Balancing a career and motherhood is a constant struggle for most professional women. The demands of both are equally as stressful as they are rewarding. Today’s economic times leaves few with the option of staying home. Feeling pulled in so many directions is tough on even the strongest working mothers, leading most to feel overwhelmed. However, it is possible to be successful at work and at home. The key to balancing the demands of both comes down to planning ahead, and proper time management.
1. Organized schedules
Plan your meals for the week and pre-pack lunches the night before. Work with your partner to develop a system of who will pick up and drop off the kids at school and extracurricular activities. Keep everything written on a family calendar and hang it in the kitchen. This way, nothing is missed and no one is caught off guard.
2. Leave work at work
It’s important for you to leave work at the office once you get into your car at the end of the day. This will free up precious time with your family once you are home. Turn off your cellphone and leave your laptop at the office.
3. Be there
Don’t miss out on soccer, ballet, and musicals as your children will be grown and gone in the blink of an eye. A close relationship with your kids means being there for them. If you’re more interested in your job, your kids will take notice and act accordingly.
4. Hire help
Whether it’s to clean the house or taking clothes to the cleaner’s, these tasks pull you away from the little time you do have at home with the family. Don’t spend it mopping floors and ironing. Even if your budget doesn’t allow for weekly house cleaning services, hire someone once per month to do the major cleaning, like scrubbing showers and washing windows.
5. Don’t neglect your partner
Men often feel like the last person on your emotional totem pole. Plan a bi-monthly date night and reconnect over dinner and a movie. Keeping your relationship strong sends your kids a strong message. Don’t neglect it.
6. Take time for you
As you do with date night, plan a couple of days per month to yourself. Hit the spa or go shopping. Hit the gym, read a book, or take a bubble bath every night. You can’t take care of everyone else if you don’t take care of yourself, first.
Balancing the demands of motherhood and career doesn’t mean one or the other has to suffer. Just remember to keep your eye on the ball, your feet on the ground, and come up for air every once in awhile!