Inside: Balancing motherhood and your career can often seem like you are being stretched in every direction. Here are 11 tips to help you find balance in the chaos.
Guest post written by LifeMomma
You love your children. No one can deny that. Here’s the thing, though. Sometimes people look for more out of life. This is entirely understandable. The world is so full of promise, and you shouldn’t limit yourself if you have a driving passion for a rewarding career.
Today, more and more families have two working parents rather than just one. This may be because it is essential for that family to have two incomes, or it could merely be because both parents enjoy working and having a job.
Whether you work outside of the home or are a work from home mom, balancing motherhood and your career can make you feel like you are the star of a 3-ring circus.
Whatever the case, having both a career and a family to take care of is a huge commitment, and it requires a lot. How do you do it? Below are 11 tips that can really help you balance motherhood and your career.
12 tips for balancing motherhood and your career
- Take Care of Yourself First
When we have a million obligations, deadlines, and chores, balancing motherhood and your career seems impossible. There might not seem to be enough hours in the day, and frankly, it’s the easiest thing to make excuses for.
After all, you’re only disappointing yourself, right?
Not really. If you don’t take care of yourself, then you simply can’t function as well as you normally would. If you have half your energy, you’re likely only to get half of the things done that you need to, and you’ll only be able to do them half as well.
Take that needed time and practice some self-care. Doing this will enable you to perform better and truly be present at work and at home.
- Keep Your Work Life and Home Life Separated
Everyone recommends this, and it seems so easy at first. But when it comes down to it, this just feels impossible. It feels impossible not to answer a client’s text along with your partner’s text about the grocery list.
It seems impossible not to look at that email just a little bit.
It just seems impossible.
But it really can be done.
To keep the notifications at bay, maybe have two phones, one for your work life and one for your home life. If this isn’t a feasible option for you, try putting all of your work apps into one folder or on one screen and keep notifications for them muted or turned off.
- Use a Family Planner/ Organizer
Fun fact, a human can only remember roughly five to nine things at once. So, when there are five project deadlines and five family events, you’re going to forget at least one thing if you don’t have it written down somewhere.
This is true for anyone, so don’t be hard on yourself. When it comes to your family, have something that everyone has access to and use it to keep track of everyone’s events. This could be a calendar on the wall at home, or you can use an app. Even just google calendar or apple reminders would work really well to keep your family organized.
Keeping your calendar organized is an essential part of balancing motherhood and your career.
- Don’t Hold Back
Holding back can be seriously tempting. There’s a new project, and you’re sure you can do it. But the “what-ifs” run through your mind.
What if I miss an important game? What if I can’t do well because I need to take care of my family?
These doubts can set you back. You shouldn’t just ignore them, but if you’re struggling with a major decision at work, don’t say no right off the bat. Instead, really think about what your reservations are?
Are they just mindless worries, or are they valid concerns? If it seems to be the former, then raise your hand. Your family shouldn’t make you afraid of stepping up as an employee.
Have a conversation with your partner and together you can find a solution that will allow you to take on that new project if that is your desire.
- Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
We’ve done it since we were kids. No matter how hard we try, we can’t seem to stop ourselves from comparing our lives to others, and often we don’t give ourselves credit. We look at our coworker and neighbor, they seem to have it so well put together.
They don’t seem to be juggling at all. There are most likely several elements that we don’t see, and in reality, they feel the same way you do about balancing everything. If you are truly curious about how they do it, then ask them.
First of all, you may learn some cool tips and second, they probably see you the same way. Remember balancing motherhood and your career doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel!
- Communicate with your children
It can be easy to feel like you are failing at motherhood when you are balancing motherhood and your career. You missed the third important event in a row, and you aren’t sure how your kids feel about it.
Surely, they must be crushed, right? Maybe. But, maybe not.
It’s very important to understand how your child feels about your work schedule. They really might think that you work too much, or they may feel perfectly okay with it. Try to sit down with your child at least once a month.
Often enough to keep the conversation open but not to the point where your child grows tired of it and won’t give real answers. During these conversations, ask them how they feel about your work and assure them that just because you miss certain things doesn’t mean that you forget them.
- Make NO a Part of Your Vocabulary
This may seem counterintuitive to our earlier point about standing up in the office, but what do you do if you know your worries are valid concerns. It may seem easy to roll with the extra project, even though you know it will leave you sleep-deprived and that you’ll miss an important event.
If they call on you, you can politely refuse and say that it isn’t good for you right now. Become comfortable with this. Make this a regular thing. If it feels like you’re turning down a lot of things, keep in mind that you are turning them down, so you also do better with your other projects.
- Remember That Flexibility Goes Both Ways
There are plenty of times where you will miss something at work for your child. But keep in mind that this will have to go both ways. Some things at work can’t be blown off for a weekly game.
If your workplace is being flexible with you, just be sure to return the favor. Just be sure to communicate this to your family. Let your child know that you have an important matter to deal with at work and that you’re probably going to miss a game, but you’ll make the next one.
- Shine Where You Can
Being a working mom means that you will often have to turn down projects and promotions in order to keep everything balanced. But, every day, you will still have work on your plate that needs to be completed.
For the projects you do take, make sure it’s your best work. Always be prepared. Always give each project everything you can, and always help your team succeed. If you ever feel that it’s too much, then it’s time to practice a little self-care before you get back to it.
- Trust the People Who Are Taking Care of Your Children
There are many options for childcare. There are at-home daycares or daycare centers. You can ask a family member or even hire a nanny. What you do isn’t important. The important part is if you trust them.
When you’re at work, you’re going to worry about your kids. Are they okay? How are they doing? This worry will only triple if you don’t trust the care provider. Check references. Tour the place. Do whatever you can to assure yourself that you have the best person for your family.
- Understand the Culture of Your Workplace
The last thing we are going to talk about is that it is essential to understand the culture of your workplace. Is your workplace accommodating to new mothers, or do they scoff at women who are trying to maintain a career while they care for their family?
Think about it. If you don’t truly feel comfortable talking about your family at work, that doesn’t mean you need to quit your career, but it may be time to find a new job.
- Set Expectations With Your Partner
Parenting is a team sport and not an individual responsibility. It is very normal as a mother to feel that much of child-rearing falls on you. Society for years has been imposing those expectations.
Just like your partner, you have a career and aspirations. Discuss those with your partner. There are several ways your partner can support you. It could be weekly pickups, helping with laundry & dishes, take-outs.
We highly recommend you encourage your partner to read articles on how to support you in balancing motherhood and your career.
Working mothers truly deserve more credit than they get. They’re practically keeping the world together. While you go one and tackle the problems each day presents, remember not to just go about it blindly. Find the methods that work for you and put them to use!
Do you have additional tips when it comes to balancing motherhood and your career?
We would love to hear from you in the comments below!