Tips for mums trying to juggle work and family life
These days more mums than ever are balancing their careers on top of parenting. However, it can be difficult to find a compromise between work and family responsibilities, especially when trying to keep on top of your physical and mental health. Here are a few tips for mums trying to juggle work and family life, and ways to make both active and healthy.
Compartmentalising your responsibilities makes things much more manageable. Write lists of your different tasks and categorise them by deadline and importance, making sure to diarise important dates. Aside from helping with general organisation, this will also help you separate work from home, enabling you to be fully present in both.
Although you might think exercise is just another task to fit in, maintaining regular exercise is so important as it does wonders for both your physical and mental health – whether it’s fitting in an hour at the gym before or after work, swimming lengths at the pool or going for a quick run. Even just going for a walk during your lunch break is a great way to get a break from your desk, light exercise and fresh air.
Exercise clears your head and keeps you energised for the day, while also helping you stay fit and strong for your children.
Constantly putting out fires can make you feel stretched. To keep things from getting too much, take some time out of your day to reset your brain. There are a number of simple mindfulness techniques you can do when you get a quiet moment at home, during your lunch break or even at your desk. Join a guided group, or use apps like Headspace which are great if you prefer to meditate solo and in your own environment. Visit our other articles for more tips on meditation.
Don’t chase money
While money doesn’t buy happiness, it contributes to things which can make you feel much more secure. Even so, be wary of falling into the trap of thinking our sole purpose in life is paper-chasing. Worrying constantly about money will only make you more anxious and unhappy in the long-term. Time is much more important – your kids are growing up and all the money in the world won’t make up for those special experiences you might otherwise lose out on.
Work out what will be enough to cover your financial needs, plus savings and activities, then focus the rest of your energies on yourself and your family. Again, it’s important to be flexible so that you can adjust to unforeseen circumstances and your family’s needs.
Ask for help
At times it might feel like you have to do everything yourself, but that’s never the case. Work with your partner to come up with a schedule that fits both of you. Talk to your boss if things get overwhelming, and see if you can redistribute your workload. Reach out to friends and family – parenting groups are great and can help with childcare recommendations.
Don’t be afraid to talk to a therapist or counsellor if things get too much.
Make time for yourself
It’s not always easy to carve out that crucial me-time but it has to be done, for the sake of recharging your battery. Meet up with friends, even if it’s just for a quick cup of coffee.
Switch off your brain from screens by reading a book before bed.
Treat yourself when you can, whether it’s taking a bubble bath or doing a hobby you enjoy.
It’s inevitable that your duties will sometimes clash. Sometimes you might have to stay late at work a few nights a week. Or if your child is feeling poorly, you might have to work from home. Focus on things that need your immediate attention but above all, trust your gut and stay flexible. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss out once in a while – bills have to be paid, after all. Make up for it by giving that extra time on the weekend, and being there for your child when it really counts.
Having gone from model to TV-presenter to designer, Emma Willis is a true career-woman. However, the mum-of-three has values she wants her children to learn, and she shares her thoughts on motherhood.
I would like them to know their worth. I want them to be strong in body and mind but also kind and compassionate and caring – I suppose all the things I feel I got from my mum, I hope that they will have got from me and from my mum.”
Emma has just launched her latest collection. Many of the items can help working mums by taking the pressure out of finding items for your work wardrobe. The Emma Willis Collection with Next incorporates smart-casual pieces that allow you to relax while still being office-appropriate. The collection is available online on February 27th and in stores from the 10th March.