12 Ways to Balance Motherhood, Work, and Life (Part 1)
If you’re feeling overwhelmed trying to balance a career, a family, and your household, check out Mighty Mommy’s 12 practical tips to help you tackle your busy life and cut down the stress.
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As if mothers today didn’t have enough on their plates raising children and running households, a large majority are also pursuing careers or are in the workforce due to financial need, some even working more than one job. During these uncertain economical times, women are struggling to balance it all, usually at the cost of their own emotional and physical health.
That’s why Mighty Mommy is excited to bring you 12 practical tips for juggling your health, family, home, as well as your career. I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Erin Flynn Jay, the author of a fantastic new book called Mastering the Mommy Track. Erin shared some effective tips to help overwhelmed moms everywhere take control of their lives.
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Erin felt a strong need to write this book because too many working mothers today face great tension between their families, their careers, and financial needs. As the mother of two young daughters and the president of her own publicity firm, Flynn Media, Erin can personally relate to what many women are facing. As she explains,
“The downward mobility of the American middle class continues. Most of the new jobs being created are in the lower-wage sectors of the economy. Millions of Americans who remain working agreed to cuts in wages and benefits. Others are settling for jobs that pay less than the jobs they’ve lost. Other people are falling out of the middle class, and many have also lost their homes.
So many women are in a panic mode, afraid of losing their job or struggling to find work and concerned about their family’s financial situation. Career moms should realize that the economic downturn is nationwide; millions of others are experiencing the same hardships. The events happening today will turn around in the future. Their spouse will get a job in his field again—it just may take more time. Self-employed women will land new clients if they keep up the prospecting efforts.”
So today, in Part 1 of this series on finding work-life harmony, I’ll focus on balancing your health and your home:
Tip #1: Take a Breather
When life gives you more than you can handle, don’t underestimate the benefits of stopping whatever you’re involved with and taking deep breaths. Deep breathing gets more oxygen into the lungs and can help calm the brain. Try these steps:
Sit or lie back with one hand on your belly.
Breathe in through your nose, filling your lungs all the way. Focus on making the hand on your belly go toward your spine.
Breathe out through your mouth, trying to empty your lungs as much as you can. The hand on your belly should move out as your muscles tighten.
Continue these deep, slow breaths, in through your nose, out through your mouth, making your belly rise and fall.
Tip #2: Keeping Your Cool at Home
Based on Erin’s interviews with psychologists, here are some tips to help moms keep their cool at home:
Slow down after work. Spend some time with your children, even if it is just 20 minutes before you get dinner prepared and cooked. Appreciate the small moments you have.
Set the proper example. Children look up to parents and follow their roles. Yelling at your kids over spilling snacks or drawing on the wall won’t build a harmonious atmosphere.
Give yourself some credit. Commend yourself for getting through each hectic day. No one is perfect. You won’t get every project finished on time. Do your best each day and realize the rest will have to wait until tomorrow.
Tip #3: Ask Yourself What You Can Do Differently
Erin highly recommends asking yourself objectively: “What can I do differently to get more quality sleep time and relaxation?” Can you eliminate the afternoon coffee? Can you break away at lunch to exercise at the gym? Can you fit in time to read fun novels at night rather than catching up on paperwork?
She adds that it’s important to know your own body, which will tell you if you’re not getting enough daily sleep or relaxation. You want to avoid getting to a point where you feel completely burned out – this may lead to a long-term physical condition that may permanently affect your life. Bottom line – get enough sleep yourself so you can care for your precious loved ones!