5 Tips for Balancing Motherhood, Work & Life without the Guilt
Today I came across an all too familiar article on Black and Married about the stress of balancing motherhood and everything else. In her article, author Tiya points out that giving our children our undivided attention is a difficult but essential part of parenting responsibly. From Black and Married:
There never seems to be enough hours in the day to accomplish everything we have on our plates. I often wonder how our parents made it seem so effortless. My mother always worked full-time, managed our household and still had plenty of time for us. Today’s parents have the same responsibilities, why do ours seem more challenging than those of our parents? Our childhoods are what we always hold on to. We are creating memories for our children and I don’t want my children’s memory of me to be that mommy never made time or was always unavailable. [Keep reading]
Tips for Balancing Work & Home
I know that as a full-time web publisher and mompreneur, I have felt many times over that I wasn’t being a good enough mother to my daughter. There are times when she’s played alone in her room and I’ve felt guilty, when she’s wanted my attention and I put her on pause. It’s a delicate balancing act to be a mother and have a career, especially when both jobs are full-time and then some, but as Tiya mentions in her article, we can’t allow our priorities to slip out of place.
Here are a few tips to help you organize your daily grind and make family more of a priority and less of a challenge.
#1 – Ask for help
This is number one because it’s really the first thing that you should be doing. Delegate, delegate, delegate. This has always been a challenge for me because I feel guilty for putting my work off on someone else and I’m not always sure that depending on someone else will result in a project well done, but inevitably, you have to let go of the reins a little and allow others to step in if you expect some time to step out once in a while. This could mean asking your husband to take on meal planning or requesting that an employee or co-worker take on more responsibility at the office. If you don’t have others to assist you, consider reaching out into your community for support. Ask around at your church or community college for an intern. Learn to cope with rejection and imperfection, your business will be better for it and you may just find ways to grow that you hadn’t considered before.
#2 – Stick to a daily routine
One thing that I’ve noticed about getting things done each day and still having time for a family, is that you NEED to have a routine. Create a daily calendar and give yourself deadlines for each task. In our family, like most, I’ve noticed that my husband and daughter want the bulk of my attention in the mornings and evenings. Because of this, I typically save out 1 hour of solid family time in the morning and two more hours in the evening, before bed. This way, everyone feels like I’m making time for them and it gives me a little breather from work tasks that I wouldn’t always give myself otherwise. Of course, every day doesn’t work out perfectly, but the point is to try your best to get those solid blocks of family time in that are completely uninterrupted so that your family knows they are your number one priority.
#3 – Take time for yourself
Everyone knows that you’re not going to function at the top of your game if you’re lacking sleep and overloaded with tasks that couldn’t possibly be completed in a day’s time. Remember that above all, you serve your family best when you are sane and in control. Take breaks during the day…real breaks. Take some veg time or have fun doing an activity that you enjoy. Whatever it may be, make sure that it’s something that involves zero responsibility for at least 30 solid minutes. Even better if you can have a couple hours to yourself own each week. Remember that we can’t come back to work refreshed and inspired if we never have any downtime.
#4 – Focus on one task at a time
Try to multi-task less and focus more on completing individual tasks so that your time is more structured. This way, you can give each priority your full attention. Make a checklist of what needs to be done, in order of priority. Then go over your checklist one-by-one and try not to deviate or jump around. Stay off of Facebook, Twitter and other social outlets. Turn off all other distractions like the tv and create a quite space where you can think clearly and concisely. If music helps you to focus, or maybe a glass of relaxing tea, integrate those options into your work time. When it’s family time that you’re after, be sure to focus on family. Don’t answer your cell phone or check your emails. Just live in the moment.
#5 – Know your limitations
Sometimes there will be things that you just can’t get done…maybe not today, maybe never. Know your limitations and be ready to say ‘no’ when more work is being piled on your already full plate. Don’t be afraid to turn down a client, ask your hubby or kids to take on extra responsibilities at home or order in when there’s no time for cooking and your exhausted. We can’t do it ALL, so don’t feel guilty for being human or criticize yourself for leaving some things off of your to do list. Know what you can do and when to stop adding tasks to your list.
Do you have a tip for balancing work and home? How do you make it work?
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