How can working moms find balance?

Edward-Elmhurst Health’s Healthy Driven blog shared that if you’re a mom who works full-time, you aren’t alone. In fact, you’re in the majority.

Seventy percent of moms with children under 18 work. Women now make up almost half of the U.S. workforce. And, moms are the primary breadwinners in 4 in 10 American families.

It is not easy for moms to have kids and work. Even in an era where men are taking on more housework and childcare than ever before, women still do the bulk of the duties, even in two-earner families.

As both work and parenting have become more demanding, working moms are expected to balance the two. Something has to give. Research suggests moms are more likely than dads to experience career interruptions to attend to their families’ needs. And about 41 percent of working moms said being a parent has made career advancement more difficult.

Why? Working moms feel dual pressure to keep up both at home and at the office. They are no less committed to their job, but being a mom is constant, demanding and exhausting too.

As a working mom, you may feel like you’re always being pulled in different directions, by your children, your employer, your spouse, and friends. This can lead to stress, burnout, and guilty feelings.

What can working moms do to find work-family balance? Start with these 10 tips:

  1. Let go of the guilt. As a working mom, you may feel like you are always coming up short. Remind yourself why you work and how it benefits your family. Know that your child doesn’t need you at every single activity to feel loved. You’re doing the best you can.
  2. Find quality childcare. You’ll feel better if you know your child is in good hands while you’re at work. Ask around for references to nannies, babysitters and childcare centers. Check out these helpful tips to choose child care that’s right for your family.
  3. Get organized. Create a family calendar with dates of your kids’ activities, school events, work events, etc. Sync up the schedule on your smartphones so you all have it. Every Sunday, take a few minutes to review the calendar and prepare for the upcoming week.
  4. Don’t be a martyr. You can’t do it all, so don’t try to. If you have a partner, divide and conquer. Set your kids up with age-appropriate chores. It will help them be more self-sufficient! Weekends filled with errands? Order grocery delivery and shop online when you need to.
  5. Make the weekdays easier. Pack your kid’s lunch and lay out his/her clothes (and your own) the night before to make your mornings easier. On weekends, try to prep meals ahead of time so dinners can go more smoothly on the weeknights.
  6. Connect when you aren’t together. If you know you’ll be working late or away on a business trip and it’s got you feeling bad, try to Facetime or leave a little treat or note for your child to open when you’re away. Make a recordable storybook. It may help you avoid any guilty feelings.
  7. Be present when you are together. Moms are always multitasking. Set aside regular time with your child and avoid getting distracted with checking your phone, etc. Designate family nights that fit into your schedule and watch a movie or play a board game together.
  8. Talk to your employer. Fortunately, a growing number of employers have adopted family-friendly policies such as paid leave and flexible schedules. Ask about any arrangements that are available where you work.
  9. Reach out to other moms. You aren’t alone in this. Talk about your feelings with other working moms, through an online network or support group. Check out our Healthy Driven Moms Facebook page.
  10. Make “me” time. You’re going to need moments to yourself to recharge. Schedule in “me” time every so often when you know you’ll need a break. Treat yourself to a bubble bath, a massage, shopping outing, etc.

Juggling a family and a full-time job is challenging. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to be a perfect mom to be a good mom. What matters most is that your kids know they’re loved. So keep up the good work, moms! And happy Mother’s Day — you’ve earned it!

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