Being a working mom and balancing everything is not easy. These days women make up more than half of the workers in the United States, with 4 in 10 homes having a mother who works full time. When you’re a full time mother and you work, it can bring about feelings of guilt, and finding a good way to balance it all can be a challenge. Not to worry–it can be done.
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Find the Balance Between Career and Children
1. Dump the guilt
Mom guilt is a real thing. If you let the mom guilt eat at you, it will drag you down, making it more difficult to properly balance things. Change your outlook and think about how your career is benefitting your family, and how being a parent makes you a better employee. Not every day is going to be perfect. Talking to other working moms and those in your support network is an excellent way to share your feelings, and know that you are not alone.
2. Use the best quality child care possible
Determine who will care for your child(ren) while you’re at work. If it’s a family member or a private sitter, you’ll want to create a list of requirements that are your non-negotiables. Use this list to interview potential providers or when touring facilities. Do not be afraid to ask a lot of questions–it’s your child, afterall. If you don’t feel right about the provider, don’t use them.
3. Plan things out ahead of time
Small tasks like laying out clothes or making lunches the night before cna make your morning routine easier. Meal planning and cooking in batches on weekends is another time saver that eliminates the ever present “what’s for dinner?” question. Finally, keep a calendar and let everyone know their schedules in advance.
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4. Talk to your boss
Companies are more commonly beginning to offer flexible scheduling or work from home arrangements. Make your needs clear, for example, if you need to come in earlier or later than the rest of the staff, or need flex time. Be up front and give as much notice as possible.
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5. Stay connected throughout the day
Check in with your babysitter or daycare provider throughout the day for updates. Keep pictures or mementos of your child at work and be honest with your child if you’ll have to miss events like games.
6. Spend time with your child(ren) at the end of each day
Use this time to catch up. Ask them about their day or just enjoy spending time together by reading a book. This time will become especially important as kiddos get older and understand your absence a bit more. You’ll look forward to this time together.
7. Make time for your spouse, and for yourself
Taking me time regularly, as well as finding time for your spouse is critical to recharge your batteries and feel refreshed. Something as simple as soaking in a bath while your partner gets the kids to bed and then ordering take out can help to strengthen your bond and care for yourself.
It’s important to know that not everyone is the same, and that different things work for different people. You’ll have days where you breeze through everything, and life feels a little more effortless, and other days where it feels like the sky is falling. You know what works best for your family. Children are wonderful, and challenging, especially if they have special needs, like athetoid cerebral palsy. Take their needs, and your own, into account before you make any major decisions for your family. You’ll find a routine that works best for your needs.
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