I knew that I wanted to return to work full time after my maternity leave was over. I knew I had to at least try it, before I decided to change my career or schedule. Before returning, I put together a list of goals and ‘routines’ I wanted to make sure we stuck to as a family, to make the transition easier and to maintain balance.
Here’s my advice for the balancing act that is being a full time working mom:
1 – Weekends = family time
This is something I had discussed with my husband, and made sure we were on the same page. Weekends are all about Max and spending time with him. Before Max, it seemed like we had a wedding, graduation party, birthday party or some kind of commitment every weekend. Mike and I loved doing this kind of stuff, but it is 10x harder fulfilling these commitments with a baby. So, I just don’t commit, especially if it’s not a family event where all of us can attend. Instead we try to plan something fun each weekend, even if it’s just a stroll up town or to the park, for two on one time with Max.
2 – Unplug for family dinners
Growing up, my parents and I ate dinner together every single night, and I want to continue that tradition for my family. We turn off the TV and there is a ‘no cell phone’ rule. Mike and I discuss our days and soon Max will be old enough to tell us about his day (right now, he just listens :).
3 – Set expectations at work (when possible)
I don’t work a standard 9-5 job. I travel for work and have flexible hours. Since I live 30+ minutes away from work, I talked to my manager and team about leaving the office before rush hour, to give me enough time to pick up Max and spend time with him once we’re home, before bed. This is not feasible 100% of the time, but mostly, it works. I was really nervous about rush hour traffic making me late, and only spending a few minutes with him before bedtime. Now, we get playtime, dinner, bath, and story time before bed. If I have to finish up work and check email, I do it after Max is in bed.
4 – Delegate & outsource when you can
We are all super moms, but not even super moms can do it ALL. Don’t let social media posts about a mom doing it all make you feel like you aren’t doing enough. Do your best and don’t overcommit. Don’t feel bad asking for help, either. Have a neighbor kid shovel snow so you can spend more time with your family. Pay for a precooked meal a few nights so you don’t have to spend time prepping. It’s not cutting corners, its prioritizing family (if you are struggling to fit it in).
5 – It’s okay to say ‘no’
You can’t do everything. I’ve said ‘no’ to work team dinners, happy hours, birthday parties, etc., not because I had to or couldn’t find someone to watch Max, but I just didn’t want to go. If I’ve been traveling for work the last thing I want to do is leave Max on a weekend night. And in the past year and half, everyone I’ve had to say ‘no’ to has been totally understanding.
This post is part of a blog hop where a group of bloggers are all sharing on similar topics (Working Mom, How to Balance). To find more inspiration, check out these awesome blogs:
Daily Momtivity (http://dailymomtivity.com)
The Buccio Clan (www.thebuccioclan.com)
Peaches and Pickles (www.peachesandpickles.org)
Simple at Home (Simpleathome.com)
Sara B Nash (http://www.sarabnash.com)
Craft Create Calm (Http://www.craftcreatecalm.com)
Multitasking Mom (http://www.themultitaskingmomsite.net)
Home Maid Simple (http://homemadesimple.com)
Sweet Discord (http://www.sweetdiscord.com)
Smart Mom, Smart Ideas (http://smartmomsmartideas.com)
Misty Shaheen (http://mistyshaheen.com)
Suzi Whitford (http://www.startamomblog.com)
Faunya Estrada (http://thisismethenblog.blogspot.com)