I’ll just go ahead and say it. It’s hard to be a working mom, as it comes with struggles. There’s the working mom guilt, in that I know I’d love to be at home with my daughter. Then, there’s the struggle of balancing work and family.
How do we, as moms, work, but also come home and spend time with family? And not to mention, there may also be loads of laundry to do, dinner to make, the list goes on. How do you cope and also take care of yourself too? It’s a lot to think about!
It helps to have a good partner or spouse to help you. But, again, it can still be difficult to do it all and still find time to be completely present for your family and take care of yourself as well!
So, I asked moms for their tips to add to mine. Here are those tips on balancing work and family, so I hope they help you!
1.Time blocking. “When you write your own content there is always something to do. Create a schedule of when you will be working, and stop when the time is up. This will help you to not become frustrated by trying to do too many things at one time! It also will hopefully help your time working to be more productive because you are centered on that task. Quality over quantity.” -Sarah Annis from Clean Living with Kids
I love this tip from Sarah, and I think this tip can apply to any job, from anywhere. If you work outside of the home, you might have to sometimes bring work home (such as grading papers if you’re a professor). You might think about what time(s) you will do this when you are home, and then once the time is up, time is up.
2.Plan family time activities for the weekend. If you can’t do a lot with your children during the week because of your work, then consider planning specific activities to do with your family during the weekend. For example, you might go to the movies or the beach as a family. -Sidra from How to Balance Life as a Working Mom
3. Meal prep and easy meals. If you work outside the home, this can be a lifesaver, so you don’t have to do a lot of thinking, planning, and doing at the spur of the moment. You know what’s for dinner, and everything is ready to go for you when you get home. Thus, the less time you spend preparing and cooking, the more time you have for family. -Silver from Busy Mom’s Guide to Faith
I have to add you could also utilize crockpot recipes or even takeout on some nights!
4.Plan for disaster. Siblings fight or your baby has a diaper blowout. If you plan ahead and leave some extra time in case these things happen, you won’t be too stressed about getting to work on time! –Silver from Busy Mom’s Guide to Faith
5. Remember that you don’t have to do everything. The only person that decides what you can and will do is you. If you have a long and overwhelming to-do list, get some help from someone else with checking some of those things off. Consider asking friends or family for help. Or put some of those things off. You don’t have to the be the one that dresses all of your kids each morning, cook breakfast, drive them all to school, work 8-10 hours a day, pick up the kids, take them to each of their respective activities, come home, cook dinner, do laundry, get kids to bed, clean the house, etc. It’s ok if you don’t do all of those things all at once, day in and day out. -From Who Thinks You Have to Do it All?
6. Have fun! You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to wear makeup every day and wear fashionable clothing every day. Do what makes you feel you! Enjoy life and don’t get to bogged down into how overwhelming things can be at times. -From Crazy Rio
7. Pick your Battles. If you work from home, you might have to pick your battles with your kids. If you have to get going on a call and your kids are screaming for a snack, you might consider giving them the snack so you can have a quiet phone call.
8. Cook together. If you don’t have time to do something with your kids one night, ask if they want to help you cook. They could help you stir a pot or cut up some veggies! In doing so, you can still have quality time with your kids. -Jacki from Crazy Life with Littles
9. Realize your kids just need you. You don’t have to always come up with elaborate plans to go to the beach or the zoo. You could even just sit down with your kids and color with them. Talk to them. Give them your attention, as this is what they need the most.
10. If possible, leave work at work. If you can, finish all of your work at work. Try your best not to take it home. For example, if you have papers to grade, grade them at work if possible. If you do have to take it home with you, try to do some of it when the kids are in bed or taking a nap.
11. Be present when you are home. Put down the phone and play with your kids. Put off some chores, so you can spend some time with them. Those things can wait. Your family is what is most important!
12. Commit to at least 5-6 family meals together. This was a tip from another article. These family meals can involve breakfasts, lunch, or dinners. However, if your kids do sports, this may take some planning. When you do gather for a family meal, put away the phones and turn off the tv. In doing so, it will make it easier to enjoy each other’s company without distractions.
13. Keep an eye out for red flags. If you find that your kids are acting up or become withdrawn, consider refocusing your attention. This behavior may be happening, because they need more of your attention. Also, if you find that you are becoming more impatient and stressed, it may be time to focus more on your self-care.
As a working mom, it can be hard balancing work and family. However, with some planning, it can happen! These tips should help give you some ideas on how to find that balance.
Even when focusing on trying to find balance, ensure that you are satisfied and happy with your work and family life. This is important too!