Tips: How to Balance Working and Parenting
The pandemic has been especially hard on working moms — balancing working with parenting simultaneously, along with some moms having to give up their jobs due to the pandemic. This type of situation can be incredibly difficult, stressful, and challenging for all involved. Below are some ideas that have helped me during these times.
Set Priorities: I have found it helpful to first figure out and set my (our) priorities on how I want to spend my time, along with setting boundaries, on other things, to help ensure that I can actually spend my time the way I set intend.
Outsource: Instead of trying to do everything, and feeling like I have no agency over my time, we figured out a few ways to save time via outsourcing. For example, after becoming fully vaccinated, we hired a house cleaner, which has been life changing. We also continued doing Hello Fresh, which has been so great in saving time with deciding what’s for dinner, along with mixing things up. (Doug does all of our cooking and baking!) So, I have found outsourcing things that you are able, frees up time to be spent in different, more meaningful ways.
Set Realistic Expectations: I soon learned after having Alex, that life would never be the same, in a very good way; however, I also soon learned I had to adjust my expectations about what can get accomplished with a little person in toe. By readjusting expectations, it helps prevents frustration, when I am unable to get my to do list done, which rarely happens these days. I have found more efficient ways to work, knowing, that things take a little longer to get done, and that is okay. And, on days where Alex is home, with no help, I have learned I am not able to get too much done outside of working during her nap. Overall, I know I have become more efficient with my time, which always feels so fleeting these days.
Get Help with your Child/Children: I think this is imperative for working moms to have help with their children in some capacity. We learned this, very well, during this pandemic, that help (or school) is absolutely essential for everyone’s sanity. You can get creative with finding help, depending upon your circumstances. You might consider doing a swap with a friend, that way, you can have dedicated times to get work done. Having help with Alex affords Alex with engagement and enrichment, while freeing us up to work and be productive. I am so grateful for help with Alex!
Make Time for Yourself: This is getting a little easier to do, as Alex gets a little older. I find even just taking a walk outside, by myself, is so refreshing and I come back home feeling rejuvenated. Doug and I try to relieve each other in order give each other breaks and time to exercise, etc. Overall, we have found that this is vital.
Make Time for Rest: Finally, making time to rest is really important, and I did not always feel this way, always pressing on and through, previously. But rest really helps in every aspect of one’s life. You come back to work and life in a better frame of mind from really taking a pause, which also provides a time to reflect.
And, at the end of the day, you can only do your best, which varies, depending upon the day, while developing compassion for yourself.