SARAH MACONACHIE

WORK HARD PARENT HARD

Being a working Mother can be a real juggling act. Life can feel like utter chaos and trying to fit everything in can sometimes feel like a huge Struggle. Between work responsibilities and family commitments, it can be tough to find balance and keep that feeling of guilt at bay. We need to get organised and prioritise what is important to us.

Here are my top 10 tips to help you find harmony in your life and overcome the struggles most women face when they return to work.

  1. Find your purpose.

When we are a working mother it’s natural to feel that pull between our career and raising our children. Find out what really drives you. Do something that you are passionate about, that you enjoy. Going to work should be inspiring and motivating, so focus on what that looks like for you and follow your passions. When we love what we do, it increases our energy, our happiness and believe me, you will be a much better mum at home.

It’s really important to define your priorities. What matters most to you? Is it spending quality time with your family, pursuing your career goals, or finding time for self-care? Once you’ve identified your priorities, it’s easier to make decisions that align with your values and what you want/ need in your life to make you happy.

Try to be realistic about what you can and cannot commit to, both at work and at home. Don’t be afraid to say no to commitments that don’t align with your priorities, and don’t be shy about delegating tasks to others. Make sure you delegate at home, and be clear about what you’re able to do at work.

Self-care is essential to maintaining balance as a working mother. Take time for yourself every day, even if it’s just 15 minutes to read a book or take a relaxing bath. Prioritizing self-care will help you feel refreshed and energized. Try and get a good amount of sleep (easier said than done at times I know) and try to eat well and do some exercise. Again write down what you want and need to make you feel good and make it happen as frequently as possible.

It’s so important to share responsibilities. Whether it’s your partner, a family member, or a trusted caregiver, having help with childcare and household tasks can take the pressure off and free up some valuable time for you. When we are working out what your priorities are, if cleaning the house isn’t in there- get a cleaner. Do what you can to take some of the load off yourself and delegate tasks where possible.

Staying organised is key to managing a busy schedule. Make a to-do list, prioritise tasks, and try to stay on top of your responsibilities. Get what you can ready the night before, work out tasks with your partner so you know who is doing what when, so your mornings run smoothly. Keep a calendar so you know what is coming up each week. Write down 6 things every day that you want to achieve at the start of each day to help to keep you focused and on track.

Don’t be afraid to communicate with your employer about your needs as a working mum and what you need to make it work. Many employers are open to flexible work arrangements that can help you find that elusive work-life balance. If you can’t attend that 8am meeting because you’re supposed to be doing school drop off- don’t be afraid to say so.

You feel guilty when you’re working and not with your children, you feel guilty when you’re with your children and not working- it’s so hard to get it right. Find what works for you that allows you to comfortably have the best of both worlds. Maybe that’s working Part Time or finishing earlier a couple of days. Everyone is different and you have to find what works for you in order to eliminate the guilt. Don’t forget that your mental health is equally as important as your children. So, if working makes you happy- don’t feel guilty about it. You’ll be a much better mother if you’re happy and fulfilled.

Support is essential for working mothers. Connect with other working mothers, whether it’s through a networking group or online forum (join my programs and you will be in the best network ever). Having a support network can help you feel less alone in your struggles. Everyone experiences similar struggles trying to balance working and motherhood so be open and talk to others that are feeling the same way.

  1. Be present.

Finally, it’s important to be present in the moment. When you’re at work, focus on your work. When you’re with your family, be present with them. Being present can help you feel more fulfilled in both your personal and professional life. When you get home from work, try to leave your phone and computer out of the way so you’re just focusing on your children- things can always wait an hour or so and that time is valuable for both you and your children.

It’s never easy trying to fit in all the different aspects of life when you’re working and have children, but it is possible, and you can have it all if you’re smart about it. Find what works for you and be confident in communicating that to the relevant people. This is your life, and you are responsible for how you want to live it. If you want some hot tips- you can download my daily success guide to help to implement some new habits every day.

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