Balancing between work and child-rearing can be tricky and often very exhausting. After all, you need your job to be able to tend to your kids’ needs, but you also want to raise your kids to be the best version of themselves. At times, this may appear like an impossible thing to do. Sometimes you’re simply tired, or you feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day to do everything you’re supposed to. When it all seems to become too much for you to handle, take a step back, take a few deep breaths and go through these helpful tips for all those hard-working moms who want their kids to let their brilliance show.
Make your outings count
Working and raising children means that you’ll have multiple demands you’ll have to meet, often simultaneously. That’s why you have to have do some serious planning and prioritizing. For example, if you have to stay late at the office due to some important project, make sure you talk to your employer and see if that means that you can leave work earlier after the project is done and things settle down a bit. Also, you should set your priorities straight. If you can skip a meeting without any consequences, do it, especially if you have to choose between the meeting at work and one at school, with one of your kids’ teachers. And once you clear your schedule for some quality time with your little ones, make it count. Take them places where you know they’ll have fun, but they can learn something, too. For instance, visiting a local farm is a healthy activity, since they’ll spend their time in the fresh air, being physically active and enjoying themselves, but they can still learn a lot about animals and how different food is produced. They can see where milk and wool come from and whether their favorite fruit and vegetables grow on trees, vines or are shrub-grown. Similarly, you can take them to an aquarium and introduce them to the underwater world. This way your kids will get to learn through experience and come to some of their own conclusions about the world around them.
Be picky with your daycare options
If you’re at work, you’ll definitely need somebody to take care of your kids during working hours. This may mean that you’ll have to drive them somewhere before work and pick them up afterwards, or that you’ll have a babysitter with them at home. Whichever option you choose, make sure it’s one that promotes good habits, develops your children’s love for learning, that it will enable for their curiosity to be cherished and all questions answered properly. This doesn’t mean that their daycare should have them taking school-like lessons. On the contrary, spending their days exploring nature and engaging in unstructured play can provide them with more benefits than guided learning. And in case you decide to hire a babysitter, find one who has experience with younger children and who won’t mind participating in renowned early childhood education programs with your little ones. These kinds of programs can boost your kids’ problem-solving skills, help them with speed reading, as well as upgrade some other competences you’d like to see in your children. The very process of choosing the right daycare option for your kids may cause you some headaches, but it’s something you should be extra careful with. You don’t want to lose focus at work worrying about the safety and wellbeing of your children, and if you choose well, you’ll know their emotional, social and all other types of intelligence are being fostered even when you’re not with them.
Inspire them to read
Whenever the opportunity arises for you to delegate some of your commitments and tasks to your co-workers, take it and use the time to be there for your kids. Although you may want to spend those precious days off work outdoors with them, you should still find some time to instill the appreciation for books and reading in your little ones. A good idea would be to introduce reading stories to your evening routine. After all, that’s the time when you’re all at home. Plus, reading is a good activity to calm your kids down before they go to bed. If they’re still little and can’t read, read to them, so that they perceive reading as something pleasant from the earliest of age. On the other hand, if they can read, make it your together time and find an appropriate book for each of you, so that you can read together. Of course, this doesn’t have to happen only in the evenings. Use every stormy day to read, or spend the sunny spring and summer days reading in your backyard. This way you can enhance your kids’ verbal skills, enrich their vocabulary and teach them to process information from what they read. Plus, if you talk about what they’ve read and what their opinions on different books are, you can help develop critical thinking in them. You can even have them do a roleplay to present the book’s contents to you, which can encourage them to show creativity and imagination
As difficult as being a devoted mother and having a full-time job is, it can be done. One last piece of advice would be to show yourself the understanding and kindness you do to your kids. This means that it’s perfectly fine to ask your parents, siblings or babysitter to take care of your kids while you have a few hours to yourself. Think of it as an investment in your kids, since a happy mother means happy children.
Isabel William is consultant by day and a blogger by night and Mom to twins 24/7. Area of interest includes education, well being, mental health, as well as self-improvement. Considered by her peers a lifetime educator, whose passion is love for writing and helping people, parenting, education and science.