Being a mom is the most important job in the world; however, while making being a mom your one and only full-time job might be something that you would love to do, it isn’t always possible. Given today’s economic climate, working to earn an income is a necessity for many moms. Parenting Magazine cites AmericanProgress.org in saying that almost 4 out of every 10 American homes have working mothers and that women are half of the work force in the country.
While working may be necessary to support the family, it is often difficult to juggle working and being a mom. It may lead to feelings of guilt for not being completely dedicated to children, stress because there is so much to deal with on one plate, and just sheer exhaustion.
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Whether you’re a mom who works in an office, from home, or in any other setting, how do you strike a balance between your work and your family life? Read on for some helpful tips to make juggling the two a lot easier.
You’ve heard the old saying, “It takes a village to raise a family”; well, there is a lot of truth in that saying and it perfectly applies to the working mother. Don’t think that you are the only one who can care for your child – even if you weren’t working, you would still need help. Enlist the help of family and friends. See if a trusted individual can provide care for your child while you are working in any way. This will not only help you out, but it will allow your child to develop special bonds with other people in his life.
2. Create a Routine
A routine is necessary for children, as it provides them with consistency and lets them know what to expect. A routine is also necessary for moms to find a balance between home life and family life, allowing you to dedicate specific times to specific things.
So, create a schedule and stick to it. From the hours of 9 to 5 you work, but after those hours, you are dedicated to your children, for example. If you work from home and you are working and caring for your kids at the same time, consider splitting up your work hours to spend time with the kids. For instance, 7 to 9 is work time, 9 to 11 is kid time, and so forth.
3. Be Flexible
While you may have created a great schedule, know that nothing is perfect and expect unforeseen circumstances to arise. You may have to attend to the needs of your kids while working, and vice versa.
4. Know when to say “No!”
While you are a Super Woman in your own right, you don’t really have a cape. It isn’t possible to do everything and be everything to everyone-you are only one person. Know when to say “no.” This applies to work and to your kids. If you have a deadline on a project and your kids know that it’s your working time, you might have to tell them that you can’t stop to watch a movie (but let them know that you can when you are done). If you are planning a vacation with your family, don’t let work give you a project that will cut into that time.
5. Stop Feeling Guilty
There are a lot of emotions to contend with when you are a mother. It is very natural to feel guilty when you have to work, but you want to be there for your kids 110%. Realize that sometimes you simply have to work and stop feeling guilty about it.
It may be tough, but you can find a balance between work and family. Remember-you are a dynamite diva who is doing an amazing job!
Naomi Shaw is a freelance writer and mother in Southern California. Although it is always a work in progress, striking a balance between work and family is something she strives to do daily. She contributes to the Candy Concepts Inc. blog, writing about family-related topics.