Being a working mom is like juggling two full-time jobs sometimes. You need to make sure your family is doing okay and have everything they need while ensuring things are going well at work too. Finding the balance to thrive in your new responsibility as a mom who also happens to have a career can be challenging. Especially when you’re a new mom going back to work after maternity leave…those first few weeks or maybe months, okay who am I kidding… those first few years can be hard. I have been a working mom for three years now and working mom life has absolutely kicked my but a few times.
Whether you’re a new mom trying to balance motherhood and work or in a season where you’re just struggling to do it all, here are a few tips:
You don’t have to do it all
As a mom, it’s only natural that you want to do it all. Cook, clean, go from the next work event to the other, but the reality is you simply can’t. At home, it’s important to recognise that it’s okay to ask for help. For example, if you’re struggling to keep your house clean, you can share the load with your partner or look into hiring a cleaner. If you’re struggling with getting the laundry done you can look into a laundry service that can help take the load from you for example once a month. The point is, that you should not feel like you have to do it all alone. There’s no shame in asking for help, especially when you have a good support system of family and friends, utilise them!
When it comes to work, it’s also important to recognise that you can’t attend every single after-work-hours event, work meeting or trip. Sometimes, you’ll have to say “No, I can’t make this one”. It doesn’t mean that you’re less competent in doing the job, it just means you’re setting your priorities straight and doing what works for you, your family and your career.
It’s okay if you feel guilty, but don’t be too hard on yourself
Of course, you’re going to feel guilty – who wouldn’t? Especially, as a new mom leaving your baby for the first time with another carer can be hard and it will take some time to adjust to your new routine. However, don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re working hard to create a better life for you and your family that is nothing to feel ashamed or guilty about. As long as whatever working arrangements you have make you feel comfortable, that’s what matters.
Take time management and planning seriously
As a working mom, you’ll need to make time management and planning your best friends. Whether that’s making sure you plan childcare for when you’re at work or for family time. Preparing for things waaaay ahead of time can definitely save you the last-minute stresses, also it just makes life more easier. For example, instead of cooking dinner every day after work, why not try meal-prepping? I’ve also found that planning my day the night before really helps to give more clarity and structure. You could even go as far as planning your whole week. You can create a schedule by listing your priorities and working your way through the list during the whole week – Also, make sure you add or block out the time you spend with your kids/family.
Consider flexible working options
If you’re a full-time working mom and struggling to be present in the home and for your family, you could also consider flexible working options. Yes, we want it all, but the truth is, we can’t have it all at the same time. Sometimes, whether it’s you or your partner will have to make some adjustments to make sure you have a healthy and happy home. Not only that but sometimes it’s the best decision for your own mental health as well. Some moms can afford to give up their jobs completely and go back when their kids are a bit older, for other households this wouldn’t be feasible.
Whatever decision you make, again make sure it’s the best decision for you and your family – at the end of the day you don’t want to look back with resentment. You would want to say “I’m glad I made that decision”.
It’s okay if you don’t get it right, all the time
As a working mom, you’re not going to get things right all the time and that’s okay. Sometimes, last-minute things can pop up and there will be times when you make the right decision and times when you make a not-so-good decision. In the end, it’s all a learning process. Balancing your career and family can be tough and sometimes you’ll feel like you’re not great at both. The good thing is you’re not alone, so many working moms feel the same and can perhaps offer a piece of advice too. At the end of the day, your family will still love you and that career will be there as well. You absolutely can be a mom and have a career too, life sometimes has different seasons but once you learn how to navigate through it, you’ll always come out stronger.