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How Working Moms Can Balance Work, Family, and Self-Care

A mother hugging her daughter, trying to balance work, family, and self-care.
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Mothers who must work in today's society face unique challenges. Working mothers have a difficult choice. It often feels as if they must choose between their careers and their families. Having your efforts as a mother or worker go unappreciated because you aren't seen as giving 100% may be draining and frustrating. However, that's not how things have to be. If you can strike the right balance in your life, being a mother and working full-time is achievable and highly rewarding. Here are our favorite tips for working mothers who want to balance work, family, and self-care.

Set priorities

The bedrock of a well-balanced existence is a set of priorities that reflect professional and personal needs. Once you have settled on a "work-life balance" definition that works for you, you can establish your priorities.

Determine what's most important to you depending on where you are, your family, your hopes and ambitions, and your challenges. That is especially important if you transition back to work after having a baby. If you want to make a gourmet meal for your family every night, you

probably shouldn’t select a job that requires you to travel several times a month. No matter how hard you try, you can't be in two places simultaneously.

Similarly, you should probably put off starting a huge project if you've recently taken on a new job or gotten a promotion. You can achieve both goals but trying to do them at the same time can put a lot of strain on you and your family. What will the emotional, physical, and mental cost be? Figure out what you value most at this juncture in your life. Consider the many balls you are trying to juggle. Which of these is most important to you? Specific projects you take on will be directed by these goals and should make it easier to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Practice self-care

Most moms have to make concessions to keep their homes and careers running smoothly. There are only 24 hours in a day and it never seems to be enough time to do it all! They make some sacrifices, whether it is giving up hours of sleep, work, or other domestic responsibilities. They often opt for forgoing meals which affects how moms are able to show up in other areas of their lives.

Sure, you skipped lunch to complete more work tasks but now you’re feeling grumpy with low energy. Taking a little break periodically during the day might benefit your mental health. A happy mom is a good mom. Your personal and professional life will be negatively impacted if you are not in peak health. Care for yourself by prioritizing your needs. This is a win-win for everyone!

Know your limits

Pay attention to the part of yourself that informs you when you've had enough. We know careers can get addictive, and as addiction recovery experts at advise, you need to know your limits. Avoid burnout by striking a healthy balance. Burnout can cause addictions; therefore, respect and appreciate your body and pay attention to its needs. That may require you to deviate from your usual schedule, take a few things off of your plate, or seek additional support.

A crying woman
Don’t let yourself burn out.

Let go of the mom guilt

When mothers return to the workforce full-time, they are typically criticized for "abandoning" their children, while males are expected to work to "provide" for their families. Why is it that this sexist trope persists despite the apparent development of our culture?

Some women can’t take time off to be stay-at-home parents, while others prefer to return to work because they are unwilling to give up their careers. Working mothers deserve our admiration and support for whatever reason they make that decision, not our criticism and humiliation. You can learn to address your “mom guilt.” Stop beating yourself up because you can't be there for your children 24/7.

Think about all the good your career is doing for your loved ones. Know that you are making the right decision for your family and that your child will sense the depth of your love and appreciate the sacrifice you are making. Ultimately, it’s about the quality of time you spend with your kids.

Ask for help

Whenever you find yourself in a bind, don't hesitate to seek assistance from others. To balance work, family, and self-care, sometimes it’s necessary to rely on others. If you are pressed for time and your routine does not pan out, let your coworkers know so you can work more quickly. Express your needs for nourishment, solitude, and the like. You can't expect others to pitch in if you don't inform them how to do so. Maintaining positive connections with coworkers is essential for the practical benefits of having supportive colleagues in your corner and the emotional satisfaction that comes from developing friendships outside of your immediate family.

Two women talking.
If you want to balance work, family, and self-care, lean on your coworkers!

Get up before the kids

If only by 15 minutes, get up before the kids. Why? Since the time spent alone is crucial to maintaining mental health and given your hectic schedule as a mother, this may be the only opportunity you have to yourself.

Furthermore, rising before the youngsters allows you some time to begin the day as an unobligated human. You have time to do something for yourself, like writing in a journal, drinking coffee, or working out. Spending time by yourself first thing in the morning is a great way to set the tone for the day you want to have.

Save time

Use time-saving methods and preparation to do as much as possible in as little time. There are many organization apps for working moms that can help you. Forget nothing and save time by ordering groceries online for curbside pickup or home delivery. Use your travel time for conference calls and your lunch hour for small errands to get back precious hours throughout the week. Prepare for the day by packing your bag with clothes and food the night before.

An hourglass in rocks
If you organize correctly, you can save time.

Final words on how to balance work, family, and self-care as a working mom

Is it possible for a mother to have a satisfying professional life and a happy home life?

In all honesty, even though it can get rough, it's not impossible. You can balance work, family, and self-care if you put your heart into it. And if it doesn’t pan out exactly as you imagined, don’t fret! Acknowledge the many blessings in your life and take things as they come. You got this, mama!

Author bio: Dana Tepper is a working mom of three kids and one doggy. When she manages to get it, in her free time, she loves to spend time at the corner coffee shop with her friends.

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