Trying to balance your professional career and motherhood at the same time can feel like you’re being stretched in a dozen different directions concurrently. First-time mothers who are new to the responsibilities and requirements of motherhood are most affected by the duties of parenting and the career they have tirelessly built over the last few years.
Motherhood can be taxing in ways more than one. For starters, mothers aren’t just trying to work after sleep-deprived nights with their toddlers, but they are also trying to hold their stuff together at home. The slightest mood swing and tantrums can hurt their kid and lead to problems in their mental growth.
Let us not forget that mothers are spending most of their time on an empty tank. They’re deprived of sleep, of fulfillment, and might even start feeling guilty for prioritizing one over the other. All new moms would relate to the feelings of stress, guilt, and overwhelm from splitting responsibilities, especially while choosing between parenting and working.
However, we can also tell from personal experiences and those of successful women that it is 100 percent possible for working mothers to have a successful family and a flourishing career together. All of this, while feeling their own best self as well.
This article jumps deep into some exciting and guilt-free tips that mothers can follow to balance their careers with motherhood. The roles and responsibilities of motherhood can help guide you to success and open new doors of opportunity.
The Problems of Working Mothers
Working mothers usually face challenges and problems on two fronts: within the workplace and at home with the family.
Problems Faced at Home
Mothers face the following problems at home when navigating the treacherous paths of balancing both motherhood and career together:
- They have to get up before the child gets up. They need to manage the daily chores before the kid wakes up and also prep for their breakfast.
- They have to ensure that the child is ready for school and the opportunities that come alongside it. This includes basic introductions to alphabets and numbers.
- Mothers have to look after the medical requirements of their children and have to take them to the clinic if they aren’t feeling well or require some medical care. Mothers have to be present in case of medical emergencies.
- Mothers have to oversee their children’s daily requirements and needs to ensure that they are taken care of properly with the right solutions. Working mothers have to listen to and control the entire daily routine of their child and have to solve problems they face at home or in school.
- Mothers also have to fix and distribute responsibilities if they have a supportive spouse. While sharing responsibilities does make things easier, the paths that lead to it can take some work to master.
Problems Faced in the Workplace
Motherhood does not take away the challenging work requirements as it still holds the same importance and requires constant attention. Some of the problems faced in the workplace include:
- Mothers have to realize the societal demands and expectations, both at home and on the work front.
- Colleagues and bosses may fail to empathize with working mothers and the responsibilities they may have at home. This lack of empathy will eventually lead to poor results.
- Mothers might finally have to let some motherly duties take the backseat as they prioritize deadlines or targets at work.
- Some work-related responsibilities and targets may require them to put extra hours in the workplace and come to the office early and leave late. Leaving early for a family responsibility may be complicated.
- Bosses and certain toxic managers never understand when you ask for a day off or an early leave due to emergencies related to your child.
- Bosses don’t assign important work and challenging tasks to mothers because they fear they will bail out or not be dedicated.
Guilt-Free Tips for Balancing Work and Motherhood
Having discussed the problems, we now move to some guilt-free tips that mothers can follow to balance their careers and motherhood together. Go through these tips and find the right balance for your needs:
Respect Your Decision
If your career and profession are important to you, you should value that decision and respect your career choices. It is beautiful to have ambitions in life, and you shouldn’t feel bad about it. If you want to continue working for financial independence or to meet the bills, honor the fact that you are standing up for your needs and are doing what is best for your family.
Do not let the feelings of guilt creep into your mind. Also, do not let others tell you that you’re less of a mother by working for your needs or you’re less of a professional due to your motherly requirements.
According to a recent survey by Harvard Business School, women whose moms worked outside the home during their childhood are likely to get better jobs and be more responsible in the workplace.
The efforts you put in right now will also shine on your children and allow them to be better at what they do. Men raised by working women are also more like to contribute to household chores and helping parents out.
Try to be present at the moment and build your attention span for success. When you are at home, be at home. Put your phone down if need be and play with your kids in the backyard or on the floor. It would help if you utilized every minute you get with your kids, and for that to happen, you should prioritize the moments you spend together.
