Sometimes it just all seems like too much. You’ve got a big project due at work but your kids need you at home. There are groceries to be bought, dinner to be fixed, laundry to wash and, of course, homework to help out with. How can a you possibly manage it all?
Here are some working mom tips to help get you through the tough times.
- Enlist your spouse and your older children. This is the single biggest thing you can do to relieve your stress. You’ll need to be sure to hash out the details of who’s going to do what and when so that there’s no confusion or missed details.
- Find reliable childcare. There are plenty of options for childcare from daycare centers to baby sitters to after school programs. During the summer many community centers offer camps and day long field trips.
- Manage your stress. Find easy ways to cope with your stress and prevent it from affecting your health and your mental attitude. Maybe there is certain music that relaxes you or you learn one of the many forms of meditation. Maybe you can eat your lunch in a pleasant environment rather than wolfing it down at your desk.
- Forget the Guilt. This one is probably easier said than done, but many moms feel guilty about choosing to work, rather than staying home with the kids. Frequently, remind yourself that in choosing to work, you are actually avoiding that regret that you are “sacrificing” yourself for your child.
- Compartmentalize your work and your home life. When you’re at work, be fully at work. Concentrating 100% or more on your job may actually make you more productive and give you more free time. At home, drop your work life and truly revel in your time with your children. You’ll always remember those quality moments.
- Use your time well. Learn to be as efficient as you can be. Are there chores you can outsource such as hiring a cleaning service or a dog walker? Are there things you can eliminate entirely such as being the president of your local club? Can you combine activities such as going grocery shopping while your child has his or her cut? Always keep your eye out for time-savers.
- Forget being “perfect”. Unless you have the money to hire someone else to help nearly full time, something’s got to give. You can’t expect to hold down a full-time job, be a great mom and still have a house that passes a white glove inspection. Pick your battles.
- Make time for yourself. This one may sound impossible, but it is very, very important. Take time to have lunch with a good friend or make sure you get to the gym at least three times a week. These types of activities will help you recharge and be a better person for your family.
- Stay calm. Stressing out over little things is just not productive. Don’t add pressure to your situation by working towards an unrealistic goal. Remind yourself again and again that you can only do so much and then decide where that “much” is going to go on each individual day—to your kids, to your spouse, to your job or to you.
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