Are you a new working mom? Are you wondering how you’ll be able to balance everything? Work, home, marriage, your baby? You don’t want to miss this post with over 10 tips on how to balance it all.
I have been a working mom since 2002. My son will be turning 14 and my daughter will be turning 7 in November. I was fortunate enough to be able to take my son with me to work for about 10 months. Once he became more mobile, I placed him in an in-home daycare.
My mother-in-law cared for my daughter every day since she was about six weeks old. It was an amazing blessing to know that she would be in great hands when I went back to work. They have formed an unbreakable bond.
I’m a pretty flexible person. I like to have plans, schedules, and routines, but if something needs to change, I can go with the flow. I think that’s key to not putting too much pressure on yourself and to handling all the balls that you will have to juggle.
One of my co-workers is expecting her first child this Fall. I asked her what she was most worried, scared, or concerned about.
Her biggest question: Will I be able to balance it all – working, being a wife, and being a mom?
My answer to her: Yes!
This is how…
10 WAYS TO BALANCE WORK & FAMILY
Whether you work because you have to work or enjoy having a fulfilling career, just do the best you can. In each moment, make the best choice you can. When you use the knowledge you have and have good intentions, sometimes things will still turn out bad, because you could still go wrong. But, in the end, everything will balance out.
Read: How to Avoid Working Mom Guilt
I’ve relied on in-my-home sitters, in-home childcare providers, preschools, daycare centers, after-school programs, and the grandparents to help me care for my kids. Pick a solution that works for you so you can be happy, even while you’re at work. I’ve shared my thoughts about childcare options before.
Read: Everything You Need to Know About Childcare — But are Afraid to Ask
Wondering how to make the morning routine and rush easier when you have to get yourself AND A BABY out the door on time every day? Your morning routine sets the tone for your day. Will you be productive? Will you be positive? Will you be upbeat? Without a great morning routine your day can happen to you instead of you taking charge of your day. Check out my ideas of a great morning routine for a working mom.
Read: A Working Mom’s Morning Routine
When I get my new calendar each year, I immediately write in all of the birthdays, appointments, and anniversaries. I also use it as a family calendar where I can note school holidays, early dismissals, doctor appointments, work schedules, and other events.
You can also use your calendar for menu planning, family calendar, work appointments, exercise/workout tracker, bill due dates, goals progress, identifying your three main priorities each day, and much more!
Read: Free 2016 Printable Calendar for Moms
Many companies now offer flexible working hours. If you’re going back to a job or starting a new role, ask about your required hours. If you’re able to adjust your schedule, this could help out with taking care of the kids.
If you can work from home some days, this may be extremely helpful. You may also want to find out about opportunities for part-time work if you haven’t returned from maternity leave.
Read: How To Make Life Easier When You’re Juggling Work And Parenting
I know this is just a season, but sometimes that’s hard to remember when all I want to do is sit down for a few minutes and veg out, after being up and at ’em for 12 hours.
I have learned, though, that if I just give my kids a few minutes of my time, the evening generally goes smoother.
So, my routine is to ask my son about his day, his homework, and his after school activities. Then, I will play with my daughter for a few minutes before sitting down to tackle dinner, a project, or some writing.
Another great way for us to get quality time is to carve out time for games. Hosting a weekly family game night or movie night is a great way to spend quality time with the kids. Having a non-negotiable time slot on the calendar to reconnect with your family is a great way to show them how important they are to you.
Read: Ways to Spend More Time With Your Family
Make a list of things you need to do. If I run errands during my lunch break, I’ll multi-task while eating – like returning emails, reading memo’s, etc. To be efficient, I map out errands. Evaluate what you can realistically fit in and what’s priority. Cluster your errands close together. Leave out anything you could hit on the way to work or on the way home. Try to stay focused as much as possible: “when you’re at work, be at work” and “when you’re at home, be at home.”
Read: 5 Reasons Moms Don’t Have Time to Slow Down
Love rituals are more than habits. They are the repetition of deliberate acts for our loved ones through which we show respect and affection. Love rituals are special, because your relationship is special. Enjoy a special night before or weekend before school starts ritual / special activity. This could be songs you always sing on the way home together, a special book before bed, or any other routine you have.
Read: Ways to Spend More Time With Your Family
Prioritize Date Night
Date night is often a forgotten ritual once you’re married. I would argue that it’s more important than ever, once you’re married. It’s easy to want to spend time together when you’re first dating or just falling in love.
Plan ahead, budget for it, schedule it, make it mandatory, make it a priority, set reasonable expectations, and remember your why.
Read: How Date Nights Keep the Romance Alive & How to Make Date Night Happen
Enjoy Me Time
You will have those days when you just want to run and hide. It will feel like you can’t take another moment of being an adult. It’s okay to be tired of answering questions, preparing another meal, and filling everyone else’s needs.
Sometimes you’ll just need to hide. Other times, a good book will do. Whatever you decide to do, just know that you are worth it and everyone’s life will be better when mom gets a little me time.
Read: 5 Blissful Ways To Spend Your Well-Deserved Mom Time
BONUS TIPS FOR BALANCING IT ALL
1) Be fully present where you are. If you are at work, do your best to be fully present there. This is only possible if arrangements have been made before you come to work (i.e. childcare, household chores, meal plans, errands, appointments, etc.).
When you are at work, focus on work.
When you are at home, focus on being a wife, mom, and yourself.
2) Remember that things happen gradually. Yes, you are going to go through a lot of changes, but fortunately, it does not happen overnight. The same way your body went through pregnancy one day at a time, your baby will grow and progress into new stages a day at a time. You will be ready exactly when you need to be.
More Baby Advice
- Checklist of Baby Must-Haves
- 4 Tips for Sticking To Your Budget With a New Baby
- Parent Survival Guide for You Brand New Crawler
- 5 Can’t Miss Tips for New Moms from Experienced Moms
It’s hard to wrap your head around exactly how you will do this, but trust me, it will happen.
When you were single, you may not have been able to imagine how life would change once you had a partner or got married. But, you adjusted.
So, you will adjust during this transition, too.
You will have the same 168 hours in a week that you had before. You will just spend them differently.
Your priorities will change.
Your standards will change. (Some will increase and some will decrease.)
You will start to forge a new partnership with your spouse. (Remember that you don’t have to do everything.)
You can do this and you’re going to be great at it!
What advice would you give a new working mom?
Ana from The Lost Apron says
You have some great advice here. I have pinned this to my Working Mom vs SAHM board. I especially like the point you made about rituals. These are so important. Read about my goodnight ritual here: http://www.thelostapron.com/2013/10/raising-teens-say-goodnight.html
Erlene A says
Lots of great advice for any mom. I think the key is to have a routine and not to be scared to ask for help when you need it. Thanks for sharing this on Merry Monday.