Being a mom is awesome. Being a working mom comes with its own set of challenges and bumps in the road. In all honesty I can say the biggest for me is to find balance in the madness- to remember to pack K’s dancing/ playable/ swim attire, buy Z endless tins of Nido, make sure there is food in the house and then to make sure things run smoothly at the agency. I always feel like I let one or the other down. I sometimes get severe anxiety over the fact that I am not spending enough time with the kids or over looming deadlines with clients where I feel I have not done enough preparation .
And I am pretty sure every working mom struggles with this. It can’t just be me.
But recently I gave this some thought. It is not how many hours I spend at home but HOW I spend these hours.
Let me explain- I can be home the whole Friday afternoon and play on my phone or I can be home Friday afternoon for 3 hours and play with the kids. It is quality over quantity.
But that is also not enough.
So here is some tips I found on how to make things work:
1. Disconnect from the world to connect with those you love. For our family, this means that the TV is off and phones are put away during dinner time. We eat together as a family and talk about the ups and downs of our day. This normally turns into a session of talking and not so much eating for the kids. We ask K how school was and Z what she did at Nanna. After they go to bed the laptop comes out and it is business as usual.
2. Be completely, 100% unapologetic about your working mom lifestyle. Only you have to live your life and live with your choices. Do not allow others or society make you feel as if you are a bad mom or an uninvolved mom for your choice to work. We all know this couldn’t be further from the truth but unfortunately, there are many who will try to make you feel this way. Ignore the haters and keep it moving. (Haters gonna hate!)
3. Build your own working mom support network. Befriend other working moms and offer to help them anyway you can, when you can. Having these friendships makes it easier for you to ask for help when you need it, too. If you run a business, it helps having a friend or two that is in the same boat as you.
4. Have a GOOD calendar system and read the school newsletters. I print out a monthly calendar and add the holidays, photo days, swimming etc on there. That way it is a lot easier to keep track of your month and theirs. I also load reminders on my iPhone so I don’t forget parents evenings 🙂
5. Sunday is your reset and rest day. We call Sunday ‘Pajama Day” This is your day to organise for the upcoming week: meal plans, shopping lists, laundry, (nappy folding for me!) synchronize schedules with your other half and get your kids prepped for the week as well. I can’t stress how much of a difference this plan of attack makes for me in my working mom world…and how much of a disaster I feel my week can quickly become when I don’t do it.
6. Don’t forget your spouse. So many times, we focus our attentions solely on the kids thinking our spouses can take care of themselves but they also need our love and attention. Don’t forget to find little ways to connect with them. Sometimes the smallest things mean the most. (Thank you D for the chocolate- already spotted it!)
7. Make time for you. You can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself. Lie in the bath after the kids went to bed, meditate, make yourself a good cup of tea. Do something nice for yourself. You deserve it.
8. Delegate. Know when to let go and let them. If you’re anything like me, this can be hard to do but it is necessary in keeping your balance.
9.Find a routine that works for you and your family and stick to it. Go to bed at the same time every night and get enough shut-eye.
10.Be intentional about your time. Apart from my family, time is my next most precious thing. Feel confident and okay in saying “no” to events, people or activities that don’t really work for your family or that take you away from your family without a good reason.
Last but certainly not least, if you feel that you’re missing out on your kid’s activities during the week, make up for it during weekends.