Many mothers who work full-time find themselves in a dilemma. They try to create a healthy balance between work and taking care of their family. Some mothers feel guilty that they may be neglecting one for the other. Since working is a necessity rather than a choice for most of these women, ways have to be found to keep the ball in the air. Hopefully, these 7 tips will help to bring down the stress level and ease the guilt.
It is important to plan in whatever undertaking one ventures into. It is no different for working mothers. Planning keeps you organized and allows things to run smoothly. Make weekly schedules penciling in each member of the family as to where they should be and what activities they have planned. Each day you will know what you have to do for that day. The family will see one schedule clearly displayed with who needs to be picked up or dropped off or who has a special activity at school or a work event. Chart a course for your day according to the plan. Only one person should write on the schedule to avoid surprises. Family members should tell you about any changes or additions for the schedule so you will know what is on it. You can inform the relevant persons about changes which affect them.
The morning is not long enough to do everything. You don’t want to arrive at work already tired and frazzled. Prepare lunches overnight and store them in the refrigerator. Make sure homework is done. Have everyone’s clothes laid out for the following day. Those are all tips to help you reduce your stress and guilt level as a working mother. In fact, you could organize each person’s wardrobe from the weekend. Older children and your spouse can help. Handbags, knapsacks, briefcases and any other carrying containers should be made ready and placed near the door. Check the following day’s schedule so you are clear in your mind what to expect. Make sure you know what you are making for breakfast and that you have the ingredients for dinner.
It is impossible to do everything yourself. Get help from your husband. It’s his family and home too. Sometimes he may want to help but he is not sure how to do so. Share your to-do list with him and lighten your load. Older children can help with the chores and even the young ones can do little tasks. Teach them early to pick up and tidy up after themselves. Let them make their own beds. Even if it is not done well in the beginning, they will learn with practice. Don’t be too proud to ask for help from relatives and friends. Sometimes plans go awry. Sitters and nannies may get ill or have their own emergencies. It’s good to have a backup plan if possible.
Have Special Family Activities
Always remember to spend quality time with your family. After all the rushing about during the week, reserve some of the weekend just for family. Don’t be haphazard about it or squeeze it in if something else falls through. This should be part of your schedule to help you reduce your stress and guilt level as a working mother. The activities you share can vary but always make sure there is time for the very persons you are struggling and making all the sacrifices for. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. You can have a movie or games night or any activity that is a favourite for your family. The important thing is to spend time together and make memories. Even when you are away from your family, you can still keep in touch. Put little notes in their lunch packs so they will know you are thinking of them. Make use of social media or video chats where possible. Record stories so the little ones can hear your voice at bedtime if you are away.
In addition to family time, there should be special time for just you and your husband. No talk about family, work or bills. Just reconnect with each other. Make special memories together. Go dancing or dance at home to romantic music. Go out to dinner or make a romantic meal, dress up (or not) and eat by candlelight. When was the last time you both went for a walk holding hands or leaning on each other? You don’t really need advice on this. You each know what the other likes so just do it. When you are apart you can keep in touch by telephone, email or any other form of electronic means of communication. Slip little love notes in his pocket to surprise him later.
At the Workplace
You are not only a mother but also an employee. You cannot neglect your work. Be as efficient as you can be so you finish your tasks at work. Socialize during your lunch break and don’t let your co-workers encourage you to be idle when it’s work time. You don’t want to have to take work home. Many workplaces are more flexible with the advent of computers and other work-related electronics. Discuss with your employer if there are times you can work from home or any other flexible arrangement. Go with a plan. You never know unless you ask.
Take Care of Yourself too
You take care of everyone else but what about you? If you are not in good health, then both your family and your work will suffer. Remember to eat nutritiously and exercise. Find time to relax and just pray and meditate. Have a spa day alone or with friends. Read that book you have been wanting to. Go to the museum or art gallery. What about a spiritual retreat, even for an hour? You know what refreshes and recharge you so go do it. All these tips will help you reduce your stress and guilt level as a working mother.
While you agonize about who or what you are neglecting, remember why you are working in the first place. Keeping your goals in focus may ease some of your guilt. When you see your family benefiting, some of the weight may be lifted from you. However, in the meantime, try the tips and see if they help. Here’s hoping that as you juggle, your balls will remain in the air. Want to learn more about how to get the balance right? Check out our free course today. Thank you for reading. Please feel free to comment your thoughts below.