Managing Time and Guilt: Strategies for Successful Working Moms

June 15, 2023

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If there’s one thing I know about us moms, is we are on the verge of burnout quite often. We wear a lot of hats. And it’s often difficult to say no, even when we want to, not because of a lack of healthy boundaries.

But because parenting is a lot.

Especially when you throw in a job on top of it all. As a working mom, I know you often struggle with balancing the demands of your job with the demands of your family. This can often be overwhelming and tiresome.

Here are some of the specific challenges that I know you might be struggling with right now.

Time management: Balancing the demands of work and family can be challenging, and it can be difficult to find time for everything. You may struggle with finding time to spend with your kids, get things accomplished at home, and even take care of yourself. Am I right?

Guilt: You may be struggling with feelings of guilt for not being able to be home with your kids.

Work-life balance: It can be difficult for you to find a balance between your work and personal life.

Stress: You may experience high levels of stress as you try to juggle the demands of your job and your family.

Lack of support: You might even struggle with finding the support you need, whether it’s from your partner, employer, or community. You’re not meant to do this alone. You need a support group to help you navigate the challenges of being a working mom.

I hope that didn’t bring you down too much. Just stating facts. If you identify with any of the factors I just shared, then maybe, just maybe this list I plan to share next will be helpful for you.

Prioritize and manage your time: Create a schedule that allows you to allocate time for work, family, and self-care. Set priorities and focus on the most important tasks. Delegate tasks whenever possible and learn to say no to nonessential commitments. Think of it like you’re juggling. And someone keeps adding more and more balls into the rotation. Eventually you’re going to drop one of them. Identify which balls (things in your life) are made of glass and which are made of rubber. The glass balls, if dropped, will shatter. Lots of damage. And there are others, made of rubber, that will either bounce back up or roll somewhere else. Let some of the rubber balls go and focus on the glass ones.

Let go of guilt: Recognize that being a working mom doesn’t make you any less loving or dedicated to your family. Remind yourself that you are setting a positive example for your kids by pursuing your career and following your passions. Embrace quality over quantity when it comes to the time you spend with your children. (ie: that might mean screen-free time when you’re together)

Seek support: Build a network of support, whether it’s your partner, family, friends, or other working moms. Share responsibilities and ask for help when needed. Consider joining support groups or online communities where you can connect with other working moms who understand your challenges. And if you’re a part of a group right now and they’re making you feel invalidated rather than supported, it may be time to find a new group.

Set boundaries: Establish clear boundaries between work and personal life. Communicate your availability and limits to the people you work with and establish a routine that allows you to be fully present with your family during your non-work hours, even if it’s only an hour a day. Remember that it’s important to make time for self-care and relaxation. Which brings me to my next point…

Practice self-care: Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. Make time for activities that rejuvenate you, whether it’s exercising, reading, practicing mindfulness, or engaging in hobbies you enjoy. Don’t have a hobby? Think about your interests, even if you haven’t pursued them in a while. What activities or topics have you been curious about? Are there any hobbies you used to enjoy but haven’t had time for? Prioritize self-care without feeling guilty, as it will ultimately benefit both you and your family.

Communicate with your employer: If possible, have open and honest conversations with your employer about your needs and challenges as a working mom. I don’t know if this is an option, but if it is– try flexible work arrangements, such as flexible hours or remote work, that can help you better manage your work-life balance (aka, getting laundry done while you’re working at home).

Embrace help: Don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether it’s from your partner, family, friends, or hiring someone. Consider outsourcing tasks like cleaning, meal prep, or childcare if it’s feasible for your situation. Remember, it’s okay to lean on others and share the responsibilities.

Remember that finding the right balance is an ongoing process and may require adjustments along the way. Be kind to yourself, celebrate your successes, and give yourself permission to prioritize your well-being. When you take care of you, you show up better for the people you love and serve.

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