Help your children with their homework and ask about their day. Go out for activities together during your free time and have a family dinner outside once a week, if financially adequate. This won’t just make your kids happy but will also give you the happiness and satisfaction you need from life. It would help if you tried to be fully present in your life to make the most out of the moments you spend together.
Take Out Some Me-Time
Have you ever traveled on an airplane? One of the initial instructions they give is to put on your oxygen mask first in the case of an emergency before you can help others. If you cannot breathe properly, you won’t produce the physical energy needed to comfort and help others around you.
The same analogy applies to your daily life as well. If you cannot breathe properly, there is no way that you will be strong enough to help those around you breathe properly. Make me-time a non-negotiable part of your week.
Many working moms forget to put in their oxygen masks over fears of whether that would eventually make them forget the needs of others. You need to realize what your own needs are and make sure that you meet them. You can only keep on giving to your family and profession if your cup is full.
Learn Time Management
Time management is a craft that you need to master as a working mother. As a working mother, there will be days when you feel you don’t have enough hours during the day. It would help if you made it a point to deny commitments and activities that aren’t important to you. Instead of this, try focusing on activities that give you energy and help you fulfill your responsibilities.
For instance, most working moms prioritize in-home workouts over going to the gym after the birth of their children. Mothers want to spend more time with their children and working out at home gives them a chance to do that.
Leave Work in the Workplace
Just like your motherhood shouldn’t interfere with your work, you shouldn’t let your work routine interfere with your motherhood responsibilities. Most moms struggle with making the shift from work-mode to mommy-mode. Some have a toxic work culture where the workday never ends, and you have to work through the day, even when at home.
In such cases, it can suit you well to leave your work in the workplace and come back home with a fresh slate. One technique you can use here is to set intentions for the evening at home when traveling back from work after a busy day. On a Friday evening, close your eyes and take deep breaths. Imagine everything you have accomplished during the week and set your mind on what is to come. Repeat that you will now have to give your family some time and be with them.
Find a Good Childcare
This will be a very personal choice, but finding a childcare service that you love and trust can make life, work, and motherhood a lot more fun and less stressful. It is a beautiful feeling to know that your kid is in safe hands, even when you are not around to be with them. Loving people and staff should be an essential prerequisite for leaving your child in a childcare center.
While good childcare services can be expensive to maintain, the mental peace and tranquility that comes with knowing your children are in safe hands are often unparalleled.
Use a Family Organizer
Organizing family time and requirements is also necessary when you are a working mother and have grown children. Most people have a family calendar at home, where everyone can input their routines and schedule, but there are better ways of doing so with technology. There are applications today that help your entire family organize and see each other’s plans.
Most applications made for family organization and schedule management also include sections for to-do lists and managing groceries, which can be helpful in the long run. The organizer can cause several work and home-related requirements easier to manage.
Stop Vying for Perfection
It is easy for you to think you’re not enough with motherhood’s challenges and overwhelming requirements. We constantly compare ourselves to others around us and put ourselves down for not being where we would have wanted to be. Nothing good comes from comparisons. Stop comparing yourself to others and drop the need to be perfect in every aspect of life.
Your career and your family don’t have to be perfect. Silence the inner perfectionist within you and find happiness in the little moments of imperfection in daily life.
Remember to Have Fun
Balancing your career with motherhood can be a huge challenge and can be overwhelming for most. The last thing you need here is for your life to become one giant to-do list. What’s the point of life, then? Fun often leads to joy, which eventually leads you towards feelings of happiness and fulfillment. Make sure to have fun in your time with your kids and take your job lightly.
Don’t overthink your obligations, and do not fret over requirements. You will eventually get to start your workweek fresh and in tune with your needs if you have a good weekend with family and kids.
The journey of balancing career and motherhood together can be beautiful, exciting, imperfect, adventurous, and raw. Life is all about balancing requirements and finding small things to rejoice over. Know how to be happy, and you’ll slowly learn how to navigate through the problems.