Not all Mum’s are career minded but whilst some prefer to stay at home, more and more parents are determined to juggle a career with a busy family life – and the good news is – it’s not impossible!
If that sounds like you then the first hurdle is to not feel guilty about wanting to get back to work. Whilst trips to the park and changing nappies might cut it for some Mums, for others it’s a total nightmare. So if you want to work – do it! Added to this you’ll be earning extra money to spend on the family and you’ll most likely find that the time you do spend with your child, or children, will be a lot more rewarding.
So, how to achieve that perfect work/life balance?!
Firstly it’s all in the preparation!
Do as much as you possibly can the night before and this includes getting both yourself and the kids ready for the following day. Ideally have outfits hanging on the door and ready to go, lunches packed and school bags ready (complete with any homework!).
Always, always, check school bags for notes so that you don’t fall victim to any last minute surprises just as you’re walking through the door (“Mum … I DID tell you it was story book day!”) and always check the school diary. If your child or children are a little older then also get them to take a bit of responsibility e.g. by putting their uniform out or putting their lunches into school bags. It’s all about routine and teamwork.
As far as possible, get yourself a little ‘support group’. By this, we mean emergency child care and where finances allow, a little help around the home. Whilst you should never feel guilty about an untidy home, it’s always nice to relax of an evening without having to do any housework so why not price up a cleaner and perhaps one who’s also happy to help with other mundane tasks such as loading the dishwasher, hanging the washing out and doing the ironing? Most cleaning companies are happy to do this so be sure to shop around.
Another deal breaker to save on time is online shopping. Most supermarkets do it and can either deliver or offer a collection service from wherever suits you best. This definitely saves on the drama of taking younger children round a supermarket, spending extra money on bribes and having to lug all the shopping home amid car seats and buggies. What’s more you can also plan your weekly meals ahead and if you’re super-efficient even prepare them for the freezer!
Perhaps most importantly, if you’re a busy working mum then it’s absolutely imperative you draw a very clear line between your work and family life. This works both ways. You don’t want to be sat in a boardroom drawing up your weekly shopping list; nor do you want to be sat at home hogging the laptop to meet an important deadline. If you need to work late then so be it – but make sure it stays in the office and doesn’t affect that precious time spent with family. You need to completely switch off and enjoy what you work for.
Kids grow up too fast as it is so make sure you are not in the office and missing out on the good times!