Screw Work/Life Balance…Moms need Work/Self Balance!
Whether you are a working mom or a stay at home mom, you know that having children IS work! It can be a job that you love every minute of, but it is still work! I think often times when people talk about achieving that work/life balance, there is more of a focus on balancing their career and social time. A working mom may try to balance their career and family time, but a mom’s individual self gets a little lost in that.
Here are 10 Tips for becoming a Balanced Mom:
Let it go! – Let go of that mama guilt. You are enough. If you are feeling guilty about the amount of time you’re spending at the office, think about why you are working and what it provides for your family. If you are a stay at home mom and are down on yourself because you’re not getting everything on your to-do list done, think about all the moments that you are being present for.
Act a fool! – Don’t think about how you look or being embarrassed. (Children embarrass us enough…we might as well get used to that feeling.) Be silly. Find time to play and creative. Have spontaneous dance parties. Do these things with and without your kids.
Just Keep Swimming – You can’t go full speed 24 hours a day. Even if you could, you probably wouldn’t do everything you wanted to get done. Slow down, prioritize and enjoy the simple moments.
Mary Poppins List – It takes a freakin’ village to raise these tiny people! Make a list of people you feel comfortable leaving your kids with (paid and unpaid). If you don’t have anyone, you can reach out to neighborhood sitters, referrals from local online mom’s groups, a local agency. You can start out by having them come over when you are home and get some things done around the house. When you feel comfortable you can escape out of the house on your own. Have a good friend you feel comfortable with but never take them up on their offer to babysit? Do it!
Dig a Little Deeper – While moms are pretty talented, we have not yet figured out how to be in two places at once. There is only one of you. Sometime you might miss events or not be able to take them to school or go on a field trip or whatever it may be you are having guilt about missing. Make a little video and send it to the person taking care of them to show them. Put a note in their lunch, suitcase, jacket pocket. Just a little something special to let them know you’re thinking of them. If you're far away, write a letter, send a postcard, send a video or an email.
The Circle of Life – Wouldn’t it be amazing to have family time everyone would look forward to? Have some scheduled family time! Maybe a special breakfast, a game night, everyone painting on one canvas. Sometimes it feels impossible to get everyone together for quality time. You can start off by blocking off 30 minutes or a hour.
Whistle While You Work – Stop multitasking! Ok, well don’t completely stop. It is a mommy superpower. Just try to limit distractions and things that waste time. Start by taking 15 minutes to play with them and do nothing else. No checking phone, email, tidying up, no thinking about all the things you need to do. Set a timer if you need to keep yourself from checking your clock. This goes for when you’re at work also. Think about the things you do to procrastinate and start allotting time for those things. Like maybe 10 minutes of Facebook every few hours. Take those notifications saying someone liked a photo off your phone. Start small.
I Want to be Where the People Are – Schedule time with your partner or a friend. Either one person or a group. Think about which one will energize you more. Expand your focus and leave the space for a deeper connection. Don’t talk about schedules, work or the kids. (Or if you’re catching up, put a time limit on the amount of time this will take in the conversation).
Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee – Where is my Me Time! - Read instead of watch a show. Have a show you want to watch? Make a ritual out of it. Get some wine, juice or tea in a fancy cup and good snack. Set it all up nicely so you feel pampered. When you are driving the kids around, play kids music they like while you are listening to a book or podcast. (Sidenote: Books on tape help keep me sane! I use them while walking to work, walking to get lunch, driving to work. I love them! I use Audible and love it, but if you feel like you can’t afford another subscription right now, libraries are starting to have book recordings that you can download online for free!)
I’m Wishing – Find Your Tribe! You are not alone! No matter how much it feels like it sometimes, there are thousands of other moms feeling the same way. If you have a partner you can talk to, do it. Reach out to find others that are in similar situations. There are a lot of groups and alliances both in person and online.
Don’t know where to start? Check out both our Creative Mama and Mindful Mama classes today!
Written by: Morgan Katcher