Work-life balance for moms… does that even exist? Because being a mom feels more like a full-time job to me. It’s arguably difficult to do, but here are some tips that might help ease the workload.
1) Distribute and delegate.
A cultural shift can only move along with our help. In today’s day and age, fairer distribution of chores and caregiving responsibilities are more common. If you’re struggling with a one-sided involvement in maintaining the house, have an intimate conversation with your partner and let him know the toll it takes on you.
2) Have a conversation with your manager.
And keep these things in mind while you’re at it: sustainability, compromise, and mutual benefit. When a baby enters the picture, there is a cultural expectation that the woman’s career will give way, which isn’t always ideal. There are a multitude of reasons why many working women give up their careers for caregiving, but if you want the best of both, starting the conversation with your manager is necessary. Wanting flexibility isn’t a shameful request to make, especially as a mother, and the stigma associated with it is fading, too. According to Forbes, companies like Microsoft and Facebook are leading by example by personalizing work schedules to their employees’ needs.
3) Be flexible with your expectations – and with yourself.
Let go of mom guilt and recognize that you matter too. Being a mother is hard, but being a mother isn’t everything. You’re much more than the sum of your parts – as a friend, daughter, sister, person – so take care of yourself too. Consistent self-care can have a positive impact; the more positive your outlook on motherhood and life becomes, the more your child will feel the positive effects of it.
4) Find your tribe (i.e. your support system).
It takes a village … to raise a child. Most of us only know the first part of the phrase, but this is the original proverb. Parenting isn’t meant to be a one or even two-man job, so reach out to relatives or friends to help out. This can extend past the personal sphere and include childcare centers you trust.
Work-life balance for mothers is an age-old problem, influenced by culture and systems, but it’ll only improve with our persistent efforts to change it, one step at a time. Let’s work towards it together, because a happier mother ultimately begets a happier family.
Ferrante, M.B. (2019, March 20). Work-Life Balance Doesn’t Exist, But I’m Still Fighting For It. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/marybethferrante/2019/03/20/work-life-balance-doesnt-exist-but-im-still-fighting-for-it/?sh=755cbde71388
Haotanto, A.V. (2019, January 7). Work-Life Balance: 10 Tips for Struggling Mothers. The New Savvy. https://thenewsavvy.com/life/productivity/work-life-balance-for-mothers/