Whether you are a working mother who is required to have a career due to your financial situation or you are a career-driven women who craves a job outside of the home, it’s hard to deny the guilt often associated with working while you have young children at home. While some experts would argue that the benefits of a two-parent household outweigh the stresses, working mothers still are faced with the demands of a career combined with the traditional roles wives and mothers serve. So how do working mothers find a balance, and what options do you have to ensure a happy and successful environment for your whole family?
Look into telecommuting.
After the birth of my first child, I worked with my employer to obtain a telecommuting schedule. I now work from home one day a week, saving on nanny fees, commute charges and most importantly, commute time. I actually find myself more productive while at home, as my daughter takes long naps and I get the benefit of a quiet, peaceful home environment to focus on my work, while still being able to take breaks and step outside or throw in a load of laundry.
Consider a flexible work schedule.
After I switched jobs, I decided to coordinate for an earlier start time. My daughter usually sleeps until 7:30, so I never saw her in the morning regardless of whether I left the house at 6:30 or 7:30. I now work from 7:30 – 4:00, allowing me one extra hour in the evening with my daughter, not to mention a shorter commute time due to less traffic.
Know when you need help.
A two-parent working household can be stressful. While many working families cannot afford full-time help such as maids, lawn services and other service luxuries, it is nice to occasionally treat yourself to some extra help. My husband and I do not budget for monthly cleaning services or landscaping help, but occasionally we will call in a vendor to help out when we are feeling overwhelmed. We find it’s worth taking our spending money budget for that week to pay for a service instead of going out, since it gives us more quality time as a family, even if it’s just at home.
Don’t forget to make time for yourself.
As a working mother, you may find yourself feeling guilty for taking time for yourself when it means that you have to take time away from your family. After all, your time with your children is valuable, and many working mothers feel they don’t get enough quality one-on-one time with their children. However, making time for yourself can actually leave you more peaceful and relaxed, making your time with your children even more beneficial. I like to take one or two nights a month to go out with my girlfriends or plan a special date night with my husband. Furthermore, I enjoy writing and take time after my daughter goes to bed or on weekends to write blogs.
Make time for your marriage.
I have talked with several working parents who say that they have gone years without going on a date with their spouse. While it is important to spend quality time with your children, it also is important to nourish your marriage. I’ve always felt that once of the best gifts you can give your children is the example of a loving marriage. Make one-on-one time with your spouse, even if it’s just watching a movie together after the kids go to bed. In the end, your whole family will benefit from the closer bond you feel with your spouse.