by Jen McKenzie
Being a mom may be a full-time job, but it’s not the only full-time job a lot of us moms have. It’s not the 1950s anymore — it’s totally okay to have a family AND an awesome career you love, no matter what corporate America might tell you. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find the balance between being a full-time mom and a working mom. What can you do to help you have it all and find that perfect balance?
Don’t Leave Your Kid At Home
We don’t mean you should literally bring your kids to work, but don’t try to forget about that part of your life while you’re in the office. You’re a mom — there’s no reason you should keep your work life and mom life separate. Bring pictures, talk about your little one’s achievements and first steps, and let everyone know your children are a huge part of your life.
It’s not just for your coworkers — it’s a reminder of why you’re getting up and leaving the house every day. Remember that episode of The Simpsons where Homer turned the “Don’t Forget, You’re Here Forever” sign into one that said “Do It For Her,” with pictures of his daughter? Same concept. Even if you aren’t there forever, having pictures of your kids around is great motivation.
Ask For Help
Even if you’ve got dad or a partner around to help you with the kids, it’s not always easy to find that work life balance — you’ve got work deadlines to worry about in addition to childcare expenses and worrying about taking a sick day if your son or daughter comes down with the flu. Why not ask for a little help?
Hiring an au pair can be a great way to manage childcare. If you’re not familiar with the term, an au pair is a trained, experienced childcare professional who works for you as a live-in nanny, usually from another country. Au pairs are usually between the ages of 18 and 26 and come from countries all over the world. Hiring one might seem like something only the wealthy can afford, but when you break down the costs, an au pair is both less expensive than traditional childcare and much more flexible.
This is a two-part step. First, focus on connecting with your children, especially during play time. No matter how tired you are, don’t disconnect from the world (but yes maybe you should from your devices) when you get home. Actively play with your kids — it won’t be too long before they’re too old to want playtime with Mommy anymore or all they’ll want to do is play Candy Crush on their (your) phones. Enjoy playtime as long as you can — it won’t last forever.
The second part of this step is to connect with other people — specifically, other working moms. There’s no better place to get support or find a shoulder to cry on if necessary than by connecting with other women who are going through the same trials and tribulations as you. Whether you’re worried about a fever or fighting for a promotion at work, you’ll find someone who’s been having the same doubts and making the same decisions.
Take The Time To Cry
In the working world, crying or even displaying emotion is frowned upon. It’s seen as a sign of weakness — especially for women — and we worry about showing emotion because we think it could damage our standing or prevent a promotion.
Crying is important. From a scientific standpoint, it helps to release toxic emotions and stress, acting as a physical manifestation of our emotions. From an emotional standpoint, it allows us to get in touch with our feelings and deal with them in a healthy manner. Bottling everything up is a quick route to a nervous breakdown — and that doesn’t make for a healthy mommy.
If you feel like you need to cry at work, do it. If you need to cry at home, do that too. Don’t let anyone tell you your emotions aren’t valid. Being a mom is a hard job. Being a full-time working mom is even harder.
You may never find the perfect balance between being a full-time working mom and just being a mom, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t try. Like we said — it’s not the 50s anymore. If you want to keep working after you’ve had a kid or you don’t want to wait to start your family until after your career is established, you can make both work.
Enjoy being a mom and building your ideal career. Not only does it set you up to live a fulfilling life — it enables you to provide for your children and give them the lives they deserve.
How do you find the truest of work life balance? Are you a WAHM (work at home mom or dad) or just trying to find that familial and professional balance? We want to hear your story! Share it below!
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