How to Balance Work & Kids (Without Going Completely Insane)
I am a glutton for punishment. I have two adorable little kiddos, work a full-time (sometimes stressful & demanding) job, and I recently started a side-hustle. Life is beautiful and a bit chaotic most days. I assume you are reading this because you are in the same boat. Here are some tips that will help you in balancing work and kids.
Be Nice to Yourself
Admittedly, I struggle with this. I will preach on because do as I say and not as I do. You need to give yourself a break. Relax. Take time to #TreatYoSelf. Do you ever see dudes stressed out because the laundry isn’t done before bedtime? Nope. They understand that life will go on and your kids will not love you any less because of it. Women put an incredible amount of pressure on themselves. Stop. That. Now! When you find yourself stressing about something stop and give yourself a quick reality check and consider the consequences of you not doing something. Is the world going to implode if you don’t do a Pinterest-worthy DIY sensory activity with your two year old? Nope. Throw some play-doh their way and grab yourself a glass of wine. Sounds like a win-win to me.
It Takes A Village
For real, this parenting thing takes a village. I always thought that sounded silly until I had children of my own. Get all of the help that is humanly possible and have no shame. Ask Grandma to keep the kids overnight so you can catch up on some work (and sleep!). No family nearby? Set up a babysitting swap with a girlfriend. You watch their kids one week and they can watch yours the next. Also, get help for your home. Every successful woman I have ever spoken with has some form of household help. Literally, every single one of them. It could be a housekeeper, someone to run light errands for you, a virtual assistant, or just a cleaning service that comes a few times a year. Whatever you can afford to do. It will take some pressure off and ultimately allows you to spend more time with family. I have a cleaning service that comes every other Friday. I find myself being a much better mom those weekends because I’m not stressing about housework. Try Amazon Home Services. They have services such as housecleaning, window washing, and handyman services. It is much more affordable than you think.
Empower your Family
I try to take everything on myself: work, clean, cook, manage finances, plan trips, manage the household, etc. I fail to include my family in these responsibilities and shame on me. At work, I am a huge advocate of empowering employees by delegating them tasks and responsibilities. Why should home be any different? Not only will handing off some responsibilities to your kids ease your workload, but it will help develop them as people and teach them important life skills. Find age appropriate tasks, teach them how to do them, provide them support as they are learning, and watch them flourish.
Routine and process are essential. I am a big fan of routines because they are liberating and reduce stress in your life. For example, brushing your teeth is a task that you must do every day just like emptying the dishwasher. Do you get stressed out every morning because you have to brush your teeth? Nope, because it is a habit so you don’t have to put any thought into it. You just do it. You and your family are craving routine, you just need to establish it. Develop a morning routine, a home from school/work routine, a bedtime routine, and a prepping for the week routine on Sundays. You can quickly go through the motions, get things done and clear your mind for more important things. Visualize the perfect routine, write it down, communicate the routine to others, and then hold everyone accountable for it. After a few weeks, it will be second nature.
Sundays are for Preparing
Try to do as much as you possibly can for the upcoming week on Sunday. Meal-plan and group all of the ingredients that you will need together for the week. Put together everyone’s outfits for the week and hang them up. That way all you need to do in the morning is grab it and put-on. I do this for myself and include accessories and shoes so I am not scrambling around looking for something that goes with the outfit. Any sporting events or activities? Prep all of the items that you will need and get them ready to go. Your Thursday self will thank you for all the work that you did on Sunday.
This is a HUGE one for me and kinda goes along with the whole mom’s put way too much pressure on themselves. Each Sunday, set goals for the upcoming week and each day individually. What do you really want to accomplish? Be realistic with these goals. For example, Tuesday’s goals should not be 1.) Finish Q2 Sales Report 2.) Help Johnny finish science project 3.) Run a marathon 4.) Find world peace 5.) Grocery shopping 6.) Put together totally organic, vegan cuisine meal, etc. You get the point. You are just setting yourself up for failure if you try to cram too much into your week. Just pick a couple of items that would make you very happy to accomplish and leave it at that. Once you are done with those items, you are done. Then you can relax and spend time with your kiddos. Without goal setting, you will always feel that you have something else to do.
What tips do you have to balance it all? What is your biggest struggle as a working mom? We would love to hear, drop a comment below.
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