Being a working mom can seem really difficult to manage.
Of course you want to spend as much time treasuring your little ones as possible but it is equally as important that you make time for what’s important to you and in many cases this could be your career.
Women often feel that once they have had a baby they have to sacrifice their career and this is not the case, just like a man, a woman should be able to have children and a good career.
Of course, achieving both is not without its hurdles and can seem like an impossible mountain to climb but if it’s what you want it will undoubtedly be worth it.
We have put together some great tips for managing work and family that you can begin to try , they are as follows:
Work From Home
In a post-coronavirus world working from home is becoming more and more common which has allowed for an excellent shift in work life balance.
Being able to work from the comfort of your own home brings that blessing that it cuts your day right down by eradicating commuting time, thus leaving you with more time to spend with your loved ones.
Similarly, although you will still be preoccupied and probably need someone else there to watch your little ones working from home allows you to be present, you will not miss milestones such as first words, first steps or first crawl and you will undoubtedly feel much more comfortable being able to see and hear your children.
Obviously, self-employment is not an option for everyone but it probably is more viable than you think. Self-employment is becoming more and more common and isn’t too difficult to navigate.
Many jobs such as being a care assistant, writer, tutor, mechanic and many more could be done on a self-employed basis.
One of the biggest perks to being self-employed is the freedom that this brings, you can manage your own prices, time off and schedule.
This means that you can work less and still earn enough to provide for your family. Working less or having a much more flexible schedule allows for you to take time for your family whenever it is needed.
Work Part Time
Of course only you will know if working part time is a realistic option for you but if it is it could be a great option.
Working part time means that you are still working on furthering your career and having the independence that comes with having your own job.
Working part time also means that you have more time for your family and to spend with your children.
Depending on your family’s routine and what works best for you, working part time could mean only working a couple of days a week or it could mean keeping the same days but lowering your hours perhaps allowing you to do the nursery or school run.
Make The Most Of A Phased Return
Many employers are happy to offer a phased return for moms returning from maternity leave and so this could be a great option.
Even if the option of a phased return hasn’t already been mentioned to you it may be worth asking about.
A phased return allows you to gradually return to working life, this can be really helpful as it stops the anxieties that come from going from being with your children 24/7 to hardly seeing them.
This gradual approach to returning to work is tried and tested and can work much better for all members of the family but especially mom and baby.
Once again though, a phased return can lead to a temporary reduction in wages so it is important that you work out whether or not this is a good decision for you.
Choose An Employer That Provides Flexible Hours
Some employers are much better than others when it comes to providing flexible hours.
If you already have a job which you want to keep, it may be worth talking to your boss about this.
If you are looking for a new job this is something that it is important to enquire about before accepting a new contract.
Obviously, this is much more feasible in some occupations than others but the vast majority of employers should have the ability to offer flexibility in some capacity.
Use An Onsite Nursery
This may not sound like it would make a massive difference but using onsite childcare for your little one can make it feel as though they are much closer and therefore it can help to keep anxieties at bay.
You will also be able to use travel time to bond with your child.
On another positive note, onsite childcare sometimes offers discounts to staff so this could help you to save some money.
Not everywhere offers these services but it could be a good idea to schedule a meeting with your boss to see if this is a thing in your place of work.
Communicate With Your Partner
When trying to balance work and family life communication is key.
In order to effectively schedule and plan your time you need to be aware of anyone who you co-parent withs timetables.
If you have a partner it is good to plan working schedules together as much as possible then you can make sure that childcare is equally split and that you are getting a good amount of family time together.
It could be nice to make sure that you have at least one day a week where you, your partner and your kids are all free so that you are able to plan some nice family days out.
You may be interested in my other Working Parent articles:
Communicate With Relatives
Similarly, if other relatives such as your parents or brothers or sisters help with the care of your child it is also a good idea to make sure that you communicate with them so that you can all plan around each other.
It is important to be aware of any other commitments that people who look after your child may have as this can affect how you schedule your week.
It is also important that you maintain regular contact with these people so that as and when things change, and when things such as appointments crop up you are all aware and can plan accordingly.
Have A Clear Schedule
Having a clear schedule can allow you to really make the most of your time and make sure that you are optimizing your free time and your family time.
The best idea may be to physically make the timetable, one way of doing this is by making a weekly planner.
Weekly planners come in several formats and you should use whatever works for you but one good way could be to create a 24/7 plan which is split down hour by hour.
This added detail leaves little margin for error and can prove a lot more effective than a vague plan.
A nice idea could be to get the whole family involved with making a timetable as this could prove a nice bonding activity and also means that all peoples views have been listened to and that individual commitments are much less likely to be left off the timetable.
This is the most important thing you can do. Afterall, if you are stressed this could put a strain on both your home life and work life which could prove very counterproductive.
Stress is really bad for you both mentally and physically but sadly it is very common when you have not long had a baby as you adapt to so many changes in your life, adding going back to work into the mix can be a disastrous cocktail of events.
However, there are many things that you can do in order to reduce stress, these can include staying organised as a lack of organisation can often feel like a lack of control, the above suggestion of having a schedule can be a great place to start with this.
Similarly, it is really important that you make time for yourself.
Making time for yourself can involve whatever you like as long as it is relaxing and purely about you.
Depending on your hobbies some good ideas could include, going for a long walk, meeting friends for a coffee, yoga, zumba, joining an art class, joining a fitness class, going to the gym or simply having a glass of wine in front of the tv.
Overall, it is important that you do not feel that you have to choose between having a family and having a career.
In order to maintain a good family and work balance, time management is key.
There are also many ways in which you can chop and change your schedule to meet your needs, many of which are detailed above. Speaking with your employer may be a fantastic starting point if you are stuck.