Work-life balance and how to manage a career and home are some of the top concerns for every working mum.
No mum has ever found it easy juggling a thriving career and family life.
If you are looking for the best ways to achieve work-life balance, well, you are in the right place and right on time.
Exhale, relax, knowing you’ll leave here armed with the secrets of 21st-century women who we know are living their best lives; killing it at home and at work.
Before you dive in, we will love to remind you that work-life balance isn’t really attainable.
This is because something has to give. However, they are certain tips that will help you juggle both roles near seamlessly.
Set your priorities right
If your desire is to be a successful working woman and mum, it’s important you sort out your priorities – personally and professionally.
To figure out your responsibilities at different levels, ask yourself: What can I compromise on? What is completely non-negotiable? What are the most-important commitments at work and family? How many hours can I sacrifice to each one of them daily?
Getting clear on these answers will help you prioritise. It will help you make adjustments and decide what you are and are not prepared to do.
Talk to your Employer(s)
Be 100% honest and transparent. It’s beneficial to keep the communication lines open with your manager, HR, and superiors.
This will come in handy on those days when you can’t arrive at work early, because you had to drop had to do school runs; your superiors can help you out by keeping your work hours flexible.
Also, before talking to your employer or HR representative, construct a written plan detailing what you need and a projected work schedule telling them how the arrangement won’t affect your performance and productivity.
Employ the art of delegation
There’s nothing wrong in acknowledging that you can’t do everything on your own. Really, a little help could ease all that workload.
In fact, when striving for work-life balance, attempting to do everything by yourself is deadly.
It translates to you not only stressing your body, but also preparing it for a complete shutdown in the nearest future.
Decide what you must do yourself and what others can take care of. Seek help from coworkers, spouse, and family members, or better still, employ house helps. You and your spouse can divide tasks in such a way that either of you doesn’t dread coming home after a long working day at the office.
Get Quality Childcare
Ask your network of friends and family for referrals to house helps, babysitters or daycare centers. Create a list of attributes that are important and then schedule a time to visit/interview them as the case may be.
Read also How to choose a creche
Note that a good babysitter/nanny should have extensive experience, outstanding references, and a record to back it up. A good daycare facility should have flexible hours, a low teacher-to-student ratio, outdoor space, clean surroundings, and up-to-date licenses. Here are 7 ways you can hire a good nanny
Stay connected during office hours
Thanks to modern-day technology, knowing the well-being and whereabouts of your loved ones is just a dial away.
All working mothers can easily stay connected with their children while they are working at the office.
If you’re missing your kids, you can make a phone call or even a video call during your lunch break and focus on work without any stress or tensions at the backend.
This comforts the child that you’re near and also helps you get through a rough day at work. This is actually one of my favourite work-life balance tips.
When you are a working mum, every minute is crucial — at work and at home.
Research has shown that distractions at the workplace can cost you more than three hours a day.
If you want to be focused and productive, it’s essential to avoid chatty coworkers, casual internet surfing, smartphones, and other forms of distraction.
Set specific time limits to your daily activities, this way, you can effectively monitor your level of productivity.
At home, avoid watching too much TV and instead, you can channel that time to strengthening bonds with your partner and kids. Wok-life balance is actually attainable if and when you are disciplined with your time.
Learn to make time for yourself
Making out some time to do things you actually love is essential on your journey to attaining a perfect work-life balance.
Sometimes, it’s okay to think about yourself, have some leisure time and pamper yourself.
A refreshing break will help you recharge while taking care of personal needs.
Go to a spa, get a massage, watch some episodes of your favorite TV series, read a book, travel solo, or simply do nothing at all.
Learn to take care of yourself because only then you would be able to effectively take care of your family and your work.
You will love this post How to practice self-care as a mum
Sort out your Mornings
As much as it is possible for you, avoid a complicated morning by getting organized the night before.
Before sleep time, decide what to make for breakfast. Sort out the kids’ lunches, lay out their clothes and yours, repack the diaper bag, backpacks, or work bags to be placed by the door, right next to your keys, so you can instantly grab them, unlock and lock up on your way out.
Look over the next day’s to-do list and divide the schedule, determining which parent gets the kids dressed, buy necessary groceries, and cooks the meals.
This is also a good time to discuss any changes you might be making to the family schedule.
This will also afford you a few minutes to eat breakfast with the kids without rushing out of the house like a maniac.
Here are effective ways you can plan your schedule and reduce stress
Develop a Family Calendar
Decide and outline your family’s priorities.
Your calendar can feature a chore chart for the kids, a list of school and family events, checkup appointments, extracurricular activities, dates when bills are due, birthdays, etc.
You can make use of Google calendars or a manual board for this, just anyone you think would be most convenient for you.
Also, try to set aside at least 10 minutes on Sunday evenings to review and prepare for the new week’s schedule.
This way, there are no surprises or missed deadlines in the course of the week. If you have a home staff, consider sharing the calendar with them so that everyone is up-to-date at all times.
Have Special Family Activities
Making time for your kids is essential- during the week and especially on the weekends, in order to nurture your family ties.
You can have a family lunch or a movie night. Create activities that regularly fit into a schedule so everyone is abreast of what to expect.
And during this time, avoid talking about work or checking your phone. Be genuinely interested and curious; ask questions about their friends, school, hobbies, that sort of thing.
With your older children, ask for their activity suggestions and try to meet their needs. In the end, it doesn’t really matter what you do as long as you do it together.
Nurture the Relationship with your Partner
See to it that you spend quality time your relationship with your partner, who will often be the number one person by your side.
Incorporate monthly date nights and engage in special activities as a couple to get closer, feel rejuvenated, and enjoy each other’s company.
If you are often overwhelmed with chores- both home and work, and your partner is starting to feel neglected, that’s a visible bridge in the work-home balance you’re trying to create.
Fostering this relationship will bring back some excitement to the marriage or partnership and help you ‘check-in’ and have each other’s backs better.