Your day starts at 5:30 in the morning and ends at 12:00 midnight. No afternoon naps, alarm clock set even on weekends, no long baths, even missing your favorite TV show. Oh the life of a mother. Being a working mother is indeed a challenge. I remember there was a time when I could not hold it in anymore, and I just sat down in our laundry room and cried for about five minutes just to release how exhausted I was. The drama queen in me just had her moment.
Now that my daughter is one year old, here are a few things I had learned on how to keep your work life balance as a working mom.
KEEP A PLANNER
Planners had always been my best friend – it had always kept my focus. Schedule family activities to know if you still have free weekends before saying yes to other commitments. Plot down due dates for your monthly bills, insurance, loans to never miss payment dates. As a working mom, your hands are always full and planners or calendars can serve as a guide on your endless to do list.
MAKE YOUR TIME EFFICIENT
You know what women can do better than men? Multi-Tasking! Yes. We can do 3 chores at a time. However, if this does not work for you, if multi-tasking adds to your level of stress then do not do it. You can still manage to make your time efficient by eliminating so called distractions – checking Instagram too often, playing online games, opening every link your friend shares on facebook. Try to eliminate this time wasters to make the most out of your time.
Quit thinking you’re a wonder woman. Truth is you are, however, you do not have super powers. Be realistic and ask for help. You may ask your sister or in-laws to baby sit for a while so you can do your errands without any distraction.
MAKE MORNINGS A LITTLE STRESS FREE
If you have plans on weekends, pack your bags at least a day before so everything is ready before your trip. Its stressful knowing that you need to finish everything at a given time and even more stressful seeing that your husband is pissed waiting for you to get everything together. On ordinary days, make a list on what you will prepare for breakfast so your time won’t be wasted deciding if you’ll cook pancakes or hotdogs for the family. Plan what you will wear in the office and the stuff you will need to bring before going to bed. Little things like these can make your mornings a little stress free, believe me.
KNOW YOUR PRIORITIES
As a working mother, I make it a point to always be firm that my family is my number one priority. Yes, I need to work so I can help in providing for what my family needs, but at the end of the day, work is just work. Talk to your employer/manager and make sure he is aware of this. If he is a good boss, he will understand.
SET A SCHEDULE FOR HOUSEHOLD CHORES
You can set a schedule on days where you will be doing your laundry, iron your clothes, or change your sheets. Set the week on when you will do your groceries, buy milk, diapers and other baby needs. Like in my case, since my clothing rack is limited, I need to do the laundry at least thrice a week. Of course, I can only do it once the baby is asleep. Household chores is quite challenging. But having a schedule and sticking into it will help you finish your tasks. Do not forget to schedule a task free day also! 🙂
ASK YOUR HUSBAND TO HELP
I always remind my husband that I am working too – and we should be in this together. It is unfair that while I do the laundry, wash the dishes and prepare for our meal – he will be sitting there cheering for his football team, right? Let him be a part of this. Of course, don’t give him the big stuff if he is not ready for it. He can help by playing with your kids while you do some chores.
Clutter can be very stressful. You don’t need to be great with all the arts and crafts stuff to be organized. Label important documents and put them all together, ensure your child’s clothes are kept neatly so it’s easier for you to look if there’s something she needs to wear, separate money allotted for your groceries, food, bill payments so you can budget them easily. Staying organized will only not limit your stress but it will also help you finish tasks easier.
As they say, it’s all about the quality not the quantity. Being a mother does not only mean doing chores or providing for your family. Quality time with your spouse and children is a must. When I am home, I never check my mobile phone unless someone calls for an emergency. I want to be there one hundred percent for my daughter, so when I am home, I am really home. When I am spending time with my daughter, multi-tasking is off the table. Just me and her having a fun time.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
You can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself. How can you keep it all together when you are a mess? Back then, when my daughter was younger, I used to deprive myself because I felt guilty. I am not sure why, but that’s how I felt. I felt like everything should be for my daughter which was completely wrong. I was sad and stressed for a while. Then I realized that spending time with myself is important too. Have a break. Drink coffee. Watch your favorite series while munching on potato chips. Buy that dress. You deserve it. As long as you know your limits and you know what is too much. As they say, you can’t give happiness to others if you don’t have it in yourself.