Being a full-time working mother can lead to feelings of guilt and stress because of divided attention between work and family. The key is to focus on a plan, get organised, and find the right balance between profession and parenthood. Here are 10 ways to help make sure both your career and your family flourish.
1. Let Go of the Guilt
Rather than dwell on how you’re not with your child, think about how your role in the company is benefitting the family. Perhaps you can afford certain classes or educational opportunities for your children or you’re able to put away savings for college. Accept that there will be good and bad days. Mothers should know they are not alone and they should discuss their feelings with partners or support groups.
2. Make the Mornings Easier
Avoid starting the day on a frazzled note by getting organised the night before. Pack the kids’ lunches, lay out their clothes (plus your own), and have everyone shower. You should also decide what to make for breakfast, and repack the diaper bag, backpacks, purses, or work bags to be placed by the door, right next to your keys, so you can grab them 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, buys necessary groceries, and cooks the meals. This is also a good time to discuss any changes to the family schedule. Knowing that a lot of the mundane tasks are completed will allow you to spend a few minutes eating breakfast with the kids without rushing out of the house.
3. Create and Organise a Family Calendar
Figure out your family’s priorities. A calendar can include dates when bills are due, a chore chart for the kids, a list of school and family events, extracurricular activities, birthdays, and more. Set aside 15 minutes each Sunday to review and prepare for the upcoming week’s schedule. This helps eliminate surprises during the week.
4. Communicate with Your Employer
Before talking to your employer or HR representative, construct a written plan detailing what you need. Every employer is different, and only you will know how much to share, but try to be as open and honest as possible. Be prepared to present alternative solutions, such as a trial period of your projected work schedule so you can show how the arrangement won’t restrict productivity. Moms seeking maternity leave should ask questions when speaking with a supervisor.
5. Stay Connected During the Day
Stay connected with your children even when you’re not together. For moms with younger kids, consider recording yourself talking or singing on a video or record your voice reading along to a children’s. If you’re going to miss or be late to an older child’s event, give her something special in the morning, like a good-luck charm or a personal note. Look into options for filming the event so you can watch it later and not miss a moment. Hang pictures of yourself and your partner so the kids can see your faces. During your breaks at work, call your child; hearing her can help you get through a rough day, and she’ll be comforted to know you’re near.