with my girlfriends or just going for window shopping. I have realized that this “me time” is very important to maintain my sanity and give me a break from the ever demanding work and personal life. I look at it as a deposit in my work- life account and feel that more “me time” that I take, the more I am able to splurge on my kid and family
- Let go off that mother guilt: I have done it all: feeling guilty about working, feeling guilty about not working and not able to contribute to the family, feeling guilty about not being able to make proper home cooked meals, feeling guilty about enjoying “me time”. If you are doing that I would suggest just STOP IT RIGHT AWAY! This kind of negative thinking is nothing but a waste of energy. Try and channelize this energy somewhere else more productively. So whenever I have such thoughts I just turn those thoughts around. Remember that there is a reason why you have chosen to work or not work so don’t be harsh on yourself and refrain from wallowing in guilt
It is not an easy task to find the perfect work-life balance irrespective of whether we are back at work because we chose to or because we had to. We need to find the right balance between work and family to enjoy the fruits of motherhood!