As a full-time working mom to a nine-month-old, I understand just how hard it is to juggle both the role of career woman, wife, mom and still find that much-needed 'me time'. I recently entered a Half Iron Man triathlon, which means that any spare time I thought I didn’t have has completely vanished.
Last night, my baby came down with a tummy bug and in-between cleaning sheets and rocking his tiny sweaty body to sleep I was furiously emailing a colleague trying to sort out a work crisis.
The result of an all-nighter with a sick baby and work stress has left me both physically an emotionally drained today, and instead of feeling like Superwoman, I feel run down and exhausted.
So what do I do? How can we do it all, and be it all, without feeling like we have nothing left for ourselves? I’ve outlined a few tips which may come in handy next time you’re battling the same guilt that all working moms go through.
- Be kind to yourself. It’s perfectly okay to be human. Everyone around you is, and it’s amazing how empathetic most companies can be. Family responsibility leave is there for a reason, so don’t be afraid to use it.
- Map out your life. Just as you would a working day, divide your life into sections dedicated to motherhood, your spouse, family and health. Make sure you leave a big ‘you’ sized piece in there as well. Sometimes getting your nails done or popping out to gym for an hour is all the therapy you need.
- Ask for help. He’s a husband, not a babysitter, so ensure the responsibility is split 50/50. When friends or family members offer to babysit, say yes. Reach out to people around you and never feel guilty for needing some time off.
- Embrace technology. Online grocery and gift shopping can save hours and can mean the difference between a frantic 19:00 grocery shop and a meal time spent with family.
- Push for flexi time. Chat to your company and see if you can shift working hours around to avoid peak-hour traffic scenarios. Work from home when possible and avoid over-committing yourself on too many occasions. Just because you feel like you’re doing it all, doesn’t mean you have to!
At the end of the day, just know that you are doing the best job you can, and that your child is going to grow up respecting you as their mom. You’re doing brilliantly, so go easy on yourself.
By Kate Kearney