By: Emily Klaus | Marketing Associate
When you think of a typical American family, what comes to mind is a picture very similar to the “Leave It To Beaver” sitcom from the late 1950s: a mother who stays at home tending to the needs of the family while her husband goes to work and brings home 100 percent of the yearly income. Although this image might have been representative of what life was like decades ago, it no longer reflects the facts surrounding working moms today. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, nearly 70 percent of mothers in 2014 actively participated in the labor force.
However, even with more mothers in the office, managing work-life balance has not become easier. Between things like extracurricular activities for the kids, organizing neighborhood block parties, family vacations, and business trips, life can get very hectic very quickly. That’s why we’ve compiled the top five tips for maintaining a healthy work-home life balance for the modern day working mother.
Create a reliable network of supporters
They say it takes a village to raise a child and working moms know this best. Whether it’s your mother-in-law, your neighbor’s teenage daughter or a fellow working mom, having people you can consistently depend on is critical. Be sure you have at least two or three people you can call at a moment’s notice to watch your kids or give them a ride home from soccer practice in case you’re running late or there’s an emergency.
Being available to help others when they need assistance is also crucial! Extending a helping hand once in awhile and consistently thanking those in your support network goes a long way in nurturing your network.
Don’t sweat the petty stuff
No one is perfect - not even mothers. There will be many times where you have to prioritize your tasks and activities.Something will inevitably be left out or postponed. Don’t obsess over it or get too stressed. . Your kids are always your number one priority, so if you don’t get ahead on those contracts for work or the kitchen doesn’t get deep-cleaned this weekend because you were at your son’s theatre performance, it’s not a big deal. Flexibility is key for working moms.
Be 100% there, no matter where you are
As a working mom, it’s easy to get distracted. But when you are at work, make sure you are entirely focused on just work. When you are at home with your family, be 100 percent committed to spending quality time with your kids and partner. Resist the temptation to bring your work home with you and enforce a “no technology” rule at the dinner table or after a certain time in the evening.
If you are fortunate enough to work from home, create a separate office space (even if it’s just a desk in your bedroom) and enforce a “closed-door” policy so your kids and partner know that you are in your work mode. This will increase your productivity and decrease distractions.
Setting clear boundaries between your work and home life will create an enhanced sense of balance for both your and your family. This way, everybody will feel more connected and mentally and emotionally recharged for the following day.
Forget the guilt!
It’s easy to feel guilty about working overtime to meet a deadline or leaving work early to take your daughter to softball practice. The hard part is not letting the guilt take over and accepting that you can’t do everything! Even if you aren’t involved in the PTA, your family still knows that you love them. A working mom should never feel guilty about having the talent and skillset to help financially contribute to her family.
Actually, recent studies have shown that being a working mother can benefit your children in the long run. Daughters of working moms “completed more years of education, were more likely to be employed and in supervisory roles and [earning] higher incomes.” Researchers didn’t see much career difference between the sons of working mothers compared to those of non-working mothers, as men are generally expected to enter the workforce. However, sons of working moms did report more time spent on helping out with housework and childcare.
The bottom line is if you love what you do and it gives you a sense of satisfaction and pride at the end of the day, more power to you!
Even though your family and career will always be competing as your priority, working moms must also be sure to take time for themselves, whether that be working out at the gym, stopping at your favorite coffee shop on your way to work or getting a pedicure with your friends on the weekends. Set aside time weekly where the kids will be in the care of someone in your support network so you can browse through a bookstore, work on a family scrapbook or even rewatch your favorite movie without any kid-related interruptions. You’ll thank yourself later and have something to look forward to when things get hectic.
Ultimately, you have to find a balance that works for you, your career, your partner, your schedule and your kids. Everyone’s lives are different so don’t feel like you have to be juggling the chaos exactly like other moms are juggling their chaos.
Get Jet Capital Updates by email