7 Tips about Work Life Balance and being a Mum
Work life balance has become more critical than before since we have been going through this pandemic. As remote work has gained more importance to keep the ground running, it has become more significant to find work life balance. This is quite challenging for a working woman to manage both worlds i.e., work and home.
I myself had to put an extra effort to balance out this equation while having three kids, with one having Autism. Personally, I was always juggling between different priorities between kids and work. Home learning has added more to it and it has made it difficult to gather personal sanity. This stress and juggling between priorities have caused much stress on everyone specially a working mum and impacted our mental health.
There is no harm if you are finding it hard to get things accomplished. It is perfectly fine if you are unable to complete any of your scheduled tasks. All the days are not the same as some days you are productive while others are not. There are times when you feel frustrated with work and home both.
In this article, I have discussed a few tips and tricks based on my experience where a mum can navigate through these challenges. The key thing here is that whatever happens, you need to keep your sanity intact. You can start with planning your day and structure it in a way that the tasks are achievable and
having a good balance between your rest time slots. For this purpose, you can use digital planners or start writing a diary for a daily schedule. There are so many free apps and software available in the market which can help you plan your day.
Here are a few of my thoughts to share which might give you some great control to manage work-life balance.
1. Use digital planners/diaries or calendars
As technology is playing an important role in our life, it is also evident that some of the digital planning apps are making a difference in setting your daily routine. Reminders, schedulers, and inter-connectivity between apps has made things easier and manageable. For example, a software called “Microsoft To-do” helps me plan my day. On the other hand, I also use a calendar hanging right on my kitchen wall, which helps me schedule the week with important appointments. In this way, you are on top of your routine rather than being reactive to whatever event comes.
2. Priorities your work and home responsibilities
Not everything we do on a daily basis is urgent or important. There are things which can be postponed and there are a few things which are supposed to happen on the day they are planned for. For example, paying the electricity bill has a set deadline which you should not forget and your planner should help you plan this task. Contrary to this, you can skip a family movie every weekend as the impact is not that high. For every mum, it is very important to set priorities for every day and week so Urgent-Important tasks take place first in the queue. Also, mums with kids should also keep some buffer in managing emergency events or incidents.
3. Plan ahead your weekly meals & groceries
If you are aware of the needs of your family, then it is really easy for you to manage your weekly menu while keeping your budget in line. Choose a day in a week, plan the menu for the next week and do the groceries accordingly. Freeze and pre-cook the food if you need, over the weekend to support your week day routine. It definitely helps you even get sorted for the lunchbox snacks/meals for the kids on a daily basis.
4. Keep track of upcoming appointments
Being a working mum, it is always helpful to keep the upcoming appointments recorded in your plans and digital diaries with reminders. Managing kids is a difficult task and keeping yourself on top of all the medical, school and work-related appointments is quite challenging. I would suggest having only one calendar management software which can serve the purpose for your work and home related appointments, so only look at once central space to schedule your days.
5. Keep mindfulness alive
Mindfulness in such a difficult time should be one of our top priorities. Work dynamics have changed so the world around us has also changed since this pandemic happened. Mindfulness is quite important for a working mum, especially when the days are crazy with work load. To ease things on us and to get rid of any stress, mindfulness exercises are important to reflect on your daily routine. Write a journal, do some yoga, do some paint brush or have a walk to keep your sanity intact.
6. Allocate some “Me” time
In such a busy routine, taking time for yourself is hugely important. It impacts positively on your mental health and can improve your energies to hit the next goal. Sometimes having a short nap during the day would be quite positive. In the morning, giving yourself ten minutes would be a great idea before starting a hectic day. Have some me time, watch a movie, make a meal, go out with your family or friends or colleagues. Do some cardio, keep your body active, have some dance routine just to relax with the soothing music.
7. Seek help when you need it
Humans are not robots, even robots need maintenance. Whenever you feel that you are overburdened with the day-to-day routine and it is making you crazy, seek help before you impact your mental health. Shout out if you are struggling to get something sorted. Seek help for daily house chores routine from your family and friends. It is a great opportunity to get yourself engaged with your loved ones and learn from each other’s experiences. Sometimes connecting with your community to seek help with something could also be a great thought.
8. Plan your holidays
Holidays bring exciting times for a family. Being a mother, you might get stressed out with all the planning and preparations for travel etc. It is always important to plan things ahead, do necessary shopping for the family ahead of travel, if required and plan your travel destinations in advance. You always feel less stressed and accomplished when you have sorted half of your routine by planning your work and holidays already. Also, it is budget friendly which gives you extra satisfaction.
All these tips and tricks are practically workable and do have results. I personally try to work and plan my life accordingly. It is a proven fact that you cannot find and achieve perfection in everything you do but learning and improving based on your experiences would make the difference.
Amna is a busy working mum of 3 children, one of whom has special needs. She is also skilled in graphic design and video editing and has a love of food and family. Check her food videos out on Youtube!