Do you struggle with trying to do everything for everyone? Learn how to teach and empower others to take responsibility to free up mental space, energy, and time for yourself.
This is part of our 31 Things Every Working Mom Needs series. To read all the posts in order, visit the introduction post to see the outline for the whole series.
Being a working mom helps me to be a better employee and a better mom.
I learn skills at work that I can apply at home like budgeting, delegating, and teamwork. I also have experience, as a mom, that I can bring to work like being a leader, taking responsibility, multitasking, and learning the most efficient way to get something done with limited resources.
Still, I can’t do it ALL.
Why You Need to Delegate
As a working mom, the best way to reduce stress in caring for your family is to delegate chores and household responsibilities.
It’s an overwhelming responsibility to try to do everything yourself. I thought I was helping my kids and my husband by trying to do everything. Only, it wasn’t fair to me…or them.
Why Your Family Needs You to Delegate
My kids need to learn responsibility and how to perform basic tasks. My husband deserves to be my partner, not just someone I would complain to when everything became overwhelming.
to entrust (a task or responsibility) to another person
A mom usually has “list,” constantly rolling through her head… while she’s working, taking care of the kids, making time for her husband, and engaging in girl talk. Before long, she melts down, things fall apart, and her family realizes that she’s not superhuman…
If only you would ask, your husband and kids can handle their own “lists.”
How to Delegate
Brian Tracy suggests:
1. Pick the right person. Picking the wrong person for a key task is a major reason for failure.
2. Match the requirements of the job to the abilities of the person. Be sure that the person you delegate the task to is capable of doing the job.
3. Delegate effectively to the right person. This frees you to do more things of higher value. The more of your essential tasks that you can teach and delegate to others, the greater the time you will have to do the things that only you can do.
4. Delegate smaller tasks to build their confidence and competence.
5. Delegate the entire job. One hundred percent responsibility for a task is a major performance motivator. The more often you assign responsibilities to the right people, the more competent they become.
6. Delegate clear outcomes. Make them measurable. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Explain what is to be done, how you think it should be done, and the reasons for doing this job in the first place.
7. Delegate with participation and discussion. Invite questions and be open to suggestions. There is a direct relationship between how much people are invited to talk about the job and how much they understand it, accept it, and become committed to it. You need to delegate in such a way that people walk away feeling, ‘‘This is my job; I own it.’’
How to Delegate to Kids
My husband is AMAZING at this! He gives quick, summarized instructions to the kids and has the confidence that they can and will do it. And it gets done. Why didn’t I think of that? He also assigns chores to the kids when it’s clean up day. Maybe not perfectly, but again, it gets done.
Do what only you can do. Train others to do the rest. Adjust your expectations. When you’ve delegated something to your husband the most important thing to remember – relinquish control of how it’s done. When your kids take over something, the most important thing to remember is that you are there to promote learning and responsibility.
Refer to the list of steps above.
Sharing responsibilities frees up mental space, energy, and time for yourself. You deserve it! Let others know you need help. Accept it. Then, let it go!