Time Management Strategies to Balance Motherhood and Career
The term “working mom” is nothing to take lightly. If you’re working full-time with a little one at home, you’re a superhero.
Multiple studies have shown that raising a child is more than a full-time job, and there are no “set hours” when it comes to being a mom. But, when you have a career on top of that, you’re essentially working well over two full-time jobs, and that’s not always easy to balance.
Some mothers struggle with “mom guilt.” It’s hard to leave your child at home all day while you work, and even harder to be so exhausted by the end of the day that you can’t fully enjoy your time with them. However, striking a healthy balance between motherhood and your career is possible.
Let’s cover some time management strategies you can use to find that balance, take care of yourself, and enjoy every moment with your child without having to feel guilty when you leave for work.
Establish Healthy Work Hours
Your child is likely on a specific schedule, and that’s a good thing. Children need routine and familiarity throughout their day for their well-being. So, you might not be able to change much about the time you spend with them.
What you can do is change your working hours.
Don’t be afraid to talk to your employer about your desire to spend more time at home. We’re living in a world where remote opportunities are more prominent than ever. You may be able to work from home a few days a week and spend more time with your little one.
Even if you can’t cut your hours at work or switch to a remote role, there are things you can do to make sure you’re not overdoing it in the office, including:
- Don’t take on a new role without knowing the hours
- Set attainable goals to complete projects
- Understand the power of saying “no” to things you don’t need to do
Don’t fall into consistent traps of working overtime or coming into work early. Those are precious hours that you won’t get back with your child, and work will always be there. So, while it’s important for your child to stick to a routine each day, you should strive to do the same when it comes to your working hours.
If you’re trying to co-parent on top of everything else, consider working with the other parent to arrange your child’s schedule around your working hours. Communication and consistency are important, and having a steady work schedule will make it easier to find a balance with your co-parent while getting more time with your child.
It takes an average of 25 minutes to get back on track after being distracted by something in the workplace.
Think about how many times each day you look at your phone or check your emails. How much time do you spend scrolling through social media at work? Unfortunately, each of those issues is a distraction that can cost you precious time and productivity. As a result, you might fall behind on projects and have to spend more time at work.
If you’re having trouble with distractions at work taking away from your time, try a few of the following strategies:
- Create a to-do list the night before
- Put your phone away
- Practice mindfulness to remain in the moment
- Reward yourself with frequent breaks
Distractions can creep up in a variety of ways, from smartphones to co-workers. Staying on task and on track throughout the day will not only help you to keep stable hours, but you won’t feel so burnt out by the time you come home to your child.
Take Care of Yourself
Speaking of burning out, a big part of being successful at time management is taking care of yourself so you don’t feel overwhelmed. On paper, that sounds easy — but, when you’re juggling a career and parenthood, it’s often easier said than done.
So, start with the basics.
Focus on getting enough sleep each night. If your little one is up multiple times each night, try to use white noise machines, lower the temperature of their room by a few degrees, and swaddle them snugly. These little changes can create a more sleep-friendly environment for your child, helping you to get more shut-eye throughout the night.
Practicing self-care will not only improve your mental state, but it can boost your energy levels so you’re ready and willing to play with your child when you get home from work. Things like exercising, eating a healthy diet, and spending some time outside each day are great natural energy boosters. Focus on your wellness, rather than reaching for that afternoon cup of coffee. Doing so will keep you from feeling a caffeine or sugar “crash” later, and you’ll have more energy to stay invested in whatever your child needs from you.
You might not have a cape to wear in the office or at home, but don’t sell yourself short. Being a working mother isn’t easy, and it takes some practiced time management skills to find a balance that works for you and your family. These strategies can help you to improve those skills, spend more time with your child, and take better care of yourself in the process.
This guest post was authored by Ainsley Lawrence
Ainsley Lawrence is a writer who loves to talk about how business and professionalism intersect with the personal, social, and technological needs of today. She is frequently lost in a good book