It’s not easy – balancing work and home. Often the result of trying to keep all of the balls in the air is stress, and plenty of it.
So many women report feeling stretched in trying to do both jobs right, that it’s almost become the norm. It’s not necessarily a fait accompli that you need to feel stressed all the time though, and there are ways to make that daily load a little lighter. Below are some handy ways to do so. It may take a little bit of work to integrate these changes into and already frantically busy life, but the payoff in the long term will be worth it.
Share – the work that is. You simply can’t handle it all yourself, being around for work, sick children, school meetings, work meetings and the list goes on. If dad is around, then he needs to pitch in and more and more dads are enjoying the benefits of being around for those days when kids are sick, or attending school meetings. Being a part of their kids lives has enormous benefits for dad and child. If necessary, solicit the help of aunts, uncles and friends too, again, an extended family does wonders for a child.
Try and build in some flexibility – could you handle a small pay cut and take every second Friday off? Think how much home stuff you could get done with a whole extra day! You could even spend some quality time with the kids, or simply relax over the weekend as you don’t have a pile of things built up at home. By being less frazzled, you will do the work and mum thing better too.
Avoid the guilt – it’s inevitable, working mums feel tremendous guilt sometimes for putting the kids in daycare. The converse of this is the guilt you feel dropping work right away to collect them – there was so much you should really have finished off. Well, time to cut this use of emotional energy out of your life. Be confident and clear about the choices you have made and you will fortify yourself to get the best out of them.
If you are spending good time with the kids when you are together then you are doing a great job. Just try to switch off that laptop and put the phone away – difficult, but possible.