Thanks so much to our member Puccilin for suggesting this list on balancing work and family life. I don’t know any parents who don’t struggle daily with balancing work and family commitments. Whatever the family arrangements, full time working Mum, part- time working Mum, Mums who works at home, single Mums to extended family groups the juggling still seems to continue. We can’t provide all the answers but here are 17 Bright Ideas to help with juggling work, family and your sanity.
Think About Your Contribution to the World – It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day work that you forget why you are doing it all. Think of the wonderful example you are setting your children about working hard and getting ahead. As a working Mum you are not only rearing the next generation you are contributing to society through your work and career. Take a moment to give yourself a pat on the back.
Have a Morning Ritual – Start the day off with just 5-10mins of something that will inspire you and get you started on the right foot for the day. This could be meditating, writing, stretching, breathing in some aromatherapy scents etc.
Don’t Compare Yourself – Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, don’t worry what other people say just stick to your plan. Set your short term and long term goals and work towards them. Ignore what the neighbours are doing, ignore what the Mums at school are ding just be authentic to yourself and your dreams. You will take a lot of pressure off yourself from trying to compete in an imaginary competition.
Say “No” and Set Some Boundaries – It’s so easy to fill a large amount of time with kids activities, playdates, birthday parties, morning teas etc., etc. etc. You do not need to attend everything. Same with work – you can say no. Set some boundaries for your work and social life and don’t overcommit your time, energy and resources. Doing one thing well is better then doing 2 things poorly.
Take a Break from Technology – Set aside just ½ hour per day to turn off the phone, ipad, computer, laptop, TV, radio etc. and give your brain a break from the stimulation. It will all still be there when you get back.
Ditch the Mum Guilt – You are doing your best. Make your decision as to how you want to run your life and don’t second guess yourself. Outsource / Ask for Help – If you can outsource as much work as possible. Cooking, cleaning, ironing, party planning, cake making. Get everyone possible involved – extended family, neighbours, old lady down the street, friend’s older kids (who love getting pocket money). Free yourself up for the harder stuff as much as possible.
Don’t Bring Your Work to the Dinner Table – save some quality time for the kids. Forget about whatever happened at work that day and celebrate your wonderful family by having a meal together and finding out what happened in everyone’s lives during the day.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – there are ohh so many things to worry about. The list of things swimming around your head is probably endless. Take a deep breath and keep calm. First forget about anything you don’t have control over. Worrying about those is a waste of time. Secondly forget about anything that is insignificant. Save those brain cells for the important things.
Get Organized – thanks to technology is easier then ever to get organized. Try aps and sites such as workflowy.com, evernote or dropbox.
Keep Healthy – there is no doubt that if you eat healthily and do some exercise you will have more energy and be able to get more accomplished. Take some time out to concentrate on your own health.
Ditch Time Wasting Activities – If its not on the urgent to do list then perhaps it can wait. Try and make decisions quickly and not waste time on the unimportant. Get on with the big stuff. Only check emails hourly.
Focus on the Job at Hand – pick the job you are going to do and don’t start anything new until that one job is done. Have you had those days when you start 10 jobs and finish nothing and by then end of the day it looks like a huge mess?
Keep Plugging On – Some days will be better than others. Some day you will feel on top of the world, all conquering and get loads achieved. Sometime you will work really hard and be lucky to just keep your head above water. No matter what the day just keep putting one foot in front of the other. After a bad day the next day is always better anyway!
Do a Stocktake – Are things working? Are your kids happy? Are your kids healthy? Are you happy? Are your healthy? Only fix what is broken.
Section Off the TO DO List – Its so easy to write a massive long to do list. Whilst I clearly LOVE a good list some do work better than others. No matter how hard you try you probably wont get everything on your To Do list completed. Section off your to do list into urgent, important and save for later. If you can at least get the urgent ones done you feel like you are moving forward.
Relax and Keep Calm – Find something that relaxes you. Perhaps is taking a walk after dinner with the kids, reading a good book, having a bath – it could be anything. Take a few minutes out at the end of the day to distress and focus on yourself.