Many moms find balance by cutting out activities that are time-consuming and unnecessary. For instance, some moms choose to limit their kids’ extracurricular activities in order to maximize family time on the weekends. Investing in systems to protect home warranty or some kind of warranty to lessen the stress of home repairs can be very beneficial.
However, it’s important to remember that work-life balance is highly individual. What feels balanced to a young professional without children will look different for a mother with kids.
1. Designate a Work Account
Between changing diapers, setting playdates and juggling conference calls, working moms are constantly trying to balance their professional and personal life. Add in the pressure of societal expectations and it can feel impossible to achieve work-life balance.
The secret to balancing work and home is creating firm boundaries for yourself and your family. Work at home moms can create this by only checking work emails and texts during certain times of the day, like during their lunch break or after the kids are asleep.
It can also help to delegate tasks as much as possible. This could be asking for help from your spouse or other family members to watch the kids so you can complete a project or taking advantage of flexible scheduling at work.
2. Turn Off Notifications
Many apps can offer push notifications, which are designed to be a way for an app to notify you of new content. Unfortunately, this feature can also be a distraction.
Every time you hear your phone ding, it pulls you away from the task at hand. Even if you don’t check it, your attention is compromised as you wonder what the alert could be about. That’s called phubbing and it can be really damaging to your relationships with friends and family.
Try a few days of turning off all your notifications and see how you feel. It will likely feel eerily quiet and possibly stressful at first, but resist the urge to turn them back on. After a few days, make adjustments based on your experience.
3. Ask for Help
It’s important for busy moms to know that it’s okay to ask for help. It’s also helpful for them to not compare themselves to other people’s lives online, because that can cause unnecessary stress and guilt.
Some ways to ask for help may include asking family members to help with cooking and cleaning, scheduling a babysitter for certain days of the week, or hiring a house cleaner. It might also mean not attending every kid’s birthday party and lowering the number of extracurricular activities your kids participate in. Reducing your responsibilities can help you find balance, and it can also teach your children the value of teamwork and community. You might even find that you’re able to work more efficiently because you aren’t distracted by household chores.
4. Plan Strategically
Many moms feel a bit overwhelmed by the number of tasks on their plates. Whether it’s getting kids to school, grocery shopping, cooking dinner or doing laundry, it’s important to plan out the day to prioritize tasks and maximize time.
This can include putting routine occurrences on the calendar (pick ups, work meetings) or using a task list to organize & prioritize chores, errands & other tasks. It’s also helpful to plan out your daily schedule so you can fit in things like exercise, friend time or a nap.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. This may mean relying on your partner more, hiring a cleaning service or asking for a flexible schedule at work. Getting others to pitch in helps keep the stress levels low & allows you to focus on what matters most.
5. Get Some Rest
Many moms struggle to find a balance between work and family. Finding a way to do both is possible, but it will require planning and setting boundaries. It also requires being realistic and asking for help when needed.
It is normal to feel a lack of focus at work when worrying about the kids at home, but trying to separate the two worlds can improve overall performance and results. For example, moms can schedule “me” time at night once everyone is tucked in, like a movie date with a friend or reading a book.
Another great self-care practice is to sleep, which reduces stress and increases energy levels. Try to get at least 8 hours of rest each night. It may be a challenge to find the time, but making sleep a priority can improve productivity and mood throughout the day.