Survival tips for working moms

I’m a working mom. What I mean by that is I have a job in addition to my job of raising four children. (I’d like to note that all moms “work” – and while they provide tremendous value, they don’t always get paid for it!)

I love being a mom – and I love being a small-business owner. And I’m fortunate that I can work from home so that I really do have flexibility in both areas. But there are times when both are a lot to handle. Some days, I’m not good at either one of my roles – or I’m good at one and not the other. It’s a constant balancing act.

And, one affects the other. For instance, if one of my children goes off to school upset or uneasy, it affects my performance at work. Likewise, if I’m on deadline or have a project on my mind, I’m quick to snap at the kids.

But I’ve gotten better at handling this dual role over the years. I’ve been juggling motherhood and business ownership for 14 years now and there are things I’ve done that have helped alleviate the stress.  Here’s a few of them:

  • Disconnect. I had a Blackberry a few years back and I just couldn’t handle it. I was checking my email constantly when I was with the kids. We’d be at the pool and I’d be checking my email like a fool when I should have been in the pool playing with them. Mind you, I’m not a brain surgeon – most of my work can wait. So I got rid of the Blackberry (and that stupid monthly bill) and I just check my email when I get home. (And if you do have a smart phone and need to get away, check out this post by Brad.)
  • Keep regular hours. It’s good to stick to working hours because otherwise work (or kids) can completely take over. It helps to set this limit. I am particularly productive in the early morning hours before the kids even wake up and before their morning routine wears me down.
  • Get some help. One day I realized that I can’t be Suzy Homemaker and Super Career Woman at the same time. That’s when I realized I needed some help. I have a cleaning service that comes in every two weeks and I try to outsource my work when possible. When I feel flustered I say to myself, ‘What am I doing here?’ and I readjust where needed. 
  • Simplify. There are so many websites out there for busy moms like me. A few of my favorites are flylady.net, skinnyms.com and workingmother.com.
  • Pray. I may be in charge of the family and my business, but I know I’m not in charge. God keeps me in check and provides comfort when I need it.
  • Remember what’s important. Work and family aren’t equally important – my family takes precedence. I work for them and for us. Sometimes I have to remind myself of this.

Whenever I find myself playing the martyr or feeling sorry for myself, I do a reality check. These are the best days of my life, and when my little monkeys are all grown and moved out of the house, I’m going to wish for these days back.

Are you a working mom? How do you manage? What about the dads out there? 

Bridget Ingebrigtsen

Bridget Ingebrigtsen owns Write On Command, a company that provides writing and editing services to businesses and not-for-profits. Bridget describes her six-year stint as Anchor Advisors' writer/editor as being "mutually beneficial" -- she helps Anchor Advisors keep their written projects on track and Anchor Advisors helps her keep her business on track. When she's not running her business, Bridget is running after her four children, two dogs and the latest in entertainment news. Connect with Bridget on Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Comments

  1. Great tips! Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips. I am sure many young moms will get a lot of help from this post.

  2. Great tips! Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips. I am sure many young moms will get a lot of help from this post.

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