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Finding The Balance Between Work And Being Mum

nicola working from home during the pandemic, on a google hangout with the team

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Being a mum is one of the hardest and most rewarding jobs going and if it didn’t keep you busy enough, you also have to juggle work, running the house alongside looking after yourself and your own health and wellbeing. 

That all being said, you can do it all! It is possible to have a successful and rewarding employment or self employment and still be an active and present mum. You don’t need to cut any corners or sacrifice any part of your life. 

Here are some useful tips that should help you find this balancing act a little easier to juggle.

Let Go Of the Mum Guilt

You might feel judged for leaving your children to enable you to work. You might even judge yourself and feel guilty for not being with them 24/7. 

Although it is becoming more ‘normal’ and acceptable for women to return to work and have careers after children, it doesn’t take away from the mum guilt you feel. This is natural, but try not to let it overwhelm you. You are entitled to work and actively pursue your dreams and goals. What you are doing is admirable. Remember this is a life lesson you are teaching right now. You are showing your children that hard work pays off and that both mum and dad have these same opportunities. Focus on the positives of being a working mum and remind yourself what this brings to you and your family. 

Use Timesaving Options Where Possible

You’ve heard the expression ‘work smarter, not harder’. This applies. 

Consider what ways you can maximise your time. With your weekly grocery shopping, medical supplies order online for either home delivery or collection. This enables you the ability to use your time wisely and more importantly, not forget anything and create a second unnecessary task. There are plenty of alternative ways you can use this spare time with your children making memories than dragging them around completing weekly chores. 

Another way to save time, is to consider batch cooking. Think of all of your family favourite meals and the children’s favourite savory snacks. If you’re making it anyway, why not double up on the recipe and freeze the surplus. Then you have a healthy and nutritious meal ready and waiting on those days when you’ve got family days planned. 

Find And Use Childcare You Trust

It is vital when returning back to work that you have the confidence and peace of mind of knowing that your children are safe and well looked after. There are so many different options to explore so it isn’t a decision that should be rushed. 

You may consider a Nanny, using family support (if an option), day care or friends. But, when looking at child care make sure you consider the ratios of children to adults, and how much confidence you as a parent have in the setting you are choosing. Also, consider how well they can accommodate your childcare needs. For example, do they offer flexible hours, how clean the setting is, along with how well your child settles in the environment. 

Be Open And Honest With Your Employer

You’ll tend to find the majority of mums end up being the primary caregiver when your child falls ill, has medical or dental appointments, along with drop off and pick up. With these additional responsibilities in place it is important to be honest and open with your employer, about what support they may be able to offer you and how you can still work with them to meet your obligations and be that hard working, dedicated employee you are. 

This level of openness and transparency can work wonders. It may result in a more flexible working agreement or the ability to work from home when needed. Hopefully your employer will be understanding and be open to working with you for this successful work relationship. 

Reduce Distractions And Maximise Productivity

Time is precious. Even more so now you are a parent and you have more to juggle on a daily basis. So be mindful of it. 

As much as it can be nice taking a leisurely lunch break and having a catch up with your colleagues, does it affect your productivity. To succeed and have the balance of motherhood and a successful work career, you need to work and be as productive and valuable as possible. You don’t want to have to cut into your family time by having to work late and make up for work.

This is then the same when home. When with your partner and children, be present and engaging. Turn off your devices and commit your full self to being with them, playing, talking, making lasting memories. 

Make Memories And Create Special Family Time

The key to making this balance work, is making the most of your time with the children and as a family. Make every minute special. Use those weekends off work at a time that you can all look forward to. Plan ahead. Think of activities you can do. It could be booking a weekend away, going camping. It could be family walks or picnics in the park. Quality time together doesn’t necessarily result in costly activities. It’s about making the most of the time with your loved ones. 

Where your children are a little older, you could ask them to come up with ideas of activities they would like to engage in. 

Organization Is Key

In order to keep things running smoothly you do need to plan and be organized to ensure nothing gets missed or overlooked. A mothers daily list of jobs is endless, without even factoring in appointments, after school clubs or activities, meals, shopping lists, birthdays and so on. 

You’ve possibly been there where you’ve forgotten to make or send cakes in for the bake sale, missed a soccer game or had to buy a birthday present last minute on the way to the party, and this is all whilst still signing permission forms, keeping on top of running the house, knowing what food is where and keeping eyes on the children. So help yourself out. INvest in a daily, weekly and yearly organizer. This could be an app, an actual physical planner, calendar or a combination of all options. Either way, write it down. Make a plan. By having this as a visual reminder you might even find your significant other sees them too and lends a helping hand. 

Share The Load

By having a visual list there is no reason whilst you cannot get help. Remember your family home is just that for the family. Therefore, they can help with the running of it. So delegate the chores. If your children are old enough they can join in too. 

The best way to get this to run smoothly is to have set chores for each person. For example if you are doing bath and bed for the baby, your significant other could be cleaning down the kitchen from dinner. For children, use a chart. Set a visual reminder of their expectations and ensure these are being met. This not only helps you, but teaches them life skills that they will continue to use going into their adult lives. Or alternatively, you could always consider hiring help to assist with these tasks if that is a possibility. Some find this option more appealing as it allows them to maximise their spare time in other meaningful family ways and outlets. 

It is definitely possible to have the best of both worlds. You just need to create the balance. 

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