July 27, 2022
Has anyone ever told you that working while raising kids is a piece of cake? No? We didn’t think so. Or maybe you’ve heard that it’s like a walk in the park–Jurassic Park. Figurative speech and punchlines aside, every working mom will tell you that it’s definitely a challenge to balance your career and family life.
There’s no sugar-coating it: life will be messy. It will be like working two (or more) jobs! However, there are ways to make life more organized, bearable, or even fulfilling despite it all. With some mommy practicality, you can find ways to make the most of your time and not feel like you’re constantly running out of it.
In this article, we talk about:
The dilemmas you face could be similar to other moms’ (or dads’). But like those other moms or dads, it’s only your fellow working moms (us included!) that would really know your unique struggles. Here are the key ones:
The Good: Managing a household
Some people will call this a “champagne problem” to some extent. Other people struggle to make ends meet, have severe health problems, and deal with many financial issues. For typical working moms with a stable income, though, the challenge would be managing the money well while making sure the entire home and its members are taken care of.
Of course, that’s not always a positive thing. With certain mistakes, you could easily fall into debt traps, get hefty medical bills, and struggle to pay household expenses. However, at the end of the day, you being a working mom could still be called “good” since you’re able to earn income for your family.
The Bad: Feeling tired all the time
Whether you have a typical nine-to-five job or you simply take on remote gigs, all of this could take a toll on your body. That’s because of the time and effort you spend on the upbringing of your kids on top of your career. Like we said, it feels like juggling multiple jobs at the same time.
Before you know it, your back is aching, your head hurts after sleepless nights, and your energy is always drained. The exhaustion can lead to outbursts of anger or even physical sickness. You may also start neglecting your own needs, which leads us to…
The Ugly: Losing yourself and even your peace of mind
Preventing stress and coping with it need conscious effort. Ignoring the signs can lead to you burning out with both parenting and work. If it goes as far as not being able to keep your mental health in check, your well-being may severely suffer. You may lose sight of your values and goals, and you might feel depressed a lot. Yes, it could get thatserious if you don’t take action to resolve your mommy issues.
Keep your child close but also keep them busy with their own "work".
If you find yourself with good, bad, and ugly problems, please know that you’re not alone. We’ve all been there or we’ll all experience them at one point. What you can do is recognize your personal issues and look for solutions that really appeal to you. If you don’t know where to start, here are a few tips:
A. Delegating chores
A practical mom will be patient enough to let kids share in household responsibilities. It gets so messy, but if you instill the right habits in your kids, it will definitely make your life easier in the future. Here’s advice from job-hunting site, Monster.com, “Teach kids to clear the table, how to get their own cereal, and how to load the dishwasher. Have children take out the trash, teach them to use the laundry machines, and have them put their own clean clothes away.” Even toddlers can perform simple chores like cleaning up their toys and dinnerware.
B. Delegating child care
Does your work require you to be present at the office? Do you sometimes have critical reports, presentations, and meetings? Either way, you’ll know that having someone you can trust to babysit your kids is indispensable. Consider the services of a day care center or find someone who could give you even just a few hours in a day to focus on work. This is best handled by a partner, another family member, or a close friend.
C. Delegating tasks at work
First, make sure to let your boss and teammates know about your situation and set proper expectations. Some practical moms would tell their colleagues about certain days or times when they may be unreachable due to family obligations. If the burden gets too heavy, a good team will divide and conquer the work properly so that everyone can go home to enjoy the rest of their time with their own families.
A bonus tip: Learn to say no. It sounds so simple, but a lot of people know the struggle of saying no to others, to your partner, or to your kids. Establish boundaries and ensure that others respect the lines you draw. This is a great way to preserve yourself and make sure you spend time on what matters most to you. Saying “no” is also a factor of gentle parenting, since it helps your child realize the importance of limits.
Split the babysitting work with your spouse if you can. It'll help you concentrate and get work done more quickly.
You’ve probably heard of work-life balance, but it’s actually integration or creating synergies that’s more ideal. Forbes.com writer Cynthia Meyer works from home, and that enables her to practice this. She shares, “Instead of trying to block my time proportionately between competing goals, leaving work at work and home at home, I am learning to weave the two together to optimize my time most effectively with lower stress.” What she does is schedule work around times when she’s supposed to be with her kids (and not the other way around, take note).
Want more specific tips to make your everyday life easier? Check out a few ideas below:
1. Establish a routine as early as possible.
You can do this even as early as when you take your baby home after giving birth. Routines are so powerful that having one can affect many aspects of child care, such as sleep and potty training. They also have benefits for your kids! As PBS.org says, “Consistent routines, activities that happen at about the same time and in about the same way each day, provide comfort and a sense of safety to young children.”
The advantages of having a routine as a working mom are plenty. When your routine consists of predictable nap times or “quiet” times for your child, you can use those short windows of time to accomplish chores or your work tasks. You can also use that time to rest and recharge yourself for the next battle (a.k.a., when your baby is awake or not preoccupied).
2. Make boring parts of the routine fun.
Does your child drag his or her feet when it’s time to take a bath or brush their teeth? That’s totally normal. They might just be thinking they’d rather play than do these mundane everyday routines. What’s great about modern products is how they’re designed to capture the attention of children, along with supporting their health.
Take for example, Piico’s Playground Zoo or Dino. Aside from the several dental hygiene tools inside each box, you also get a map with a simple story. Every time your child flosses, they can put a sticker on it to accomplish “missions.” You can even encourage your little one further by offering a prize once they’ve finished the whole map. That means you can ensure their oral hygiene and let them have fun at the same time. If their brushing and flossing routine becomes a bit lengthy and they’re old enough to do these without supervision, you can use that tiny portion of time to do a chore, such as taking out the trash or loading some laundry in the wash.
3. Turn me-time into “we-time.”
Remember how we mentioned that you need to keep your mental health in check? Part of that is by allocating time for self-care. Of course, not everyone has that luxury, especially when your kids demand attention all the time. What you can do instead is to let your child join in on some of your self-care sessions!
Let’s say you love pampering yourself with a bath and getting deep into skincare or other beauty treatments. You can get alternatives that are appropriate for your little one and let them try out the at-home spa experience, too. Another mommy practicality idea: do mom-and-baby workouts. You can work on your fitness, destress, bond with your child, teach them the importance of physical activity, and enjoy many other benefits with baby!
Teach your little one how to do chores with you or share cucumber slices over the eyes on your spa day!
We hope this article was able to help you realize the usual struggles of working moms and get an idea of possible solutions for everyday concerns. It may be challenging, but when you keep these mommy practicality tips in mind, you can surely live your best life as a working parent! For more advice on gentle parenting practices and children’s oral health care, check into our blog!
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