Every mother needs a good work-life balance, but sometimes maintaining that balance is far easier said than done. Whether you work full-time, part-time or own a thriving business, striking a good balance between working and your home life can be tricky.
To help you try and equally weigh the scales, here are 6 tips you must know.
- Get ready the night before. One of the biggest stressors in any parent’s life is last-minute plan changes and the morning rush. While you can’t eliminate all those stressors on a sleepy Monday morning, you can set out school uniforms, breakfast bowls and pack lunches the night before. Similarly, you can set out your work clothes and anything else you need for your workday. It might feel like a lot of effort in the evening, but you’ll thank yourself when the alarm goes off!
- Start planning your days. Create a family calendar, including school and family events, birthdays, bill due dates, a chore chart for your kids, extracurricular activities and anything else you need to remember. Give yourself something easy to glance at each morning so that you know what to expect. Either grab a wall calendar or look into the life planners from Erin Condren or Happy Planner.
- Ask your employer if you can work flexible hours. More and more people are negotiating more flexible work contracts as a new era of working from home has emerged. If you work in an office environment, there’s no reason not to ask for a couple of days working from home each week. At the very least, it’ll save you your commute time each way!
- Invest in quality childcare or organize playdates with other parents. If you can’t negotiate more flexible work hours, ask your friends and family to recommend nannies, daycare centers and after school activities. While finding the right support system can be a headache, but once it’s in the schedule like clockwork you’ll have more time and less guilt.
- Find time to stay active. Regular exercise as a working mother may sound like a tall order, but your daily workout needn’t be much longer than a 15-minute burst. If you need a little motivation to do your jumping jacks or sit-ups, you could always treat yourself to some new women’s activewear leggings or a new shirt. It’ll feel a lot easier to get up for that morning workout if you know you’ve got a brand new pair of yoga pants or leggings to slip into!
- Cook meals in batches, have leftovers for lunch, or invest in a meal delivery service. This practice is such an easy way to ensure you’ll have nourishing meals, even if you only have time to defrost a container of food. It’s also a great money-saving hack as batch cooking saves waste and uses less energy than cooking a different meal each night.
If you’ve got the budget, look into meal delivery services. They’re a great way to cut down on snacking and take-out, and often don’t work out as too much more expensive than what you’d normally spend at the grocery store.
Remember You’re Human
Much of being a mother involves guilt: the worry that we’re not providing our kids with the right attention or that we’re not supportive enough. But you already work so hard, and your kids see that. Work-life balance is something to strive for but often isn’t perfect. The seesaw will lean more in one direction than the other for a while, so don’t stress. And, if you find your work-life takes all your energy each day, it may be time to look for another company that values work-life balance as much as you do.
One of the best things you can do as a parent is to start each day with confidence knowing you’re doing the best you can. You’ll feel better, you’ll probably be more productive, and your children will see you thriving and look up to you even more!