Work and Family – Finding the balance
How do you balance everything as a parent? Balancing the various aspects of life are so difficult. I’ve written before on finding the balance between being a mom and being you because balancing the demands on you is so jolly difficult.
Now if you’re a working mom and have to get up every morning and go off to work you somehow have to find a way to make it work for you. You have to be able to think at work and function in a way that a lot of people won’t grasp until they have had children and then you have to come home and give 100% of yourself even though you’re tired and maybe doubting whether it is possible to do it all.
I’m not in the corporate world at the moment but I am thinking about it and grappling with how I am going to do it. I called on the lovely Jenny Silverstone, editor of Mom Loves Best, to give me some guidance on how she does it, how she manages the balance.
Thank you so much Jenny! I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us.
Motherhood and The Balance
Motherhood is a delicate balancing act. It’s easy to lose your identity and sometimes your sanity in your quest to be the perfect mom. That balance is even harder to maintain when you factor a demanding boss and job into the equation.
I went back to work just a few short weeks after having my first child. I tried my best to prepare ahead of time. Still, nothing could absorb the shock of being a full-time worker and a full-time mom simultaneously. There just weren’t enough hours in the day to accommodate all the things I needed and wanted to do. I felt like I wasn’t giving either duty the full attention it needed.
So I tried to come up with some creative solutions that would keep both my family and my boss happy. And make me feel like less of a failure.
Here are three things that I did that made a big difference for me.
1. Prepare Meals on Sundays
Meal times during the workweek can get pretty hectic.
You’re coming back from a long day at the office but you don’t have the time or energy to make your family anything to eat. Unfortunately, it’s usually takeout to the rescue. This just makes you feel bad because it isn’t usually a healthy dinner choice and it’s more expensive than cooking.
Preparing meals ahead for the week is the solution. You can prepare and freeze the meals until you need them. It is a great way to get all your cooking and meal preparation done in one day, and it will save you a ton of money and guilt during the week.
2. Let Your Kids Share The Bed
My second child was a terrible sleeper. From the time he was born, he would wake up multiple times a night. I would give him a bottle and change his diaper, but it wouldn’t matter. In two hours, he’d be awake again.
I figured that would only last a year or so, but I was wrong. He was still waking up multiple times a night when he was three years old.
My husband, who is usually good about helping out, would complain bitterly when he had to get up with our son in the middle of the night. He acted like he should get a Father of the Year award for doing what all parents should do. So I was always the one who would get up with my son and get him back to bed, patting his back until he finally fell asleep.
The exhaustion was overwhelming. It made everything harder than it needed to be. I couldn’t stay awake at work and caught myself nodding off once or twice on the drive to work in the mornings. What should have been a great time in my life was awful in so many ways because of the sheer exhaustion I felt all the time.
So one night when my son came into our room, I lifted him up and put him right between my husband and I. He slept like he had never slept before. So that became our routine, night after night. He would nestle in between us and not wake up until morning. It was blissful, and it made a big difference as to how I felt every day. Getting enough sleep was a game changer for me. And these days, my son happily sleeps the whole night through in his own bed — he just wasn’t ready for it at the time.
It is amazing what a good night’s sleep can do for you, so if you are not getting that sleep you need to think of ways to resolve what it is that is causing you to wake.
3. Give Up the Quest to Be Martha Stewart
It took me a while to figure this out, but I would rather have my sanity than a perfectly-kept house and elaborate meals. If my kids were eating hot dogs once again for dinner, I didn’t beat myself up about it. If the dishes sat in the sink for a couple of days, I didn’t care.
Once you let go of your desire to be perfect, you’ll find you have a lot more time than you did before. You’ll be able to keep your mind on work while you’re in the office, instead of the million things on your to-do list at home.
It’s freeing. Your stress level will plummet, which will make you a better worker, mom and wife.
Jenny is just another mom trying to do her best. She loves making lists and trying to help others find what they are looking for. When she’s not sharing the latest parenting hacks & tips on her blog, you’ll find her trying to help other moms save time and money by writing epic buyer’s guides on breast pumps, diapers, and the other mommy essentials.
If you've enjoyed this post please share it! Sharing makes my day!