Succeeding as a Working Mom
I find very easy to think that women, especially mothers, have everything under control: the house, our work, taking care of our children, husbands, friends and ourselves, all in an almost Zen balance.
In my own odyssey of finding that work-life ‘balance’, there is always something that I’ve left out, that I’ve forgotten (successful cases of my 'mommy brain') or that I’ve been unable to achieve.
Based on what has worked out well for Adriana and for me, I have concluded that there is no perfect formula to find that perfect balance. However, I now notice the difference between feeling that my day runs over me and feeling in control of the situations that arise.
Expert moms on this matter don’t call this work-life balance, but rather the integration of their personal life with work. And I feel completely identified with this too.
What are those aspects that have made the difference in my own life?
Here they are:
• Setting priorities: Like arriving a little later to the office one or two days a week and see my little one before leaving for his daycare.
• Organizing the day and week in advance: Making lists of things to do saves me a lot of time. The most important tasks in the office, in my business, in my house, activities with my family and friends, and that time I dedicate for myself. (I still can not master the art of organizing the week's menu, but I know what I'm going to achieve it - if you have any advice, comment below ... help!!). Mel Robbins recommends taking 3 things to accomplish each day, at any level. And it works for me: it is an excellent measure to feel that I have fulfilled part of my plans.
• Not being too hard on myself: If some aspect of my day comes out of my plans, I take actions to complete it in the near future, or I talk to a friend - or my husband. That perspective of burden and worry feels way lighter by sharing it with others. A glass of wine or two also helps me a lot! Haha!
• Delegate: Whenever I can, I delegate cleaning the house, food delivery services or some grocery shopping delivered at my house; that gives me more time to do other activities with my son and husband.
The part of cleaning the house reminds me of these humorous charts that summarize with great certainty the art of being a working mom:
- Breathe: I remember always to oxygenate my mind and take a few minutes to focus.
My work involves leading Occupational Health and Safety activities in a manufacturing company. Additionally, in the afternoon, evening and weekends - together with Adriana - I create all the content planned for our clients, I make calls, send documents, emails and blog articles, like this one. In order to control each element,
I had to make the decision that what I wanted to do and how it would bring me the greatest benefit.
This is what I do and I consider that, checking the following points, any woman and mother can succeed in integrating her life and her work without sacrifices:
- Finding a flexible workplace. Knowing that you can leave the office when they call you from school (because your child is sick) without feeling guilty, gives you a sense of support and inner peace. It allows you to concentrate your efforts and be more productive.
- Educate yourself. Reading or listening to audio books while going from home to office and vice versa, paying online tutorials, or searching for meaningful information allows your mind to keep growing and updating knowledge.
- Enjoy what you do. Nothing worse than feeling obligated to fulfill obligations that do not fill you, are not significant, or do not bring any benefit to you.
- Communicate with your Supervisor. Communicating openly how your work is impacting your personal life, and finding ways to compensate increases your productivity as a professional and the peace of mind of dedicating time to your family. Many times the success or otherwise of this relationship can make you conclude if your position of work and company is the right one for you.
- Plan and prioritize. Work, meals, free time, activities with your family and your partner as well as the time dedicated for you.
- Connect with other people. Sharing experiences and connecting with your coworkers and friends will expand your understanding of your points of view and make you more productive.
To finish, I want to leave you with this CBC Canada article in which our friend Sabrina Castellanos (@sabrina_cas) along with other working mothers were interviewed and asked about their roles as professional, working moms.
Remember: there is not a perfect formula regarding work-life balance. Feel good about what works for you and continuously improve that. You, with your daily effort, have already succeeded.
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