Working Moms: How to Meet the Challenges of Today
Going back to work after having a child can be challenging. Even if you’ve expected to go back to work since before you were pregnant, shifting gears from full-time mother to career person definitely has its ups and downs. Finding that healthy balance between family life and your career can sometimes feel like a quest for the Holy Grail, even for those of us who have been back to work for awhile. In this article we’re going to talk about some easy ways that you can take advantage of the resources available to you to help you meet those challenges.
Know your benefits. Many companies cater to their working mom workforce with added family-friendly benefits. It’s important that you know them, so you can take full advantage of them. Whether it’s a truncated work week or extended leave for family emergencies, you should know what steps your company has given you to improve your work life. Your company may be as invested in improving your career as you are, and they have a vested interest in increasing your productivity and loyalty at the same time. The other reason why you should know your benefits is because they may offer some great stress-cutting options, and stress is one of the biggest byproducts of being a working mother.
Shift the paradigm. A popular myth is that working mothers can have a healthy and happy homelife and a successful career simultaneously; that we can do both perfectly 100% of the time. The fact of the matter is that we have a limited amount of energy as human beings, so we must pick and choose where to direct those energies and take care of ourselves. Otherwise we end up rundown and our health is at risk. Save yourself excess stress and don’t expect to be Wonder Woman every day. Instead, prioritize, focus and accept that something may slip through the cracks. It’s ok. You can pick up those things tomorrow.
Find a way to unplug. With the technological advances of smartphones and wireless devices, it’s possible for someone to stay connected all the time. However, the key to quality performance at the office and at home is to be present. Your children and your spouse or partner need your attention when you’re home, and giving them that will enhance the quality of your shared time together.
Care for yourself. Moments of quiet, of stillness, are also crucial to your well-being. Time to yourself shouldn’t be a once-in-awhile occurrence. Whether it’s time alone with a book, a walk in the park or an hour of pampering at the salon, working mothers need time to nurture themselves just as they do for their loved ones. Self-care can take many forms. What’s important is that you take the time to care for yourself. Studies show that those moments of calm and reflection have many benefits, not just for your health.
Having a successful career and a happy homelife aren’t mutually exclusive, but it’s impossible to do both perfectly 100% of the time, day in and day out. Once you make peace with that you can start looking for practical ways to cut through the stress to be the best mother and employee that you can be.
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