Working Mom: Is there such thing as work-life balance? (Plus, some tips on how to do both)
Since I started working, I don’t know how I could balance my life as a mom and as a person working in the corporate world. I’m a banker but I work in the night shift serving our clients in the United States so I go to work during my child’s bedtime and arrive home when he’s awake.
I need to cook meals for my family because I don’t want to offer them processed foods ( T just had shockwave therapy for his kidney stones), so I need to cook real food, have some time for groceries, write a blog post, play with my son and take care of myself.
A lot of things I have to do every single day and I have no idea how to fit them all in my 24 hours and still get the sleep that I needed.
After I gave birth, I stayed home for almost 2 years and because of that, I have all the time in the world to do my chores.
But everything changed when I started to return to the workforce.
I’m all for planning so I tried to plan everything in my planner and on my phone calendar, I set up all types of alarms and reminders. But still, it doesn’t really match up to my expectation of work-life balance.
Then I realized, there’s no such thing as 100% balance for being a working mom. Expecting a 100% work-life balance sets you up for failure. It’s a dream. Just a dream.
I personally wish for a 50/50 work-life balance as well, but I know that reality is: when you’re stuck with traffic, you think of what you have to cook and then your sitter texts you that there are no more diapers and you’re baby has been crying all night.
You shuffle. And it’s never gonna get easier.
I found out that even if a work-life balance is impossible, I can try to work with everything and BLEND. I call it “work-life blending.”
According to the dictionary:
1. a: to mingle intimately or unobtrusively
b: to combine into an integrated whole
2. : to produce a harmonious effect
The keyword there is “harmonious.”
Instead of trying to schedule everything and get stressed when you can’t follow what’s on schedule or what’s on the meal plan, try to just work with what is in the present and try to harmoniously incorporate them with your everyday routine.
What do I really have to do so I can blend mom life with my busy and tiring schedule?
Write it out
I have come to realize that using your pen and paper in writing your plans and tasks makes it more realistic than keeping it in the notes section of your phone. Of course, to each his own.
But it never hurts to try.
It is also a great way to help release stress. I usually write in my notebook or journal but sometimes when I think of something on a bus or when I’m outside, I jot it down in my phone’s notes.
If you are forgetful like me (hello mommy brain!), try to plot everything in bullets. That way, whatever is in your mind, you can put it there without even organizing yet and just releasing those thoughts.
It also helps to write an hourly schedule if that works for you so you will remember what needs to be done during this time. It will also guide you to remember stuff as well.
Try to review your schedule when you’re stuck in the traffic, that way you will never forget that grocery you need to pick up as soon as you get off the bus.
Sometimes, a meal plan can take a lot of your time in a day but having a meal plan will help you a lot with the grocery list. Once you know what to cook for the entire week, write down all the ingredients you need in your grocery list, that way when you’re on your way to the supermarket, you won’t forget a thing.
Doing this helped me know what’s still on the fridge and what needs to be bought. Plus it lessens my time thinking every single day about what to cook because I just have to look over my notepad or notebook and I already know what to serve for the day.
I also don’t need to think about a lot of variety because I only cook breakfast – which is mainly simple frying like eggs, hotdogs, tocino and the like – And lunch and dinner, usually just one viand and I make sure it lasts up until dinner. It saves time, saves money and saves stress instead of thinking about what to cook for dinner.
Also, do not be guilty ordering takeout. I admit, it may not be so good in the budget but it saves my sanity to order food through Grabfood once in a while.
When sometimes I mess up my meal plan, we order food through Grabfood in which I can browse through restaurants and fast foods’ menu and just wait for roughly half an hour to have food delivered and voila, we have something to eat.
It doesn’t have to be a perfect meal plan but you have to work on whatever works for you and your family. That meal plan doesn’t really have to include all home-cooked meals but takeout is acceptable as well.
As a working mom, sometimes, we have the tendency to want to prove ourselves with our family that we wanted to do things all on our own. But if you wanted to blend and balance your working life and mom life, you need to get help as much as possible.
Though my partner is not much into household chores before -lately he’s been trying – I try to give some commands to him on what to do just to remind him.
Plus our house-help doesn’t just take care of my son, he also helps out with the dishes when we dont have time to do it. She also helps with tidying up our bedroom and washroom as well.
Never be afraid to ask for help. It doesn’t make you a bad mom, it makes you a smart one.
If doing laundry on your own works for you, then good. But I found out that It’s more efficient for me to have our clothes washed in the laundry shop than doing it on my own. It takes a lot of my time and energy which I am saving for more important things.
Lately, there are apps that offer home services to help you with household chores, which is best for working moms like us. I haven’t tried it yet though but you might want to check it out.
One example is the MyKuya App. According to their website, MyKuya is #YourHelpingHandOnDemand, providing access to trained and quality Partners to help you complete your daily tasks. Or the Happy Helpers PH, they help clean your home when you had construction done, you just moved in or when you just feel too lazy to get things done (which happens most of the time).
Don’t spend too much time on social media.
The moment I removed social media from my life, I had more time to cook and play with my son.
Because let’s be honest, social media takes a lot of your time if you dont manage it. You sit down and open facebook and you never noticed an hour pass by and you did nothing.
I literally uninstalled facebook, and twitter. I try to just manage my blogs facebook page through my laptop which I dont spend a lot of time because my back hurts.
I try to link my blog to facebook so It automatically posts there whenever a blog post is up. With Instagram, I am currently taking a break and I have deactivated my account for a week now and so far it’s doing well.
Try to spend your time more on playing with your kids or doing something more productive than staring at your phone. Unless of course, you do business with facebook and Instagram then that would be a must. But still, try to schedule.
Try to do social media detox as often as possible. Here’s how you can start doing it.
- Deactivate your accounts.
- Uninstall social media apps that take much of your time.
- Replace social media by doing household chores or spend more time with your kids.
- Have a daily routine you have to strictly follow.
One secret in blending your work life and mom life as a working mom is knowing what your priorities are. In your to-do list, try to put on the top of your list your priorities and tackle them first before doing anything else.
Try not to multitask because the more you multitask the more you get tired the more you forget about a lot of stuff. It appears that multitasking drops our productivity level because our brain can only focus so much.
Kids love a working mom but your kids will love you more if you’re focused on them. Plus, you’ll get great work on your job and your boss will appreciate you if you’re focused.
We gotta do what we have to do. It doesn’t have to be 100% perfect or 50/50 balanced. We just do the best we can. It’s all we can do.
How about you? Do you work at home? Or do you work outside the home? How do you manage it? I’d love to hear some more tips.