Friday, February 25, 2011

Balance Between Motherhood and Work

Trying To Balance Motherhood and Work,

Very often I am asked, how can you do it, working while being a committed mother at all times, which brings me to this post. Balancing a career with motherhood may feel like an impossible task. On one hand, you have all the demands of a challenging career, and on the other, you have the pull of young children at home who need your love and care. It may seem like an unattainable dream to do well in one area of your life without sacrificing the other. While it isn't always easy, you can make several adjustments in your life to achieve a better balance with your career and motherhood. I have had my times where I do fall of my path and let stress get the best of me, but as I proceed with trying to live, in each way possible a stress free life, I have put a little something together for you to not only balance your self but to cherish every special milestone in your life as well as you child's life.

I have had at times have to sit and refer back to my original plan, written by me a few years ago. (yes I keep journals in which i write as much as i can and then look back to, when my life is out of whack).

What I first had to do as a single career mother and now a married career mother was, refer back to my steps in balancing my life from years ago, in which I titled it The life of a single mother. Getting organized at home and on the job is not an easy thing , you will feel less frazzled if everything is in its place and you are not wasting valuable time searching for things that include the diaper bag, your keys or the report that is due. Use a master calendar and record every doctor appointment, play date, school activities, sports and important business meeting so you know what is coming up. Before going to bed each night, see what you have in store for the next day and set out everything you need. I until today i still think of what I am going to wear the next day and I have to lay it out on my bedroom couch. Develop consistent routines for before and after work to keep everything going smoothly and stress free.

Enlist help from your spouse, family members or paid help. I had a nanny name Gilda, at the time her help was a blessing from god although I paid her it really did change the stress and the run around with my small children at the time. The one thing I learned was to not expect others to know how i was feeling in my case overwhelmed. always try to communicate your feelings and ask your husband to assist or trade off certain parenting duties, I have learned and know that we live in an ERA where dads are very much involved then back in the grandmother days. Family members might be thrilled for the chance to spend time with your children to help care for them and give you a break. You may also eliminate stress by paying someone to clean your house or take care of chores.

My number ONE problem was that I thought I could of done it all my self, mother, career, work and being a single at the time... Today I tell you to set realistic expectations. Realize that you are only human and you cannot give 150 percent at home and on the job without burning yourself out. Focus your greatest efforts on the important things and allow yourself to do the best you can with the rest. Working for Corp world, can really take you off your path in life, at one point I thought I had to give my all and all to work, and for a few instances work turned to almost be priority number one since this was my only way of survival, but today I can really write that working for the corp world taught me how important my family and my children are to me, and how I will never make anything or anyone other than my family priority number 1.

Most important and what I still try to correct these days is maintaing the separation
between work time and parenting time. Today I tell you , try to avoid worrying about the home issues or kids while you are at work, and worrying about work responsibilities while you're at home. If you work at home, work in an area of your house that is quiet and away from the busy areas, such as the kitchen and living room. When you are spending time with the kids, focus solely on them without trying to multitask and work at the same time.

My advise to you, and the one thing that I never stopped doing and learned to do thanks to my OBGYN was to take care of yourself. It may sound easier said than done, but with the demands of a career and motherhood, you have to make time to keep yourself well rested and at some point healthy, although I can not sit here and say I eat healthy, but at some points and currently i try, specially to work out and improve my eating. Try scheduling a few single days or half days of vacation every few months and spend time doing something you enjoy. Hire a sitter every now and then to watch the kids on a weekend so you can have a date night, or evening out with the girls, depending on your age a club night would not hurt, join a book club with friends or family. Eat healthy foods, and try to get a good night's sleep every evening or at least every other day, I know it gets hard depending on your child's age.

Consider an alternative work schedule if you can, I didn't have this option but i always thought it would of been nice. If you find your current position is too demanding to strike a good balance with motherhood and your career, evaluate your options. Your present employer may be willing to allow you to work a few days from home or work reduced hours, with all the layoffs going on this might be an option your company may have. You may also find a different company with a shorter commute or hours that are more flexible that would make it easier to balance your work and home life, although I do not recommend for you to go and quit your job right now but try to work something out carefully, as you all know jobs are not easy to come by these days.

All in all, family is very important cherish and take care of it, remember moms, soon enough are kids will be grown and on their own, we must enjoy now. Your priority is your family time. My kids have made me a strong women today with out them, I think I would off never known how strong and willing I am. Bran and Liz, muah.


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