Everyone wants to achieve that delicate equilibrium - where you give both work and home life the right amount of your attention and time. But perhaps more than anyone else, mums to young children can find it particularly challenging to strike the right balance.
Do the Pros of Working Post-Baby Outweigh the Cons?
You may have gone back to work because you had to, or because you wanted to. Either way, there’s always a cost for new mums. It can be a no-win situation: If you go to work, you have to sacrifice some of the time you could be spending with your kids. If you stay at home, there’s going to be less money for the household. Decide what is the best option for your family. Perhaps part-time work is the solution to give you some time fulfilling both roles of mum and provider.
If you decide you’re better off working, there are some practical steps you can take to achieve that work life balance. But you’ve got to think about your mindset and your philosophical attitude towards it.
Let Go of Guilt
Some argue that maternal guilt kicks in from the day your baby is born. There’s always something to feel guilty about it seems. Am I doing everything wrong?
Are you feeling like a failure because you don’t have time to cook organic baby food? If so, remember that many kids are going hungry in the world. At least yours have food on the table and a warm bed to sleep in.
Don’t be too hard on yourself for not being supermum whilst holding down a job. Similarly, don’t feel guilty if you arrive at work a few minutes later than your colleagues as you have to fit the school run in. You can always make up the time over lunch. Instead of worrying about the things you don’t do perfectly, give yourself a pat on the back for the juggling that you do achieve.
Accept you Can’t Have it All
The concept of being able to ‘have it all’ is one that leads to frustration. Why? Because it’s a total myth. A myth that, for most of us, is unattainable. The sooner you accept that you’re a human being with limitations, not some demi-god, the happier you’ll be. Forget about what’s missing in your life and focus on the positives. Think about what you have - those fantastic kids and a job that means that you can support them.
Give Yourself a Break
It’s all very well making time for both your family and for work, but work-life balance won’t be complete unless you make some time for yourself too. Many mums feel that having ‘me’ time is a selfish idea, so they do without it. But, if you spend all your time thinking about everyone else, you’ll end up feeling too frazzled to do anything at all. Even if you only have an hour to yourself once or twice a week, you’ll feel the benefit and be a calmer and more relaxed mum.