My friend, Rene Syler at Good Enough Mother has a terrific posting this morning on achieving a Work-Life Balance.
Most of us working moms know that managing a full-time job outside the home as well as a family is a challenging task if ever there was one. This is especially the case in this day and age where the workday continues long past 5pm.
Yes, as many of us have realized, we’re “on-call” more than we planned to be these days. With technology allowing employers access to employees 24/7, it’s harder than ever to achieve the proverbial “work-life balance.”
That said, there are some tips and tricks that we can use to ease the burden somewhat and allow us to have that much-needed balance and maybe, just maybe, a little bit of “me time.”
Following are 10 things you can do to make your life easier, Good Enough Mother style!
1) Get Help – Stat! – Use your resources, whomever they may be. If it means calling up the babysitter, a trusted neighbor or friend, grandma or grandpa, do so! You deserve a break, after all, working outside the home, with kids, is a difficult job in and of itself. Call out the proverbial guards and give yourself a break…or at least some support. You deserve it!
2) Be Selfish – It’s okay to say “no” or to turn down yet another invitation or social commitment that you may feel pressure to attend. You more than anyone know how effort it requires to carve out yet more time for an event – work-related or otherwise. If you have to go for work’s sake, then do what you need to do, but if that child-free friend of yours continues to ask you out for drinks every Friday, explain the lay of the land to her, that you really need some time off and that your schedule just won’t allow it. And don’t feel bad in telling her so, either.
3) Be Lazy – Yes, I Said “Lazy” – Do you feel like watching Survivor and not parenting on a particular night? Then go ahead and do it. Ignore the laundry – really. If you don’t feel like being the “perfect parent” with activities and crafts planned for your children after enduring a long and stressful day at work, it’s okay, really, it is. Kick back, put your feet up and invite your kids to watch your favorite show with you…so that you can relax. While you’re at it, pour yourself a glass (or two) of wine. Or tea. Or whatever you darn well feel like.
4) Plan And Purge – A key to being organized is planning ahead, and nowhere is it more evident than with parenting (moms – can I get a “shout out” for this?). As much as you can do the night before or on the weekends for your families, do it. You’ll thank yourself in the morning when you are dealing with yet another meltdown or wardrobe malfunction by your five-year-old…or yourself. Purge? What I mean is get rid of the clutter in your house as best you can. It only adds to your stress and feelings of being overwhelmed.
5) Let It Go – It doesn’t really matter if your house looks perfect, or that there are a couple of piles of laundry pending. So what? You can only do so much. Take the stress off of yourself and do only what has to be done, at least while things are crazy at work and/or you have smaller children. Your current situation, like everything else, will pass, and one day things will get better, I promise. In the mean time, use that extra time that you save for yourself, whether it’s to soak in a bubble bath, read a book or sleep!
For the other five great ideas, go see the Guest Posting: 10 Ways To Achieve a Work-Life Balance