Balancing work and family can be a tricky task. Trying to do everything can sometimes have moms and dads spinning in circles, tiring themselves out. Showering, commuting, getting the kids off to daycare or school, keeping your eyes open while at work and then home again to cook dinner, do laundry, spend quality time with your spouse and children and sometimes even try to make time for exercise or other hobbies. It can feel overwhelming and may make it seem like you are in a spinning wheel just passing the days.
How do some parents make it look so easy?
How do they balance it all and stay sane?
Having been both a SAHM and now currently a working mom, I am always asking myself these questions, trying to find balance, and have found some simple strategies that help me to manage my time and keep my household running smoothly… most days.
- Stick to a schedule, a strict one. Set boundaries with your employer and keep those boundaries in check. Decide what hours you can and want to work and what hours you will have to spend with your family as well as making time for yourself (yes, you DO need to make time for yourself). Sticking to a strict schedule can go a long way and leave you feeling more empowered, organized and prepared.
- Make time for yourself, what is important to you? What makes you feel relaxed? Do you like to read? Go to the gym? Sew? Make it happen! Even if it’s not daily, schedule it, (on your strict schedule) and allow yourself that time to focus on you. So many of us get caught up in the “daily tasks” that weeks go by before we realize we are exhausted, grumpy and stressed. Who doesn’t love a good sweat sesh to relieve anxiety or a nice walk around your neighborhood jammin’ to your favorite tunes?
- Plan ahead for meals and errands and make sure that everyone in your household is on board to help. What works for my family is to plan shopping and meal-prep days each week and we stick to it!! If I don’t allow that to happen, I start my week feeling frazzled and unorganized and lacking balance.
- Quality time with your family is so very important! After all, they are your forever friends why wouldn’t you want to spend time with them? A nightly routine that is consistent and allows full attention to your children can leave everyone feeling complete. Unplug, read a book, play catch or have a dance party and after the kids have gone to bed, make time for your significant other. I also believe it is important to schedule a couple of date nights each month to really make sure you are making time for one another.
Do I miss being a SAHM, sure, but I also love the challenge of working and creating a happy environment for myself and family too! Some days are not pretty and not every day or week is fully of balance. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and remember, there’s always wine.