Modern mothers today usually perform juggling acts just to balance family and work. They should be lauded for this simple truth, because it is by no means an easy feat. Today's workforce has more working moms than ever, which is said to be about half of the total number of workers in the United States, according to AmericanProgress.org.
While most women do it out of economic necessity, it could also lead to them feeling stressed and guilty because their attention is divided. The main key to make things work is to get organized, concentrate on a plan and seek the right balance between parenthood and profession. While some women do it naturally, there are still many who could do with some help and tips to make things work.
- Stop feeling guilty
Instead of feeling guilty for being away from your child, think of the benefits your hard work today will do for your family in the future. Come to terms with your choice and focus on your priorities. There will always be good and bad days. You are not alone in this. Discuss how you feel with your partner or look for support groups like Mom Esquire or Working Moms against Guilt. There are also several forums and blogs you can join to reach out to other moms just like you.
- Obtain a quality childcare provider
This is very important, since you will not be with your child for several hours. The best way to find a very good and reliable childcare provider, such as daycare centers, babysitters and nannies, is to ask for references from your family and close friends. Make your own list of important criteria and see to it that you personally tour daycares near you or interview prospective childcare providers. Look for a nanny with first-class experience, a good record and excellent references. Look for daycares with flexible hours, staff whose personal backgrounds have been checked, facilities with updated licenses, has ample outdoor space and a low student-to-teacher ratio.
- Plan the morning routine
Make the mornings easier for you and your children by preparing most things in the evening. This could include preparing their lunches, laying out your clothes and theirs, their bags and backpacks, replenishing diaper bags and the items you need for work, and putting them as well as your home and car keys near the door. It would be a good idea for the children to take showers in the evening as well so they would not be rushing in the morning. Divide the chores with your partner, and decide who will buy the groceries, cook the meals and dress the children.
- Organize family priorities
Improve efficiency in your household by organizing your family priorities. Create a calendar for birthdays, extracurricular activities, family and school events, kids' chore list as well as due dates for bill payments. Spend some time organizing things for the coming week during the weekend so that there will be no surprises. Share the calendar with your nanny or babysitter so that everyone involved is updated. Pinpoint a spot in your home where petty cash, batteries, chargers, keys and documents could be placed and is accessible to everyone who will be using these items.
- Set up special times
As a working mom you should set up special times, for the family as a whole, for yourself and with your partner. Plan to have some quality time with your children, either during the week at breakfast or dinner or during weekends. Likewise, you should set aside a special time with your partner. It could be a regular monthly date, but if this proves to be expensive, be creative in thinking of ways for the two of you to spend time by yourselves even at home, enjoying a movie, having wine together or even cooking something special. During this time, your discussion should be only about the two of you. In the same token, you should have time to focus on yourself. You could take up a hobby, treat yourself to some pampering at a spa, join an exercise group, take a long, luxurious bath or immerse yourself in a good book. Having a good rest and eating well are some of the smartest things you could do not only for yourself but for your family as well.
If you've decided to be a working mom, then you have to learn to strategize, find creative ways to make it work and keep in mind not to neglect yourself.