Being a mother and having a successful career takes effort and planning but striking a balance is not impossible. Follow these 5 tips and flourish in both areas of your life.
1. Be one step ahead
Save yourself the grief and make mornings easier by preparing the night before. Organize lunches, clothes, and everything you will need in the morning. Put necessary materials inside backpacks, purses, or work bags and have them waiting by the door. Talk with your partner about dividing responsibilities so you two know who is responsible for bathing the kids, doing the groceries, or cooking food. Whatever changes in the family schedule should also be discussed ahead of time so nobody is rushing and everything is arranged.
2. Invest in quality childcare
Because you will need to spend a lot of time at work, finding quality childcare is important. Talk to family and friends and ask for recommendations regarding nannies, babysitters, or daycare centers. Write down a list of values that matter to you and interview qualified candidates. It is always a good idea to go for the ones with a history of long term commitment to families. Once you have seen several applicants, schedule a paid play-date to see them interacting with your child. Pick someone who has extensive experience, good references, and a clean record to back it up. For the daycare centers, aim for one with flexible hours and a balanced student and teacher ratio. An outdoor space where the kids can play is another requirement. Check for the required licenses too, as well as do background checks.
3. Set up a family calendar
It may sound tedious but a family calendar will save you so much stress. It is all about knowing the priorities of your family. Add the bills that you need to pay each month, pencil in the practices and extracurricular activities of the kids, write their chores, and take note of family and school events with ease. Use your smartphones to help you with this so any updates or changes get included seamlessly. Spend a few minutes to go over the schedule for the week to eliminate surprises and also to update nannies or babysitters.
4. No reason to feel guilty
Resist the guilty feeling that may come each time you see parents with their children and you are not spending as much with your own because you are at work. There is no need to feel bad because what you do is benefiting your family as well. Maybe you can afford special classes or better opportunities for your kids because you are a career woman. Just because you are not a full time mother does not mean you love your child less. Do not let anyone make you feel guilty or stressed. Instead, find a way to become efficient in both areas of your life, come to terms with the choices you have made, and focus on the existing priorities. Talk to your partner about your feelings or discuss them with a support group to improve work and home balance.
5. Talk to your boss
Two important questions to ask your employer are how much can you get off and how much of that will be paid. It helps to have an idea of any existing setup with other employees so you can use that to your advantage. It is up to you how much you will share but being honest and open always help. Present alternative solutions and a productive work schedule plus a trial period to see how the new setup will go and to avoid any confusion.