Balancing motherhood and work is the ultimate work-in-progress, one that never quite seems to end. For the entirety of my life as a mother, I’ve worked to create a system that works for me - and surprise, it’s ALWAYS changing.
As your children get older and your work life demands change, we find ourselves struggling to maintain the small amount of balance that we’ve achieved. Often, this causes us to revert back to our stressed-out state.
Even as we struggle to find create some resemblance of sanity in our lives, there are a few things we can do each time to help out - aka these super simple tips for balancing your work-mom life:
Delegate Home & Work Tasks
“Hands-off” is not really in our vocabulary, but we can at least try. No one said being a working mom was going to be easy, but they also didn’t tell you that it’s 100% okay to delegate tasks to other household members or (if you own your own business) to outsource a few business tasks.
Delegate tasks that can easily be handed off at home or are time-consuming in your business. This can be as simple as asking a family member to pick your children up from school or extracurricular activities once per week or hiring a VA to manage your calendar.
Make “To-do” Lists
A simple addition to your typical morning routine, start creating two to-do lists every morning - one for work, one for home. I highly recommend separating each list into mini-list categorized by:
-Need to Do
-Want to Do
As you’re making each list, try to limit yourself to three-five major need to do items, allowing the rest to fill in your want to do section. This will keep you from being overwhelmed on one side versus the other.
Prepare in Advance
Have a little freetime on the weekend or maybe you have a little extra time on a certain day of the week? Use this time to start preparing for your week in advance.
Start prepping lunches, activities, and building nighttime and morning routines that prepare for later in the day or the next day (like tidying up toys every night before bed).
Know What Time of Day Works for You
Are you a morning person or a night owl? Identify what time of day works best for you to accomplish mentally taxing tasks or ones that require high-concentration and assign those tasks to that time of the day.
You’ll find that knowing WHEN you’re most productive and utilizing that time will keep you less stressed and allow you to finish tasks more efficiently - leaving more time for mom-life. If you don’t know what time works best for you, take a week and rotate!
Have Designated Break Times
Have designated break times from both your family and your work - you can suffer from both mom burnout and work burnout and neither are great for keeping your mom-work life balance.
Taking time to have a lunch break, just sitting after a strenuous task, or just planning a 15 minute stretch can help keep your mind clear and help you stay productive.
Balancing Mom-Work Life
Finding a healthy mom-work balance can be hard, and it can’t be done alone. You should always be open to accepting help (and understand that it’s okay to ASK for help).
Being a working mom doesn’t mean that we should sit back and be okay with never moving forward in our jobs and businesses - or that we should miss out on the key w=events in our children’s lives. It’s about finding a balance between the two and discovering what you’re okay with doing and what you’re not… aka establishing and sticking to boundaries.
But, that’s a problem for another day. For now, start with the simple things, like learning to establish a routine to help you balance or getting help from moms that have been in your shoes!
4 Mindset Shifts to Relieve Stress for Moms
Did you know that you could relieve stress just by changing how you think? It’s true. Your mindset is more powerful than you think and simply switching up your thought process can help you relieve some of that built up stress that comes with being a busy mom.
Stress is a huge struggle for moms, whether it’s trying to avoid it or dealing with it head on - and sometimes, it feels like it’ll never change. And while stress is a nuisance in small doses, overtime it can leave lasting effects on your mental and physical health, such as:
Reduction in brain chemicals needed for happiness
Perfectionist thinking (aka never good enough)
Inability to take criticism
Immune system damage
Here’s a secret though, that’s NOT how it’s supposed to be.
Mom-ing is hard, but it shouldn’t feel impossible. You shouldn’t have to struggle through the stress, guilt, and overwhelm daily. Instead, try something new… like these four mindset shifts to relieve stress:
#1: Drop the Mom Guilt
Just breathe and let it go. Mom guilt is one of the largest contributing factors of stress in moms and can actually cause chronic stress if left untreated. While it doesn’t seem possible at the moment, getting rid of mom-guilt is a great realistic expectation as a mom and will greatly help you reduce stress in your day-to-day life.
Mom guilt stems from the fact that we love our child and want what’s best for them and feel guilty if we think we’ve ‘underperformed’ as a mom. Sometimes, it can even come out after something little - like serving poptarts for breakfast rather than a platter of bacon, eggs, toast, etc.
But, you’re not in it alone! Every mom deals with mom guilt at some point in their journey through motherhood - that’s why I created The Mama Vault, a community of like-minded moms to help you get through the rough patches!
#2: Learn How to Say NO
Along with kissing mom-guilt goodbye, it’s time to start believing in the word NO again. I’m not talking about your parenting style either, I’m talking about prioritizing yourself again and saying NO to situations that are going to make you feel stressed and overwhelmed.
Being a mom, there’s this stigma that says that we should be ‘people pleasers’ leading us to say yes to family visits, trips, or even errands that are actually too much for us to mentally handle at that moment.
Instead of doing what’s best to please others, take a step back and determine whether it’s best for you - and don’t be stingy with the NO’s.
#3: Breakaway from Perfection
There is no such thing as a perfect mom. We all have our good stuff and our not-so-good stuff, but our kids are not judging us on how perfect we are - it’s just us.
Perfection is an illusion and striving to make no mistakes is a setup for failure - and more stress. Simply adjusting your mindset and reassuring yourself that perfection is not possible, not necessary and sticking to it can take the weight off your shoulders.
I understand that adjustments take time, so the best way to start putting this into practice is when you start to get overwhelmed with tasks. When the task seems too daunting or you don’t have the motivation, just remember - you don’t need to be (or need it to be) perfect.
#4: Remember Your Why
After a while of repeating the same schedules, the same stressors, the same struggles, it becomes harder to remember the why behind it all. Why you’re working hard, why you picked your goals, why you took this path, and, sometimes, even why you wanted to have a family.
The key to maintaining a balanced mindset and not succumbing to stress is identifying your why’s and sticking to them when times are tough. If you’re not sure ‘why’ you’re doing it, sit down and re-evaluate your lifestyle and mindset to determine your new why.
Relieving Stress With a Mindset Shift
Relieving stress as a busy mom is going to require more than just a few stress relief activities. Long term stress relief comes from adjusting how you think about and cope with your daily stressors.
Motherhood is hard on us all and it’s even harder when you feel like you’re alone…
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