I have been working for 11 years. The most challenging period came when I got back to work after my first maternity break. I don’t know how to handle the demands of work and family.
I was exhausted as hell, sleep deprived to the core, and dead tired. I had the constant feeling of not doing anything right. I began to make mistakes both at work and home. I made everyone wonder what’s happening to me.
It was a rough six months before I begin to grasp my situation and do the necessary actions to come out of the trap.
How to Balance Family and Work?
If you are a working mother, and right now if you are in that challenging period of finding a balance, then don’t worry. You might feel you are not seeing a ray of hope. But, you can cope up this situation soon.
Just like any hardship, this is going to pass soon. You need to brace yourself and be ready to handle this challenge instead of wallowing in self-doubt and confusion.
Below are some of the tips and techniques which I learned from my experience. If you can take few of it to your routine, you can save your energy and pain.
While at Work, Do work:
As a working mother, it is very easy to let your minds be glued to your kids. When I began to work, I had mountains of guilt smothering me inside. I was always occupied by daughter’s thoughts while I worked at the office.
This made me delay my work and do a lot of mistakes. I missed being active at project meetings. I had to stay longer at the office each day to finish the delayed tasks and rework on the mistakes.
While you are work, avoid thinking about your home no matter how tough it is. Try to focus and finish the work. Learn to leave office early. Once you reach home, give your undivided attention to family.
As a working mother, your kids demand your attention most of the time. If you don’t know how to set boundaries, you will get drained soon by the overwork you need do at office and home. If you are a new mom, then you will have to stay awake at night too to take care of your baby. All these will make you exhaust soon.
Your priority should primarily be on kids. Any other task you set out to do on office and home should be your conscious choice based on the importance. Before working on any task, ask yourself the below questions.
- Whether the task should be handled by you alone?
- Is it possible to delegate?
- Can you say ‘No’?
Don’t take up a work if you can’t see yourself completing it. Learn to set boundaries and gracefully turn down the work if it is going to overload you. If you are a new mom, speak to your project manager and ask them to shift you to the less complex project at least for six months. Say ‘No’ to late evening meetings. Treat your time and availability as a precious commodity.
Make Use of Weekends:
You might be gripped by the guilt of not being able to be with your children most of the time. Weekdays will keep you super busy and you wouldn’t even know how fast the days are flying before you.
Make the best use of weekends. Plan properly and spend time with your kids as much as possible. Learn to say ‘No’ to other insignificant household tasks. Delegate them to other members of your family.
Let Go Off Perfectionism:
Stop trying to do everything perfect. Understand that before you learn to tackle both your work and family, you are going to make mistakes at work, your house is going to be messy, and your family might sulk for your indifference towards them. Let them all go.
You can’t keep happy everyone at this stage. Any attempt to be perfect will make it tough for you to come out of this crucial period unscathed.
Make mistakes and learn from it. If you nag yourself and criticize yourself for your mistakes, you are going to suck the life out of you.
Understand your intentions:
You are taking the responsibility of both work and family because of an inevitable reason. Take time to first understand what it is. It could be your financial situation or passion or could be any other necessity. Whatever it may be, you need to know the exact reason behind why you want to work.
You should have a justifiable reason for continuing your career at this vulnerable period of your life.
Often self-doubt will shake your confidence. You will question yourself where these all are leading. Why do you struggle badly to strike a balance? You will even contemplate quitting work.
At times like this, you should know exactly why you need to work so you can stay calm and stop being the prey for mind games. If you know your intentions you can win the battle you have with yourself.
Limit Technology at home:
While you are at home don’t waste your time on social media sites and various mindless browsing. If you want to unwind and relax, plan a playful activity with your family and kids.
This will help you to de-stress, at the same time, bond with your family. Go out with your kids frequently. While at home, be at home and meet the demands of your children and spouse. Don’t remain trapped in the world of web.
Women always have the urge to do everything by themselves. As soon as they step into motherhood, they take up the role of superwoman and begin to knock off every task in front of their eye-sight. The problem is you will get exhausted soon and blame others for not lending any help.
Be proactive and learn to ask help. The first person you should ask help should be your spouse. Discuss your problems patiently with your family and ask their help. Even they might get intimidated by your request in the beginning. Don’t get angry and scare everyone around you. Be patient and let other be patient to you. Keep asking help for simplest of activities first.
If possible hire some outside help if you can afford it. Hire a maid for cleaning and cooking. It could really save your sanity. Ask your dear ones to babysit your child so you can finish some household activities.
Seeking help can make you get the deserved break.
Taking care of family and career is like walking on a rope in the air with a heavy weight on shoulders. Each passing moment can be very daunting for you as well for your closed ones who watch it.
It is absolutely essential to not overload yourself with your already demanding lifestyle. Understand your priorities and chose the battles that are worth fighting for. Let all other go off from your life.