Maintaining healthy balance between work and personal life isn’t always easy. For some working moms, it’s a lot like searching for hidden treasure without a map – they know that a great prize awaits, but have no idea how to reach it. If that’s how you sometimes feel, cheer up! Here are some easy steps for working moms to successfully manage their jobs, family and sanity:
1. Work is for work. Home is for family. One of the most effective ways for working moms to achieve a better balance is to stop working once you get home. Despite job pressures to do good work and seemingly not enough hours in the work day, make sure family time is your top priority once you walk through your home’s front door. Turn off your cell phone. Stop checking for new emails. Actively engage with your spouse and children.
2. Cleanliness or craziness? Many working moms may drive themselves crazy trying to work and keep their home in perfect condition. Dishes are always washed and put away, furniture is never dusty, beds are made, bathrooms are scrubbed, shrubs are trimmed and the weeds are gone. Instead of running ragged trying to keep a clean house every single day, a better plan might be to attack only one task each night. For example, only clean the bathrooms on Tuesday and Friday. Only focus on the outside of the home on the weekend, and so on. This gets working moms closer toward the clean home they desire and gives them more time with their family. Speaking of family, there’s nothing wrong with asking for help from dad and the kids.
3. Connect with your children, even when you’re not home. Even just to say “I love you,” is one of life’s little pleasures. During a coffee break or lunch break, pick up the phone and give your child a quick call. Or, text your kids or record a voice or video message on their cell phone before you go to work. If they don’t have a phone, go the old-fashioned route and leave a message in their lunch box or on their desk. You may decide to tape a note on the refrigerator or on a mirror. The goal is to remind your child that you think about them even when you’re at work.
4. Make room for your own time. Most working moms need time for themselves and become a more effective parent and spouse when they take that time. Perhaps it’s to read a book, go jogging, get her nails done, or shop at the mall without the kids. Taking time for yourself is healthy, and there’s no need to feel guilty. However, if you’re regularly “ditching” your family to do “your thing,” it might be time to re-evaluate your priorities. Your family needs you.
While working moms should establish a healthy work/life balance, some days will be more balanced than others. Routines you establish will be interrupted, the nail appointment may need to be rescheduled, the garbage may not get taken out, and the office may call in the middle of family dinner. No matter the scenario, always remember, working moms, each day is another opportunity to improve your work/life balance.