Some will say that being a mom is a fulltime job, others will say that it’s their purpose, while some will argue that it’s a little bit of both. All moms have their own take on their parental role, their responsibilities, and their desire to lead a fulfilling life both as a mom and an accomplished professional individual. Sometimes, it may feel as if you’re not up to the task of either, especially when your youngling goes through those milestones such as teething or first ear infections, and your boss wants the proposal done yesterday.
Fortunately, moms everywhere have come up with a slew of strategies to reach a fine balance between both. One can indeed fuel the other, and with the right planning and a little bit of creativity, you can make the most of both of these roles and enjoy them to their full extent – yes, even when the flu strikes!
Don’t play the guilt game
Way too often, moms blame their desire to have a career for missing out on certain moments that seem irreplaceable in your child’s life. The truth is, even if you were to spend every minute of your day at home, you’d likely miss some of them while you’re taking care of all the chores around the house, too, or while your spouse is spending time with your baby. Guilt gets us nowhere. Instead, try focusing on how you’re contributing to your child’s future as well as present with your professional goals. First off, you’re ensuring financial stability for the family, you’re able to save up for a college fund, send them to an amazing kindergarten, and you’re setting a real example for your kids to be independent, hard-working, and loving.
Quality childcare for your kids
When you’re handling those projects at work, and you know your child could use some more quality time with stimulating games and interaction with other kids, then you can start setting up their schedule in addition to your own. One of the best solutions is to let them join a playgroup with their peers and spend quality time playing, learning through games, and bonding with other kids. This is especially important for toddlers, at their most sensitive developmental age when it comes to cognitive advancement, developing motor skills, and the like. So, while you’re at work, your little ones can spend that time learning and playing with their friends.
Organize special family time
Quality time for your youngsters comes in many shapes and forms. Now that you have their childcare all set, you should also make time in your busy schedule to connect with your kids. Most moms can set aside their weekends for those special bonding sessions, for camping trips with the entire family, or picnics in the nearby park. If the weather won’t allow you to spend more time outside (and preferably away from those screens and digital gimmicks), you can head to your favorite restaurant for a family lunch.
Then again, sometimes staying at home can also give you time and space to bond with your family. You can cook together, make those extra special fudge brownies, and play fetch with your pooch. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant to inspire true bonding and build a stronger relationship with your kids.
Add some flexibility to your work
On the other side of the spectrum, your superiors need to show plenty of understanding and care for your priorities. As a mom, you’ll need to have the freedom for those unexpected trips to the doctor (once again, those ear infections can be quite a pain in the neck), and to stay at home and care for your kids if they get sick, or even if you’ve been just too busy spending extra hours at work.
In such situations, discuss flexible work hours with your boss. Perhaps you can work from home on certain days and attend meetings via Skype. You also need to set clear boundaries that work stays at work – no more late correspondences from home, when you should be reading a bedtime story. By all means, be in your full-career gal mode when you’re at work, but at home, don’t miss out on those special family moments.
Ask for help and support
Delegate! In every aspect of your life where you feel you need a hand, don’t be afraid to seek help and support from your family as well as your colleagues. Maybe someone can take over your shift when there’s a special occasion at school, or a parent-teacher conference. Then again, maybe the grandparents can step in from time to time and bond with their grandkids while you invest a little bit more time to wrap up an important client presentation. Maybe you can set up a carpooling system with other parents to have more time on your hands for self-care.
Essentially, balancing a packed schedule on both fronts can be more of a burden than a challenge when you avoid asking for support. Make sure you have a trusty backup system, and you’ll be able to nurture both of your roles in harmony.
Juggling momhood with your career will always come with unique challenges just for your situation. Use these tips to brace yourself and prepare yourself for them, and you’ll enjoy both of your roles even more!