Working Moms: Prioritization and Flexibility Are Keys to Your Happy Family

Working moms often get pegged as having guilt over working instead of staying home with their children. However according to a study by Harvard Business School, children of working moms are more likely to be employed, hold supervisor positions, and earn higher wages than those of stay-at-home moms. Moms in general want their children to be successful and healthy, but working moms also must deal with the added stress of trying to balance out their careers with raising children. However,many working mothers fail to realize that the real key to balance is learning to cut down on your own responsibilities in order to have a rewarding career and home life.

  1.         Learn to Let Go of Guilt – The guilt of not being able to spend time with their children can often overwhelm working mothers. However, focusing more on what you do provide for your children over what you are not providing can help ease the feeling of guilt. Although it may not be easy at first, learning to concentrate on what working can provide for your children can help overcome feeling guilty. Long hours at work can be difficult to get through but knowing that your hard work is helping to provide your children with opportunities such as a good education,opportunities for learning outside of school such as extracurriculars or tutoring, trips to educational sites, and other educational services can make all the time spent worth it.
  2.         Flexibility Is In –  Another way to help ease the guilt of working instead of spending time with your children is to change to a more flexible schedule. Too often working mothers forget that they do have options when it comes to the hours they work. Never think you are not allowed to ask for a more flexible schedule that could benefit not only your family life but also your work ethic. Long working hours are strain not just for you, but also for your family.
  3.         Prioritize Goals – A flexible schedule does mean learning to prioritize short-term goals versus long-term goals. Goal-setting can help you see if a more flexible schedule is feasible to accomplish what you set out to do. Coming up with goal plans also can help you learn to prioritize what tasks are important to get done while working and what can be held off in order to lessen your work hours. Cutting back on hours at work does not mean getting behind on deadlines, instead it is about learning to prioritize and be more productive. In fact, most mothers who cut back at work end up happier not just with their family lives but also with their careers.
  4. Make Time For Yourself – Above all an important way to keep yourself sane while working and raising children is to make time for yourself. Part of teaching your children balance is to teach them to take care of themselves both physically and mentally. This might seem simple enough but remember making time for yourself means asking your children and spouse to leave you alone for some time. It also means learning to disconnect from your work phone or email. This can be difficult as we tend to always be on “auto mode” when it comes to work and family routines. However, remember you cannot be an effective parent or be mindful of how well your child is doing in school if you are always tense or cranky. Giving yourself time to recharge is essential and also shows your child the importance of mental health as well as how to let go of stress.
  5.   Set Up a Schedule – Setting up a schedule for yourself might seem like an obvious task but going as far to even schedule “me-time” can help you with prioritizing. When you schedule personal life tasks such as going to the movies with your kids or playtime can make family time a priority. You are more likely to stick to and be present in the moment when you have set it as an event.

Working moms might sometimes feel guilty for not being able to spend more time with their children. However, their dedication to their careers and family can help teach their children important life skills that can help them be successful in their own lives. Being a parent is often all about being a balancing act.

Amy Williams