The idea of work-life balance can feel elusive, especially if you are a working mom. This article shares how to find better balance today.
Working from home sounds glamorous until you have too many tabs open and three little ones begging for your attention.
Suddenly your personal and professional life blend into one, and you can’t seem to find any time to care for yourself. You’re exhausted, but you have work to do and children who need you.
Without balance, working moms are headed for burnout
The benefits of the recent pandemic allowed many of us to slow down and re-evaluate our lives. But, if you’re a working Mom like me, you know how easy it can be to become so consumed by work and taking care of your kids that you forget to replenish your batteries.
And what good is a dead battery?
While attempting to balance my coaching business and raise my little ones, I realized I would get more done, feel better, and show up as a better parent for my children if I started to prioritize my self-care.
So, I spent lockdown launching my business and, more importantly, learning how to relax, respect my time, and ask for help.
If you relate to any of this, chances are you are constantly looking for ways to increase your energy, feel better, and show up fully for your work and life obligations.
How do working moms get work-life balance?
While there will never be such a thing as the “perfect” work-life balance, it’s important to work towards some sort of harmony between work and life.
Picture this, you’re driving home, and your car is about to run out of gas. Do you keep going in hopes that a magic hack will help you make it all the way, or do you stop to refuel?
Chances are, you stop to get more gas. There isn’t any way around it—without gas, your car won’t run. You don’t expect your car to run on an empty tank, so why are you expecting it from yourself?
Without balance, you will be a car without gas.
- Take time off
- Set boundaries
- Ask for help
- Move your body
- Find your community
1. Take time off
Taking time for yourself is so important as a mom. You might feel like it’s entirely out of the question, but even taking five minutes to meditate or enjoy a bubble bath could make all the difference.
Ideally, you should take more than five minutes for yourself, but for now, you can start small if you struggle to find the time.
Taking time off will give you the space to connect with yourself, relax, and recharge so you can show up fully for your kids and work. If you constantly spread yourself too thin, you won’t be able to give as much as you want to your kids or other important tasks and relationships.
We cannot give endlessly without replenishing our batteries. It’s not possible. So be gentle with yourself, and take some time off.
Read next: Create an At-Home Postpartum Retreat for Self-Care
2. Set boundaries and say No
Suppose you tend to say yes to everyone and everything, like me. You’re just asking for burnout, which can come from the desire to accomplish everything.
We spread ourselves too thin when we overload our plates by saying yes to more than we can accommodate.
Learning to say No to some things has helped me show up fully for other – more important – things.
When we are selective about what we choose to take on, we have the energy to deliver outstanding results and truly focus on the task at hand.
Learning to say no to some things allows you to say yes wholeheartedly to the things that matter most to you without the added stress.
3. Ask for help
Asking for support doesn’t come easily to mothers at work or home. I would push myself to be everything to everyone and do everything without asking for help. But I failed to realize that asking for help didn’t make me a worse mom or a failure.
Asking for help allows you to open up to the people who might be waiting for you to ask. You can allow someone else to feel good by lending you a hand. You can always repay the favor when they need something from you.
I failed to realize that asking for help didn’t make me a worse mom or a failure. It made me a human with needs.
Support, when needed, will help you extend your reach and get more done without burning out. Although, you have to be open to accepting help, even if it’s not in the way you imagined.
It’s about what gets done, not how it gets done.
Allowing myself to ask and accept help when needed has helped me get more done, ease stress, and expose my family to different environments and ways to live.
4. Move your body
It doesn’t have to be a long workout, but get your body moving in a way you enjoy. Maybe it’s yoga, dancing, or going for a long nature walk. Just find something that allows you to get your body moving and blood pumping.
Exercise is proven to reduce stress and improve your mental health.
Find the form of movement you enjoy the most and stick to a consistent practice. Taking time to connect to your body will help center you. Plus, you’ll feel even more energized.
5. Find your community
Having at least one other person aside from your spouse who is there for you is very important. Someone you can lean on, who understands the challenges you may face.
This person could be another mom, close relative, or friend. Someone you can be yourself with. Someone you can share our joys, frustrations, and thoughts with. A friend to bond over shared interests and explore different perspectives with.
Socializing with people who care about you is essential to your mental health and recharging your batteries as a parent.
Of course, that is also advisable at work: whether online or in-person, talk with people you can trust to share responsibilities and make your life easier.
How to simplify life as a working mom
It’s easy to feel like you have to do everything as a mom.
Remember that you can recharge your batteries and simplify your life by:
- Saying No when needed
- Asking for (more) help
- Finding people you can count on
- Moving your body
Not only will life feel a little easier to manage, but it will allow you to show up as the best mom you can be without feeling as stressed.
You don’t have to sacrifice your mental health to be a good mom. Instead, prioritizing your mental and emotional well-being will help you become a better mom.
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Gladys is a life coach for moms trying to balance their work and family life. She is a life enthusiast who lived in five different countries and mastered two languages. A former quiet introvert, today she is passionate about helping working mothers live significant, beautiful, shooting-for-the-stars kinds of lives.