Do you struggle to achieve balance as a working mum? I am constantly wining on about how to find the balance. Sometimes I find it really hard to give both my work enough quality time and my daughter. The scales always seem to tip one way or the other.
It can also be so hard to rid yourself of the niggling mummy guilt and the fear of being a bad employee. A desire for a career doesn’t make you a bad mum and striving for a better work/life balance doesn’t make you a bad worker.
We all want to spend a little more time with our children. After all their time as children is fleeting. One moment they’re a brand new precious bundle, the next they’re taking their first steps and before you know it they’re enrolling in school for the first time.
But, is there a way to find the balance as a working mum?
1. Involve the kids in your life
If you feel like you finally get home from work and you then have loads of chores to do, dinner to make etc, why not involve your children?
If you’re worried about it taking twice as long, don’t! They don’t need to do any major tasks and can even ‘pretend help’. I let my toddler do simple tasks like putting the chopped vegetables in the bowl or giving her something to mash. If I’m strapped for time I give her a spare vegetable to pretend chop with her blunt toy knife, but she’s still spending time with me.
Not only are you teaching them important life skills but you’re also spending quality time with them. Make cooking and washing fun, turn it into a game and those mundane everyday things to do, will soon become fun family time. You might even raise kids that love doing the washing up!
2. Be 100% at work and 100% at home
I’m a freelancer who works from home so working out the boundaries of a work/home balance can be difficult. Recently I’ve started to allocate time to work and time for my daughter. When I’m with her, I am now completely switched off from work and vice versa. Before, it wouldn’t be uncommon to find me sending an e-mail while sat down having a teddy bear tea party. It feels so much better to wholly commit my time to her now and to shake off the worries of work.
However, hey guess what, it is ok if they cross over sometimes! Stop thinking about yourself as a mother and a worker. Our children understand that we work and it’s ok for them to see that aspect on occasion. Hopefully it’ll install a good work ethic in them. Don’t beat yourself up if you need to do an hour in the morning while they watch Cbeebies.
3. Stay organised and look for time hacks
Staying organised will free up so much time both in your home and work life. I swear by my busy life diary. It keeps me organised and it’s dual pages mean I never book something for work when I have something pre-arranged at home.
I also love staying organised with things like Trello. Do you find you you balance things better with lists? Lists can be great for helping you feel less overwhelmed. I use Trello to write down everything I need to do for for work and home. I can create boxes for work that is ‘in progress’ and for things I’ve completed. Plus you can access it on any device for easy use and share it with your partner, so that you can both run your home together.
Do you use any time hacks? Maybe it’s easier for you to get your food shop delivered at the same time every week. Or maybe meal planning will take the worry and stress about what you are having for dinner each night away.
Try and save time by making pack lunches the night before when your children are in bed. You can even set out clothes or pack bags for the next day. I love making big batches of warming dinners and portioning them out into tupperware to put in the freezer for a later date.
4. Take care of yourself
While we’re running around taking care of our work, our children, our home and other aspects of our life, it’s easy to forget about us. I’ve found myself on many occasion feeling burnt out and unable to function. How can you find the balance when you’re not taking care of yourself?
Guess what…it’s ok to take time out for you!
It’s not a crime to treat yourself every once in a while and it’s actually better for your mind and body. Whether it’s 10 minutes a day of mindfulness, a yoga class in the evening, a scheduled lie in pre-arranged with your partner or a cheeky spa morning alone. We all need a little time out.
5. Find a community of mums who are in the same position
You’re not the only one struggling to find the balance. If you feel alone, support is actually all around you. You’d be surprised at how many Facebook groups there are for working mums, Mumpreneurs and general parents. Maybe some of the other mums in the groups will have some great tips that will help your situation.
Have a look around your local area too, to see what groups there are. Try and connect with other mums in a similar position. Sometimes all we need is an understanding ear and to hear that other people are experiencing the same issues as you are.
Do you struggle to find the balance as a working mum? Are there any tips or advice you’d add? Let us know in the comments below.