Being a working mom is hard, partly because there are so many things you need to balance. It is important to feel present when you’re working and when you are at home, but often you have aspects of the other part of your life keeping you from being 100% focused on what you are doing. It can be really difficult to be your best work self if you know your child needs something, and it is just as difficult to feel like you are being the best mom possible when you know you are putting off important things for work to spend time with your child. The good news is that these feelings are completely normal, and you are not alone.
These days, there are a lot of working moms in the workforce. It has become very commonplace for women to enjoy a professional life and family life. And why not? Both things are very fulfilling and can give you a sense of accomplishment. However, it can also be really hard to set the boundaries necessary to keep you from overextending yourself. Everyone wants to think they can do it all. And sometimes you can, but other times you will have to choose between work and family. It can be really helpful to determine your boundaries and put plans in place to make the best of every situation that arises. Here are a few tips.
Set your working hours and stick to them
This can be really easy for some people and really hard for others. If you have a job where you have set hours and you don’t bring work home, then this isn’t a problem. But if you have a job where you work from home or are expected to check email after hours, the lines can get blurred. Establishing your working hours will help you be focused on what you are doing and not feel guilty.
Don’t be afraid to turn off your phone
If you are doing something with your family that is important, turn off your phone. Not only will it keep you from being disturbed, it will show your family that this time is important to you and that they matter.
Define your village and lean on it
Everyone needs a village. It might be your extended family or a group of close friends. Whatever the case may be, use it. If you can’t leave work to get a sick child or you are going to be late for pick up, know who can help you out and don’t be afraid to ask.
Talk to your children when it doesn’t work out
It’s not always going to go your way. Sometimes you will miss something that you want to be there for because of a work obligation. As long as it doesn’t happen every time, your child will understand. You just need to talk to them about it. Explain to them why you can be there and offer to make it up to them with another activity or special time together. Being honest with them will go a long way toward helping them understand.
Give yourself some grace
This might be the hardest and most important part of all of this. You can not beat yourself up every time you have to choose between work and family. You must give yourself grace to know that as each situation arises, you will make the best possible choice in that moment and move on. Sometimes it won’t be the right choice and sometimes you will hurt someone’s feelings. Learn from that and just keep going.
The bottom line is that you can find some balance between these two worlds. You need to remember to do what is best for you and your family and not look back. You need to have a fulfilling life and if that means you want to work, that is what you should do. Be proud that you can love yourself enough to decide what makes you the best version of yourself.