Let’s face it: it is hard to be a working mom. Between juggling a career and being there for your kids, there often isn’t any time left in the day for working moms to decompress or relax at all. For many mothers, trying to work full time while being a mom can be stressful, anxious, and strain their relationships with their romantic partners, their boss, or their children.
However, working moms should know that it doesn’t have to be this way. Many traditional social expectations and constructs around women have led to an unfair Catch-22 in which working moms are simultaneously shamed for not giving their all to their careers and neglecting their children.
Fortunately, as conversations about gender and relationship norms begin to deconstruct and break down these unfair expectations, working moms today are in a much better place to deal with the difficulties of their situation. Here are five tips for how to work full time and be a mom.
Let Your Partner Help You
One of the most important parts of both relationships and working as a mom is ensuring that your relationship is a partnership. If you are raising your child with a partner and you both work, your childcare duties should be divided equally, no matter what gender your partner identifies with.
If you feel that your partner isn’t doing their fair share in taking care of your children, don’t be afraid to sit down with them and have a conversation about it. Tell your partner about your situation and struggles, and talk about how you can work together to make it easier for both of you. You shouldn’t ever feel bad about telling your partner about your needs or asking them to take on a fairer share of the work you both have to do at home.
Let Go Of The Guilt
Speaking of not feeling bad, many working moms often feel incredibly guilty for spending time away from their children, or even asking their partner to just do their fair share. This feeling of guilt is fairly common among working mothers, as women are often taught from a young age that they have a stronger responsibility to their families and children.
It’s important that working moms are able to recognize that this isn’t true, and let go of any feelings of guilt or shame for trying to have a career while being a mom. You should also trust your partner to be a good parent when you’re away. If you have concerns, let your partner know and work together so that they can be a better parent too.
Find Child Care Services
Another way working moms can help to relieve the pressure and stress they feel is by taking advantage of childcare services available to them. Many states in the U.S. have subsidized child care services that can help with the financial burden of paying for childcare. You can also find child care services available in locations you might otherwise not expect.
If you work out or go to the gym often, you may be surprised to know that there are many gyms with daycares. Don’t be afraid to leave your children with a daycare service. However, be sure to find one that you trust, to make sure that your child will be well cared for and that you’ll have some peace of mind during the day.
Use Time Savers
Time-saving techniques can also help you to free up your day and find more time to spend either for yourself or with loved ones. Services like online grocery shopping or other food delivery services can free up a huge chunk of the time you and your partner normally spend shopping for groceries and other products.
You can also try to schedule conference calls while you’re taking the train or in the car on the way to work (just be sure to use handsfree call technology if you’re in the car.) Additionally, planning ahead can help you carve out time that you might otherwise waste trying to make decisions. Pick out your outfits and pack a lunch the night before, so you don’t have to worry about it in the morning.
Talk To Your Boss
Finally, you should never be afraid to talk to your boss if you’re starting to feel overwhelmed. In fact, maintaining open communications with your boss is integral to building a positive workplace relationship while being a mom. It’s important that your boss is aware that you have a child and may need to leave during the middle of the day in case your child is sick or has an appointment and your partner is unable to step away to accompany them.
Don’t think this makes you a less valuable employee, either. Most employers recognize how dedicated working moms are, and will be understanding if you need to leave during an emergency. Regardless of how you approach your methods in balancing your career and being a mother, however, it’s important to recognize your hard work and worth. By following these five tips, you can ideally achieve that work-life balance you deserve.