As the saying goes, a mother’s work is never done. We are expected to be everything to everyone, which can be quite taxing. Unfortunately, no one has created a blueprint for being a mother, partner, and successful career woman simultaneously, but somehow, we pull it off.
As busy mothers, we are all searching for a balance between mom life and work life, but is there really a such thing? Well, the answer isn’t a simple yes or no, it’s a bit more complex.
We live in an ever-changing world, so raising children isn’t like it was years ago, especially since women make up more of the workforce than ever before. Finding balance between mom life and work life is an individual quest. We are all unique and have different wants, needs and desires. So, we must look within to form our own definition of mom life and work life balance.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Other Moms
Too often, we compare our lives to other mothers. Even worse, we compare our lives to fictitious depictions of working moms on social media or tv. If you are not careful, playing the comparison game can lead to unnecessary stress and feelings of guilt.
Yes, there are some mothers that are fortunate enough not to have to work, but according to aauw.org, over 70% of mothers with children under the age of 18 are part of the workforce. Therefore, working to provide for our families is the reality for majority of us.
Having to work or choosing to work is not something to be ashamed of, in fact, it should be admired. Being able to afford certain luxuries, extracurricular activities, or better educational opportunities for our children gives us a sense of pride. As moms, we are always striving to provide our children with the very best life has to offer.
Create a Plan
We must treat our home life much like our work life. When we go to work, there is usually an agenda or plan we follow to ensure things are done correctly and on time. Most successful companies have meticulous and consistent agendas, and they are constantly adjusting for the betterment of the organization.
In the pursuit of the perfect balance between mom life and work life, we should do the same for our homes. You (and your partner) should create a daily/weekly/monthly plan so things are done correctly and on time. As the kids get older, your plan should adapt as they take on more responsibilities.
Some things you may want to include in your plan are:
- Shared calendars
- Weekly meal plans
- No tech times
- Self-care / mommy time
A shared calendar is a great way to keep everyone in the loop. You can add a to-do list, appointments, important events, etc. This ensures everyone can see what the plan is for the day as well as the future.
Weekly Meal Plans
Meal preparation is one of the biggest challenges for working moms. Having a weekly dinner schedule will help you save time and make healthier choices. If you have the means, use shortcuts like:
- Ordering groceries online (Instacart, Thrive Market, Fresh Direct, etc.)
- Meal delivery services (Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Home Chef, etc.)
- Curbside pickup (for days you don’t feel like cooking)
Since many of us are working, household chores should be a shared responsibility. A solid plan should outline who is responsible for each chore. This way there is never any confusion.
If you have the means, utilize cleaning services, lawn care services, etc. This will also help you save time and keep your affairs in order.
No Tech Time
This may not be for everyone, but some moms like to incorporate time during the day when everyone turns off their electronic devices. The idea is to get everyone to talk and bond without any distractions. It’s also a way to detox and clear your head.
Sometimes we simply need time away from the kids and our job. Working, cooking, and taking care of the home can be draining. At least once a month, schedule a date night, have a fun/responsible night out with the girls, attend a yoga class, etc.
Also, don’t hesitate to use your resources. Allow your partner to shoulder some of the load and find a sitter you can trust. Sometimes you may want to get away a little earlier or stay away a little later. Having a good support system can make mommy time even better.
Learn To Say No
Mothers of young children are bombarded with invites to sleepovers, birthday parties, and playdates. It is okay to say “no” sometimes. Just because someone else is doing something with their kids doesn’t mean you have to.
Find out what make you happy and create your own definition of work life balance. It is okay not to do something just because all the other moms are doing it. This is your life, and you have the right to construct it however you see fit.