In today’s economy, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to live off of one income. This means more often than not, moms have few options when it comes to the decision of whether or not to work while raising children, especially those out there who are single-momming it.
Whether through choice or necessity, maintaining your career will keep you busy, but you can make it work, and you’ll be rewarded in the end because you won’t have to worry about re-entry into the workforce once the kids are older, and you may opt to continue building your own 401K for retirement purposes. With this helpful guide , you can learn how to balance your work life with your home life.
Scheduling and Planning
When you ask most working moms about how they do it, besides the usual “I honestly have no idea,” you’ll often hear about their scheduling and planning habits. For me, if I don’t have some sort of outline on how my time is spent, I will lose my mind. It’s important to work out a set schedule that works for you personally.
Consider these three working mom tips:
- Plan your mornings. If you’re not a morning person (like me), try getting some of your morning tasks the night before. Set aside enough time to get the kids up and dressed if they’re not old enough to do it themselves. Remember, no kid is the same, so be sure to add in some buffer time for those mornings when your 4-year-old princess can’t find her favorite tumbling shirt to wear on Tumbling Tuesday and refuses to move without it.
- Schedule events. Schedule your after-work activities in a planner or calendar app. This will ensure there’s room for everything and that nothing important is forgotten along the way. Although my boys have martial arts on Tuesday and Thursday every week, there still have been days where I completely forget until they are standing in front of me with their uniforms on. So now, EVERYTHING goes on the family calendar. We use the iCalendar linked to our Apple Family Plan. That way we are all aware of upcoming events and no one can say they didn’t see it! Play dates, grocery shopping, and other errands can be scheduled as well. For example, I do my grocery and client PO Box pick up on Thursday mornings after I drop the princess off at preschool. Scheduling a grocery pick up the night before saves me tons of time as well as the hassle that can sometimes come from taking the baby into the store.
- Be flexible. Remember that everything won’t always go perfectly, so don’t worry about sticking to it ALL the time. If something doesn’t work out and you need to rearrange your schedule, just plan to do something on a different day. Since you’re juggling many tasks at once, keeping your schedule flexible is a must for keeping your stress levels down. We all know planning is just the best way to address the stuff that will cause undoubtedly cause your schedule to shift at the most imperfect moment. So, give yourself some grace if life throws you a curve ball, nobody’s perfect.
Get rid of the guilt … When you’re at one place, don’t feel bad that you’re not at work; when you’re at work, don’t feel bad that you’re not at home.katie couric, mom/Founder of Katie Couric Media
One of the top worries of working moms is the fact that they feel like they’re not as involved. However, if you concentrate on spending the time you do have with your little ones in a quality way, you’ll still be heavily involved in their lives. Just because you aren’t there every minute, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t making a big difference in their lives. Trust me on this. With five children it’s hard to juggle – I’m only one person after all – but the expectation of being there for everything still hangs over me like a bad drink the following morning. Keep reminding yourself that it’s more about quality than quantity.
When you get home from work (or log off for the evening for my work at home moms), do something with your children that you’ll all enjoy. Maybe they’ll want some alone time to play independently, but you can also stay involved by showing that you care. You’ll have quality time with them at meals, and you can always engage them in family game night and movie nights.
From an hour or two enjoying a spa mani/pedi, or breaking away for a full-on spa day, it’s very important that you remember to schedule some breaks. Sometimes you’ll feel that you spend every waking moment either at work or worrying about the children, so take some time to relax and unwind. Read a book after the kids have gone to bed, hang out with your friends or partner, or engage in something you find relaxing. I have a subscription to Massage Envy that gives me a great excuse to have a facial at least once a month.
Savor Your Relationships
Spend individual time with each member of your family. Be sure to remember your partner during life’s crazy times and give that relationship some much-needed nourishment as well. Individual attention will help you get to know your kids better, and you’ll have time to truly build upon your lasting relationship.
Life can get really hectic at times, but if you follow these tips, you’ll be able to strike a happy balance between your work life and your life at home.