Being a mum, taking care of the household, and having a successful career sure sounds like a mission impossible, but is that really the case? There’s no denying it’s hard. After all, even stay-at-home mums have trouble handling it all. Now add work to the equation and you’ll understand how complicated it might get. However, numerous successful women showed us that having it all is possible – tackling your career and your family can be a lot of fun if you’re ready for a challenging experience.
First of all, don’t forget that flexible work hours are designed for people with families so don’t hesitate to ask for it if you’ve got the chance. Even before you go on maternity leave, negotiate about it and see if it’s possible for you to take some of the work home, work part-time, or leave the office half an hour earlier to set up a dinner. If you happen to be entrepreneur and work from home, use all the benefits it brings. Organize your time so you can be productive and spend some quality time with your kids in the same day. Some of the work/life integration has to happen and there’s no need to run away from it – just make it work in your favour.
Another problem that mums encounter is when their kids won’t accept the fact that mummy has other things to do now as well, besides taking care of them. That’s completely understandable, especially if you happen to be a stay-at-home mum for a while, but talking to your kids helps. Explain to them what is it that you do and why is that important. Besides your own satisfaction, let your kids know your family will now have more money – for toys, vacations, clothes, etc. Also, be prepared to make compromises. For example, making weekends work-free family time can help your kids feel like they’re not being neglected and thus accept your job better.
Ask any successful mum and they’ll tell you the same thing – any help you can get is precious. So, if house chores can’t make the top of your priority list, hire a cleaner to come help you. The same goes for babysitters and friends or family who can take care of your children while you’re busy. It’s easier for school kids, but the young ones can be enrolled in a program as well and thus make things easier for all of you. For instance, there are good day care centres in Brisbane that offer programs for kids from 6 weeks to 5 years old, so even your baby can be taken care of. Day care centres are not just good for the mummy, but also for the kids – they’ll socialize and learn new skills pretty fast.
Finally, good organisation is crucial, so building teams at work and at home properly can make your life so much easier. Having allies among colleagues at work can help a lot whenever you need a substitute or someone to encourage you, so make sure you maintain your work relationships. At home, your greatest ally can be your husband and, optionally, your nanny or a family member that helps around. Apply the same tactics you use at work and give tasks to everyone – teamwork can never fail if it’s properly organised. The same goes for cleaning – it’s much better to do a quick sweep every night instead of letting the chores pile up for the weekend.
At the end of the day, don’t forget to have some me time, at least occasionally. Practicing self-care will help you go through any stressful period and make you even more ready to meet all challenges working mums can face. Good luck!