If holding down a job and taking care of your family are already stressful on their own, what more if you are trying to balance both of them? For working moms in particular, the thought of juggling a full-time job and home life can spell disaster especially without the proper management.
It is understandable that moms get too tired to do the chores or to try putting the kids to sleep after coming from work. It’s not unusual that stress would take a toll on them and as a result, they tend to get too irritable especially when trying to quiet down their kids running around the living room or coming home to a pile of dirty dishes in the sink.
But do not lose hope, hardworking moms! While juggling work away from home and family life is never easy, it can be otherwise manageable. Here are some great tips to help you to achieve the ideal work-home life balance.
1) Learn to say “no.”
In our stay-driven, stay-busy, eager-to-please culture, we’re too hard-pressed to say “No” to every requests. Saying “No” can be difficult at first, and you’re afraid to offend anyone if you decline their requests, invitations and propositions. But in the long run, saying “No” allows you to have free time to do other things that matter more to you. It’s fine if you do not have to attend PTA meetings, escort your kids on all of their field trips or accept extra work projects. In fact, saying “No” is one of the keys to a healthy, stress-free life. It’s okay not to act like a Supermom all the time. But first though, you must take your time and consider whether this request or proposition is worth taking.
Check out the article “How a Stressed-Out, Sleep-Deprived Mom Overcame Overcommitment” which stresses the importance of saying “No.”
2) Teach simple clean-up tasks to your kids.
Do you always have to pick up scattered toys, put away those shoes and do your kids’ beds every time you’re in the house, while feeling tired from work at the same time? These are the things that even three- or four-year-olds can do by themselves. Whenever you’re home ask them, gently and politely, to pick up and stash their toys when they’re done playing with them, put away their shoes, hang up their coats and fix their beds. Show your kids how simple clean-up tasks are done so that they can do them by themselves when they’re left in the house. You don’t have to berate or discourage them if they do not do these tasks properly, or fix up after when they’re done – after all, they’re still learning how to do it and trying to help you.
3) Set daily goals that are realistic and attainable.
What’s the point of a daily to-do list if the goals are too impossible to complete? Again, it’s okay not to act like Supermom all the time, and it’s also okay not trying to be one. Make sure to that your daily goals are realistic and attainable enough to accomplish, and do more if you more time.
4) Plan meals ahead.
Go to the grocery once a week to buy all of the ingredients. Get a cookbook or browse the Internet for quick and easy-to-prepare recipes. Cook the meals in bulk, and save the half of it to store in the fridge for another meal. The same method goes for preparing a salad – make it in bulk and save the half of it for the next meal. It’s also good to buy instant, pre-packaged and microwaveable meals when you don’t have time to cook or you don’t feel like cooking. Have the children make dinner at least once a week if they’re big and old enough. When you’re too busy to even just pop a TV dinner into the microwave, call for a take-out order like pizza and Chinese food.
5) Focus on the positive
Many mothers are filled with guilt because they spend more time at the office than they spend their time at home. But they do not need to worry. Just focus on the positive — be assured that your family loves you and you will do everything for their sake. And that is why exactly you’re having a job.
6) Seek out your own support network
Surround yourself with other like-minded women who will naturally understand your joys and struggles as a working mom. They know what you’re going through because they are in the same situation too. They will cheer you up, give you helpful advice and tips or just be an ear to your grievances and tears. They will offer you comfort and assurance that there is still light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. Crack up jokes and laugh together which will take off some of the burdens of your day-to-day struggles as working moms. Without the support of other working mothers, it would be very difficult for you to do what you need to do in your dual roles as a professional and as a mom.
7) Make time for your family and for yourself.
Try your best to do things with your family together as often as possible, such as going out for a picnic or a hike or even as simple as having dinner. Plan a movie or board game night, or take the whole family your kid’s big sporting event. These activities will not only help in tightening your bond, they are also great to beat stress and
Mothers tend to put themselves last even on their own priorities. As a mom, you know that all too well. However, you need to know that it’s important to take care of yourself. You are the center, the light and the heart of the home and family. You should have all the energy that you need – rest, relax, recharge and have a little diversion, but it doesn’t mean that you have to “escape” your family to do it. Just make time for yourself every now and then – pamper yourself at a spa, go to the gym, meet up with your friends at a coffee shop or re-visit your hobby.