According to Pew Research, 60 per cent of working moms say it’s difficult for them to balance work and family, and 40 percent say they feel rushed almost constantly. It probably comes as no surprise how stressful it can be for working mothers to maintain a healthy balance of career and family, while still finding personal time to take care of themselves.
Psych Central explains that taking care of children is demanding and exhausting and can make mothers feel guilty and selfish for considering their own needs. But it’s imperative you find time for self-care or your children will suffer the consequences of a worn-out caregiver. Getting control over your work-life balance isn’t a simple task, but it can be done with the right mindset. Whether you’re looking for a new job, or trying to function better in the one you have, consider these five techniques for a more balanced life:
Consider Company Culture
Company culture can make or break your career and the health of your home life. It’s time to move on if your job feels toxic and stressful, with little room for advancement or personal perks. But before taking a new position, evaluate what the company offers beyond financial gain and how it will impact your family.
For example, businesses like LifeLock offer the usual benefits, such as health insurance and a retirement savings plan, as well as commonly offered perks such as tuition assistance and wellness rewards. However, the company makes a point to honor the time of its employees. It offers four weeks of paid time off from the first year, as well as paid volunteer time and eight paid holidays. You’ll be a happier employee and mom with enough time off to vacation, rest, enjoy your family and pursue your own interests.
No matter how amazing you are at multi-tasking and juggling, you can’t do it all. Start outsourcing unnecessary tasks such as deep cleaning, errand running and paperwork, and focus on your career and family instead. Hiring a weekly maid or housekeeper is a no-brainer, but finding someone for last-minute errands and organizing is harder. Use a service like Fancy Hands or Task Rabbit to hire last-minute help on everything from picking up groceries to calling your cable provider. The less time you spend on tasks that eat up your day, the more time you’ll have to keep the balance going in your life.
Make Me Time
Moms get about 17 minutes of personal time a day, and no one is going to give you permission to make it all about you. Make it a priority to schedule in time to take a long walk, get a massage, catch up with a friend or do nothing but close the door and curl up with a good book. It may not feel natural or easy, but over time it will become a normal part of your routine. You’ll be surprised at how refreshed you can feel with just a half hour to an hour of time for yourself each day.
It’s easy for mothers to get caught up in the trap of always saying yes to family, work and friends. But setting boundaries and saying no demands respect and keeps you from burning out. Let your boss and co-workers know when you will no longer be answering phone calls and emails and stay firm with your commitment to your personal and family time. Keep your family informed of when and why you need to work late and what to expect from your career.
Make it a point to write out when you will set aside special time for family, whether it’s each evening or on weekends. Managing others’ expectations and setting firm boundaries shows you respect yourself, as well as other people’s time. Don’t expect them to read your mind and don’t keep saying “yes” to responsibilities you know you can’t manage.