How to achieve work life balance
For nearly all mums, juggling the demands of a career and personal life can be challenging and can sometimes feel like an impossible goal especially when one of the main causes of stress is the divided attention. Consider taking these few small steps which may go a long way towards staying sane at work and at home.
- Have some down time!
When you are planning your week make sure to include time with family as well as friends to help you recharge. When you dedicate your time to a job, family time becomes even more important - make plans for the weekend like going for a movie or taking the kids to the park, a date night with your spouse or a board games night with your friends to give you something to look forward to during your busy week.
Also don’t forget to fit in some essential ‘me’ time at least once a week: lose yourself in a book, take a bubble bath, treat yourself to a spa day so you are fresh and ready to take on what’s next.
- Have a more productive and peaceful workday
Consider all the things that compete for your time and discard what doesn't work for you and your schedule. For instance, if for one particular month your attention might be needed more with the family, you can consider working from home for a few days of the week. Mums@work understand that you need flexibility and in most instances this will improve your productivity and ultimately help the company too!
Things like minimising the use of your personal mobile phone, checking social media and long lunch breaks at work can help free up more time than you think! This can even be implemented in the home for instance having a tech free hour every day.
- Get moving
Even though it may seem hard to make time for exercise when your schedule is jam-packed, working out ultimately helps you get more done by boosting your strength and ability to concentrate. Even if it’s a walk around the community 2 -3 times a week, it will do wonders for your energy level and not to mention reduce risk of major illness.
- Finding quality child care
The best source to start with is your network of friends and family for references to nannies, babysitters and day care centres. Take the time to properly interview shortlisted candidates or visit centres.
Ensure that the nanny or babysitter has extensive experience (backed with excellent references and records) and is adaptable to various age groups. Similarly, a good day care centre should have flexible hours, a low student to teacher ratio, outdoor space, up-to-date licenses and quality care takers.
- Let go of guilt
If you start feeling overwhelmed, there is absolutely no need to feel guilty about respectfully declining any additional activities such as that PTA meeting or recital that you just can’t make it to. If it does come to you having to miss something important with the kids, make sure they know they have your support in other ways: perhaps give them an encouraging note in the morning or ensure they film the event so you can watch it together later.
Feeling guilty leaving your child is one of the major concerns when you are a working mum but think about how your role in the company is benefiting the family as well as your personal goals. At the same time, we are in the technology area and there is nothing stopping you from staying connected with your children in the form of a quick voice note or video to share or a call during your breaks.
When you stop doing things out of guilt, it will give you more time to focus on activities that make you truly happy.