Something we often hear from our full-time working moms is that they feel guilty and stressed because of having to divide their time and attention between work and family. And with more mothers than ever in the workforce, these emotions are only going to increase. To help moms find a balance between the job and the kids, Maryann Buetti-Sgouros, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician in our Westchester Health Pediatrics group and herself a working mom, offers these tried-and-true strategies in a recent blog.
10 tips for busy, multi-tasking working moms
1. Do work at home, do home at work
Exactly where you complete the tasks you need to get done each day doesn’t matter. Think of your day as a fluid river rather than rigid silos. The key is to know how you perform best.
2. Make your home office Command Central
Who says to work at home, you have to be cordoned off in a room far away from anyone who can bug you? Figure out which location in your house provides some privacy while allowing you to still be accessible when needed.
3. Limit your morning expectations
Getting out the door in the morning (without anyone in tears) is the only thing you have to achieve before 8:30 a.m. Not everyday is doing to go smoothly but, if you don’t try to squeeze in too many things, the greater your chances of getting out of the house with a smile on your face.
4. If you have a sick family member, go with your gut
Our rule is: “If there is any possibility that I might have to run out of work to pick my child up due to illness at school, my child stays home.”
5. Don’t obsess over things no one will remember in 5 years
In time, no one, not even you, will still be upset that you showed up with store-bought cupcakes for the class party when everyone else baked theirs. Or that your child was the last to be potty-trained. These will soon be way in the past so let them go.
6. Night-before, and even week-before prep
Since you’re probably exhausted at the end of each day, save yourself a ton of stress and time by doing some quick preparations at night to be ready for the morning. Make one large weekly shopping trip to cook meals throughout the week. Prepare lunches in advance. Develop a clean-up routine at night where you put everything away, getting the kids (even if they’re toddlers) and your partner to help.
7. Streamline chores when possible
Schedule your bills to pay automatically or through your bank. Join a carpool for after-school activities to save driving time. Shop online for everything that makes sense.
8. Make lists
Don’t rely on your memory; chances are you have a million things on your mind at any given time. Prioritize the items so if you run out of time, the really important ones get done.
9. Learn to say “no”
Most likely, you’re over-scheduled. Moms try to be everything to everybody, and it’s just not possible. You don’t need to join every group, volunteer for every committee, sign your kids up for every activity or attend every event. Decide which things are truly important to you and your family and make them a priority.
10. Take care of yourself first
Yes you have responsibilities and needs, but if you do not take care of yourself, who is going to take care of everyone else? Find the time to exercise, even if it only means doing a short daily workout. Join a weekly activity such as a music lesson, a book club or a dance class. And don’t forget your own health maintenance, such as an annual mammogram, physical and 6-month dental check-up.
If you’re having a hard time juggling kids and work, please come see us
At Westchester Health, we understand the many challenges of raising kids while working. (We’re working moms and dads, too.) Please come in and talk with us if you’re stressed and want some help figuring it all out. Know that we’re here for you as well as your child, with advice and guidance. Please call (914) 232-1919 to make an appointment with one of our Westchester Health pediatricians. Together, we will find solutions so that you, your child and your family can enjoy this time together. Whenever, wherever you need us, we’re here for you.
To read Dr. Buetti-Sgouros’s blog in full, click here.