The Balancing Act of a Working Mother
Sleep and time are two things I feel that I am severely lacking now that I am back to work full-time. Being a relatively new mother, I look at my more experienced counterparts with envy—they can seemingly juggle the obligations of being a mother, spouse, and working woman with ease. Ask them what their schedule is like for the next week, and they can rattle off a list of doctor appointments, play dates, and other necessary errands that keep the household running. Plus, they seem to possess the magical ability to whip up a mean casserole dish with whatever leftovers they find in the fridge.
New Moms Guilt: Returning to Work
One of the most overwhelming feelings I have since returning to work is guilt. I feel like I should be at home with my daughter and not out of the house until 5:30 pm. I am lucky that my husband is able to work from home and look after our baby while I’m out at work. The first day back he told me that she spent the morning crawling around the kitchen trying to look for me with puppy-dog eyes.
While there are no easy answers for balancing your work, family and personal life, there are a few tips that can help you navigate the fields of a working parent:
- Turn a blind eye to those dust bunnies in the corner. I’ve finally come to accept the fact that my house will never be as clean as I want it to be for the next decade at least, so I should just stop stressing about it. Besides, what’s more important: having a spotless floor, or spending time with your family?
- Resist the fast-food trap. Fast food—it’s fast, it’s convenient, and you also feel like a sack of potatoes after eating it. While I definitely have a couple nights where fast food wins, try to stock up your fridge and freezer with ingredients for easy meals. Something that has been working for me is preparing large meals and then freezing a portion for next week.
- Give your child some undivided attention. Your time is probably one of the most important things you can give someone. Even if you only have an hour to spend with your child, make sure to spend some real quality time together (that means not constantly checking your CrackBerry).
- Don’t feel bad about turning in early. Getting enough sleep is so important if you don’t want to rely on extra-large lattes to get through the day.
After coming home after a long day at work, I’ve come to enjoy the time I have with my family all the more. While I often struggle to get all the things done I want to during the day, my husband said look on the bright side: you get a ten hour break from changing poopy diapers, and the opportunity to actually read a book uninterrupted during your commute to and from work. I suppose there’s always some kind of silver lining.
Fung, T. (2010, August 25). The Balancing Act of a Working Mother, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, February 24 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/theunlockedlife/2010/08/the-balancing-act-of-a-working-mother