Being a mom is one of the most rewarding, yet most challenging, experiences. Moms are responsible for so many things at once. They raise their kids, keep them safe, and work to keep the whole family together. In addition to all that, many women strive to build a professional life as well. Having a successful career and being a mom at the same time can be quite a task! The question is: Is it possible to create a satisfying work-life balance between your career and being a mom?
The truth is, while it’s impossible to achieve a perfect ratio of working to parenting—not to mention your own self care—you can find harmony in your life and be great at both mom life and your career. The key to improving work-life balance is learning how to organize your time and manage your tasks. If you’re curious to learn more, just keep reading.
Here are six ways you can improve your balance between parenting and your career and get everything done with less trouble.
Let’s break it down together.
1. Keep the family schedule organized
Organization is key to any success story. When you’re juggling multiple tasks at the same time, things can’t run smoothly if you don’t stay well-organized.
The best way for you as a working mom to stay on top of your daily tasks as best you can is to create and update the family calendar regularly.
Write down things such as:
- PTA meetings
- football practice
- your work project deadlines
- your partner’s work trips
Make sure everything is written down, either digitally or on paper. You can use a calendar app synced with your partner’s and/or other family member’s, or a simple paper calendar or whiteboard you’ll keep on your fridge. This will help you organize your time to create a better work-life balance and avoid hectic last-minute preparations.
2. Split the housework
Housework and chores such as laundry, dishes, vacuuming, and cleaning can take up a lot of your time, especially if you’re handling it all by yourself.
However, you need to keep one thing in mind: You don’t have to be a supermom, and no one expects you to be. Remember that you don’t have to do it perfectly, and you don’t always have to do it all on your own.
Instead of taking on all the housework yourself, you can share it with the rest of the family:
- have your spouse help with the things they know best, or enlist another family member
- teach your kids to clean their room, take the trash out, or do the laundry
- hire a cleaner to come once or twice a month and do a general cleaning session, if you have the budget for it
- create a housework schedule for all the family members
Of course, this is much easier to do when your kids are at least three years old. That is a great time to start teaching them basic housework and responsibility.
3. Prepare for the morning
Working moms have the craziest mornings.
Whether you work from home or in an office, homeschool your kids or send them to school, mornings are busy. You have to get ready for work, get the kids ready for school or daycare, prepare breakfast for everyone, and make sure you don’t forget anything.
To make the mornings less chaotic, you can try doing the following the night before:
- prepare everyone’s clothes for the morning
- prepare breakfast ahead of time, if possible, or enlist your partner or a family member to help
- pack everyone’s bags
- go over the schedule for the morning
- prep anything else you need to get ready for the next morning while the kids are asleep
This will save you a lot of time in the morning and make the start of the day way less stressful.
4. Decide where you want to spend your time, and limit distractions
Naturally, if you want to get a better work-life balance as a working mom, you want to get more things done in less time. This way, you’ll have more time to spend with your kids and enjoy those precious moments.
Still, it’s hard to stay 100% productive, especially with all the distractions involved with parenting.
It’s in your best interest to remove distractions and focus on your daily tasks:
- limit time on social media
- don’t surf the Internet for entertainment during work hours; set designated breaks for that instead
- limit your lunch breaks to an allotted time
- don’t over-socialize during work hours
Try to stay as productive as possible during the times you set for yourself to get work done. You may have to be a bit strict with yourself to stay on track, but it’s worth it at the end of the day. Find a schedule that works for you, and do your best to stick with it.
5. Outsource what you can
As we’ve already mentioned, you need to lower the expectations you have for yourself. Nobody wants you to lose your mind just to prove you can handle it all.
Therefore, accept that you need help.
Once you do that, you’ll be able to outsource and get help from the outside. Here are some ideas for what you can outsource to save precious time:
- order groceries online and have them delivered
- order meals when you or your partner don’t have the time to cook
- set up automatic payments for all your bills
- do shopping online
- if it’s in your budget, hire a nanny to help out once in a while, or enlist a family member or friend to help
- have someone to do the landscaping once a month
- have your kids take the bus to school
There’s nothing wrong with getting the help you obviously need. Outsource what you feel will save you the time, whether that means hiring someone or asking a family member or friend to help, and enjoy your free time with the kids.
6. Work hard to free the weekend
Working moms are fighters, and they need a goal to inspire them to keep going.
While it’s impossible to have the entire weekend all for yourself, you can still free most of the weekend time by using the tips above.
That way you will:
- have a motive to work hard during the week
- feel rewarded once the weekend comes
- not feel guilty for hiring help or being a working mom (which is something no working mom should feel guilty about!)
The beauty of it all will be the time you spend cuddled up with your family, resting your mind and your body, and enjoying every moment of it. Whether your weekend is on Saturday and Sunday or you have more unpredictable days off, you will make the most out of that free time by doing the best you can to get important tasks done during the week.
Working moms have a lot to think about and a lot of work to handle during a single week. Still, with the right planning and a positive attitude, it’s possible to make the most of everything.
It’s impossible to have a perfect work-life balance, so use the tips above to start reorganizing your life. Cut yourself some slack, outsource for help, and get the whole family on board. Together, you can make things work. And remember to give yourself grace, allow for mistakes, and celebrate that you’re doing the best you can!
Do you have any tips to share with us that have helped you with your work-life balance as a mom? We’d love to hear from you! Share with us in the comments section.
About the Author
Daniela McVicker is a psychologist and family counselor. She is also a freelance writer and a contributor to Topwritersreview. Her passion is writing about leading a healthy family life and helping people enjoy their lives to the fullest.