All working moms are different, yet are the same too. And what binds them together is the balancing act between work life and family. The struggle seems to be never-ending: how do you balance between work and family which both demand your time?
It’s not unusual that many working moms do not feel good about dividing attention between work and family.
They feel guilty when they ignore their kids in favor of their work outside the home. But they will feel also feel bad about AWOL-ing themselves from work to attend their child’s PTA meeting.
Many moms feel a tremendous amount of regret and guilt whenever they spend more time with their bosses, clients and co-workers than with their own kids. Sometimes, they even feel a lot of guilt about enjoying being in the office more rather than being at home! We know that you are not alone in this dilemma. It’s because whenever they come home from work, they would often feel tired, exhausted and sometimes irritable. They are too drained to spend quality time with their spouses and children, and all they want to do for the moment is to retire to bed.
Of course, many moms also feel guilty that their kids are growing and they feel rather terrible for missing out on the most important milestones of their lives, such as watching their own toddlers taking their first steps or their own young children attending to their first day of kindergarten.
Don’t get “married” to your work too much.
Do you feel that you are “married” to your job too much? Sure, it’s tempting to put on extra hours at work especially if you’re gunning for that dream promotion. Or you simply want to keep yourself productive and just make money. But if you spend too much of your time working, it can take a toll on your health. It can also lead to lost time with your spouse or partner, your children and your friends.
Achieving the work-life balance.
Striking an ideal work-life balance will likely be a continuous challenge. But since time cannot be fabricated, it is important to set certain limits. If you are not able to set limits, work on them or else, your obligations will leave you with no more time to spend with your family or do the things that you enjoy doing.
Time management is the most challenging and the most crucial when attempting to strike a perfect work-life balance. Remember, it’s okay in not trying to be a Super Mom so don’t take all the invitations and projects in. Choose the tasks that you feel you are able to accomplish, and do away and/or delegate other tasks to your colleagues, especially the tasks that you cannot handle or cannot enjoy. You don’t have to attend every PTA meetings, chaperone your kid to his field trips or reluctantly accept another job assignment.
You can also voice out your concerns and possible solutions with your employer and colleagues so that you can reach to a compromise. This will free you up to focus on the tasks and activities that you are good at, or enjoy doing.
At home, you should organize household tasks efficiently. If your kids are big enough, teach them on how to clean up after themselves such as putting away toys or making their own beds. Delegate other tasks to much older children such as preparing a table for dinner or loading the dishwasher. Do the laundry in batches because you don’t want to dump all of them for your day-off. Go to the grocery store at least once a week and cook meals in big batches, keeping half of the servings in the fridge for the next meal. It will save you from trooping to the kitchen next time.
Learn to say no. In our stay-driven culture, it’s difficult to say “no” out of respect, false sense of obligation or fear that you might disappoint your boss, your colleagues or your son’s teachers. It’s all right to say “no.” It’s all right to turn down requests for activities that you feel you cannot do or enjoy. Saying “no” is actually healthy as it frees you from additional and unnecessary activities that may otherwise burden you.
The lack of time for your family may make them feel frustrated. Often, these feelings of frustration can lead to small disagreements that aren’t even worthy of your attention. Believe it or not, it’s the most petty of arguments that can create the biggest discord and the deepest resentment. But it does happen.
Make sure to spend time with your family by setting aside a date for them. Even activities that are simple as having a movie marathon or playing board games will help you to bond better together and bring out good memories. Having a relaxing and fun time spent with your family also helps you to loosen up.
Take care of yourself
Moms usually place themselves last in favor of their children and are even willing to sacrifice their own pursuits just to attend their children’s own needs and wants. Still though, working moms should not forget to look after themselves. As a mom, you are the “light” of your home, and should it be appropriate that such light needs some good “re-charging”? Relax, have some fun and take care of yourself. This will also help in keeping a good and balanced lifestyle.
Eat a healthy diet, get adequate sleep, refrain from smoking and drinking alcohol, pamper yourself, devote your time to your hobby, travel, meet up with your old friends or do volunteer work. These are only few of the things that you should try to do to achieve a perfect work-life balance (and to keep your sanity intact).
What if you find yourself depressed or struggling with a chronic illness?
If you struggle from depression or anxiety, it is strongly advised that you should seek medical attention. If you think therapy is best for you, you should set a schedule for it. If you are struggling with a chronic illness, you should call in sick — remember that overworking too much is actually counter-productive and may cause you to miss more days at work than you should.
You should prioritize your health, always. This will make you a better and a happier person — at work and at home. But making yourself healthy doesn’t have to be extreme — only a good diet, a good sleep and a proper exercise can do wonders. It only takes constant dedication to keep yourself healthy and free from illnesses.