Being a mom is a wonderful, tiring, amazing, often thankless job. We bring these little people into the world and guide them toward becoming competent and successful adults. Arguably by itself it is a full-time job. But whether by choice or circumstance, many moms also have full or part-time jobs to juggle on top of their “mom” duties. If you are one of these working moms, how can you possibly manage balancing work and home?
Most women have a high expectation of themselves and strive to do their best both when parenting and when working. However, it is impossible to be perfect at any one thing, let alone two at once. The key to keeping your sanity is lowering your expectations of yourself and giving yourself credit for the large amount of responsibilities on your plate. Being a mom isn’t easy! Holding down a job isn’t easy! Doing both simultaneously is admirable. Even if you are one to downplay your achievements, take some time to really let sink in the sheer magnitude of what you are attempting to accomplish. Give yourself credit for all the things that will be asked of you in any given 24-hour period and don't be so hard on yourself when you occasionally come up short.
Once you have your expectations in check, take inventory of the tasks you need to complete today or this week or this month. Are there things on your to-do list that can be outsourced? For example, if your neighbor takes your kids to school Wednesday mornings, thereby allowing you to get to work earlier and consequently leave work earlier to get said kids to soccer practice, wouldn’t that make your life a bit easier? Better yet, find another mom at school or soccer practice that would be willing to carpool. This will give each of you a little extra time. If you have a significant other, make sure they are sharing child-related duties.
Take It Easy
When looking at your daunting list of tasks, are there any that can be fast tracked? Maybe you can buy store-bought cupcakes instead of making them from scratch? I know you really want to be that mom that makes them from scratch, but sometimes you just can’t. And honestly when they reflect on their childhoods, your children will remember you being there and not where the cupcakes originated. I promise.
As difficult as it is to be a working mom, it is possible and it comes with many rewards. Your children will occasionally spill milk and your boss will occasionally lose his temper. But on the flip side your kids will make adorable Valentine cards for you and love you unconditionally. Your job can provide validation of your talents and, at minimum, a paycheck. Embrace it all and persevere. If you manage your expectations, accept help from others once in awhile, and allow yourself to take a shortcut now and then, it can be done. Balancing work and home is tricky, but it is not impossible.