Are you soaked in guilt that you are ruining your kid’s childhood with your career? Do you often feel your family responsibilities are taking away chances for your career to skyrocket? Being a full-time working mother can lead to feelings of confusion and stress because of your divided attention between work and family.
If you’re finding it more challenging than ever to juggle the demands of your job and the rest of your life you are not alone. “A lot of people are having a more difficult time finding balance in life because there have been cutbacks or layoffs where they work. They’re afraid it may happen to them, so they’re putting in more hours,” the psychologist Robert Brooks, PhD, co-author of The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence, and Personal Strength in Your Life told WebMd. But even if you don’t have a lot of control over the hours you have to work, it’s important to feel you are still giving quality time to your family and to yourself. Here are 10 things career moms do to create more work life balance in their daily routine.
1. They let go of the guilt. As a career mom, you don’t have time to overthink things and wallow in guilt. Go with your gut, come to terms with your choices, focus on the priorities at that given moment, and find ways to be efficient in both worlds.
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2. They don’t neglect themselves and exercise. According to a study in Human Resource Management engaging in daily physical activity won’t only improve your health, but it can also be the key to maintaining a balance between home and work. Successful moms know that taking care of themselves helps their efficiency and productivity over the long-term.
3. They build downtime into their schedules for motivation. Be proactive about scheduling something fun this week so you’ll have an extra incentive to manage your time well so you don’t have to cancel. Whether it’s a hike with the family over the weekend, a date night with your spouse or a cocktail with your best friend, schedule it in.
4. They’ve communicated with their employers about creative work schedules. Though they may not offer it to you, many supervisors are open to considering creative solutions for work schedules when you present it to them. Before talking to your boss, research whether other employees have flexible arrangements and use this information to your advantage.
5. They form parent support networks Aside from taking time to research the best childcare options, career moms connect with other parents in their vicinity to help out with carpooling and play dates. They do you a big favor and it feels good reciprocating and giving another family a break as well.
6. They limit distractions and time wasters. Set strict time limits when checking social media, email, photos, or making phone calls, things you can do when the kids are sleeping. Try to avoid multitasking, especially when spending time with your children. Focus on your tasks at work and talk to coworkers during breaks or lunchtime.
7. They ride the craziness wave occasionally if need be. Every once in a while, even perfect you cannot handle it all. So let things be chaotic for the next few weeks and know that times of great stress overwhelm, but are fleeting. Things will settle down eventually. It’s kind of like riding a mechanical bull; just have “fun” with it.
8. They know that sometimes the time split isn’t equal. Career moms understand that there will be times when their family will need more attention and times when their career will demand more energy. They don’t try to divide them equally and fairly all the time, but determine where they need to devote their attention on at that time.
9. They create “me moments.” Aim to find time to meditate, focus on a hobby, take a walk, to eat well and rest. A refreshing break will help you recharge while taking care of personal needs. You can’t be an effective parent, employee or spouse if you’re cranky, so take time to care for yourself to feel relaxed.
10. They do work at home; do home at work. In a 24-hour period most of us have to tackle a dramatic to-do list. Don’t get bogged down on where you get it done, just do it. Pay your bills at the office during your lunch hour and check your work e-mail at home while you’re waiting for the kids to show up to the dinner table.