Being a mom is a full-time job, especially if you are a working mom. A majority of moms today, including moms in Kuala Lumpur, are a contributing part of the workforce and some of them have more than one child.
Unfortunately, even if they try to balance work and family life, work can take a lot of their time. As a result, some moms tend to feel guilty or stressed out because their focus is all over the place.
If you’re feeling guilty, don’t be, I’ve got some tips to help you you balance work and family:
1. Let your guilt go
Instead of thinking about the fact that you are far from your family, think about why you are working. You may be working to help your family get the best opportunities available or saving money for their future.
Focusing on your goals will help you let go of your guilt.
Accept that there’ll be days when you’ll be with your children and days you’ll only arrive home after their bedtime. You’re not the only one.
Speak to your partner or your friends to help you let go of that guilt. Alternatively, you can reach out to me, Kally @ www.MiddleMe.net for advice on how to increase your productivity at work so you can cut down overtime at work or bringing work home.
2. Look for a good nanny or daycare for your kids
Don't hesitate to ask your friends or family for their references for nannies or daycares. Create criteria that you feel is the most important and schedule time to interview recommended nannies or daycare.
When hiring nannies, pick the ones with good track history of working with families for a long time. This will show that they have the experience necessary and patience to work with children of any age.
For daycares, check if they have flexible hours, a low teacher-to-student ratio, good play areas and is licensed by the government.
3. Change Your Morning Habits
Do not stress yourself early in the morning. Prepare things the night before. Pack your child's food and sort their clothes beforehand.
Make a to-do-list and divide the tasks among your family members. You’ll save a lot of time if you plan beforehand and that will help you spend time with your family before work.
Wake up an extra half an hour to have breakfast together as a family so that you won’t feel so bad if you missed out dinner time because you needed to put in extra hours at work.
4. Organize Your Family Calendar
Determine what your family's priorities are and put them in a calendar.
List down school and family events, birthdays, and other activities. Make sure they are color-coded to help you organize your priorities and focus.
Share your calendar with your family members so that they know your work priorities as well. Your child will learn to check the calendar for your upcoming business trip and learn to try to schedule his school events or outings around that.
5. Speak to your boss
Before you accept a job, speak to your employer or HR about the things you may need, like flexible work schedules and urgent leaves.
Be open as much as possible since your employer needs to consider your request too. You should also present alternatives to show that your request would not affect your productivity.
You will be surprised that there are employers who have work-from-home schemes that help mothers cope with young children.
6. Always stay connected
Make use of technology!
Even if you are not with your kids, you can be reachable. If you have little toddlers, record a video message for them to watch. If you will be late for their special events, leave a special note or good luck charm to show them you remember and love them.
Also look into options on how you can watch their events if you could not make it. Get the event filmed by your partner or your friends.
During your break time, call your children. Speaking with them will help you get through your day and for them, let them know you are there.
I love to FaceTime and send an animoji message to my toddler every now and then when I am away from home.
7. Get rid of the distractions
Be conscious of where you use your time and set time limits. Instead of looking at your e-mails or doing your calls during the day, set them aside and only do them when your child is asleep.
Take time off from your usual leisure habits like watching TV or surfing Facebook and spend more time with your partner.
As much as possible, do not multitask while you are with your children. Same when you are at work, your energy should focus on completing your tasks so that you can leave work on time.
8. Bond with your family on special activities
It is important for parents to spend time with their kids as much as possible to bond with them. But, if you don't have much time to spare, try creating special family activities.
It could be a special family movie night every Saturday or a board game night. If you go out with them, focus on what they like to do rather than focus on the things you left at work. No matter what activities you may do, as long as you are together, it counts.
Remember quality over quantity!
9. Have your alone time with your partner
Aside from taking some time off for your kids, make it a point to nurture your relationship with your spouse.
Go on dates every once in a while to keep your relationship alive. When you are busy at home and work, your spouse is often the first person to feel neglected.
Have your parents or in-laws babysit your children so you and your spouse can take a well-deserved holiday to reconnect and rejuvenate.
10. Make some Me Time
When you sort out your time wisely, you will be able to give yourself some well-deserved "me" time every week.
Your "me" time can help you take a break from your busy schedule and recharge yourself. If you allow yourself to go on without a break, you will get tired and be less productive.
Remember moms; you also need a break every once in a while!
Finding the right work-life balance can be difficult to do at first, especially if you do not know where to start.
With the tips we cited above, you can gain some insight on where to begin and keep at it. Of course, you need to persevere and stick by these steps for it to make an impact in your life and that of your family.
If you need support from fellow moms, come and join one of our playgroups or support groups to connect with us!