Working Mum 101: Tips for a Work/Life Balance
It used to be the case that once women had their first child their career ended. Being a mother was the only job a woman needed as far as society was concerned. Now however, many women feel empowered enough to decide if they would like to take some time out and be a “stay at home Mom”, or they can return to their careers as and when they see fit. There is no right or wrong option, it’s a case of whatever suits the individual and her family.
For those Moms who do decide to return to work it is a stressful journey, we’re not going to lie. Oftentimes you may feel guilty for missing out on moments of your child’s life, or feel like you’re letting your colleagues down if you have to take time off to be at home.
Trying to be supermum, have a high-flying career, and maintain healthy relationships can feel overwhelming. Let us let you in on a little secret - you can’t have it all if you’re not taking care of yourself. Mom’s have the habit of putting everyone else’s needs before their own. But if you aren’t taking care of your own mental and physical health you are going to burn out far too quickly, and in that case, nobody wins.
Here are some tips on how you can try and achieve a healthy work/life balance.
On returning to work, ask to have a meeting with your employer to talk about flexibility. Sorting out a schedule of flexible working hours could take a world of stress off of your shoulders, especially if you’re trying to organise nursery or day care.
Work, Work, Work… Then Stop!
Whether you work a 9 to 5 job or work from home, setting boundaries around when you work need to be established. It’s easy to let your office hours spill over into the evening time when you’re supposed to be winding down from the day. That presentation can wait until you are at your desk the next morning, and those client emails will still be there when you look at your phone the next day. If you let one aspect of your life affect the others, it will be harder to have a healthy work/life balance.
Prep The Night Before
Lay out your work clothes for the next day the night before, this avoids any time wasting in the mornings and you can spend a few extra minutes at breakfast with your child(ren). Same goes for lunches, prep them the night before and store in the fridge so they are ready to go! The same can be said for dinners, batch cook a dinner on Sunday and you can have it for the next few days. It might get repetitive but it will save you some time and stress.
Divide and Conquer
Your partner or co-parent is just as responsible for your children as you are. Sit down with your partner and determine who does what when it comes to the kids. Knowing what’s what will help keep you both organised and keep any major stresses at bay.
Make Time For Yourself
You manage a career and a household, you’re already pretty amazing in our eyes! Remember this, and make some time for yourself at least once a week. Whether it’s a nice soak in the bath, a bit of retail therapy, a drink with friends, or an extra long phone call with your Mom, self-care goes a long when it comes to taking care of the family!