Who said women cannot have it all? If you are pregnant or you have recently had a baby, first of all, congratulations! Have you decided that you do not want to give up your career because you are a new mom? There is nothing wrong with this! A new parent should never feel guilty for wanting to have a career too. While there is no denying that having a baby and a career can be difficult, it is definitely achievable. With that in mind, read on to discover some great tips on balancing work and family…
Let go of the guilt – There is only one place to begin, and this is with the guilt that a lot of new mothers experience when going back to work. They feel bad because they are not with their child. They worry that everyone is going to judge them. They fear that they are being selfish. Well, what is selfish about working hard so that you can create a good and comfortable life for you and your family? The sooner you let the guilt go, the better! You can be efficient and have the best of both worlds, and no you do not need to feel bad about it! With the tips that are provided in this blog post, you will discover how to master the art of having a family and career, and hopefully, this will show you that there is nothing to feel guilty about.
Keep your career goals in focus – A lot of women assume that they need to put their career goals on hold once they have had a baby. Yes, they can go back to work, but that promotion they have had their sights set on will need to take the back seat. Why? You do not need to step down your career because you have had a baby. Having a baby is not a disadvantage, either. After all, if you think about it, you are going to have learned lots of new skills by becoming a parent, and these are skills that can help you to excel in the workplace. For example, you will have mastered the art of time keeping, as well as problem solving and multitasking.
Strike a work-family balance that suits you – Everyone is different, so you need to think about what works for you. This will depend on a number of different factors, including your partner’s job and working hours, as well as your financial standing, and what you want for your children. If you are going to hire a childminder, you may be able to continue with your current working hours with ease. However, if you are not going to do this, and you and your partner are going to look after the little one, you may need to discuss switching your hours to accommodate this. You will find that most bosses are happy to be flexible if you show your commitment to the role. For example, if you are going to ask to start work a little bit later, then make sure you also present how you are going to make this time up. Maybe you are going to stay in the office an hour later every day? Or, maybe you are going to propose working half days on a Saturday, or working from home on the evenings? If you ask for flexibility yet demonstrate that you are still willing to put in the work, your employer is going to be much more likely to accept your request.
Create moments for yourself – It can be incredibly difficult to find a moment to yourself. After all, you are struggling to juggle your career and family, how are you meant to fit some you-time into this as well? Well, it is vital that you do. This can be anything from going for a spa treatment to simply taking time to chill out and read your favorite book. This is vital for rejuvenating and revitalizing your mind, body, and soul. It will ensure that you are refreshed and ready to take on the day. After all, you are not going to be of any use to anyone if you burn yourself out.
Do any training online – If you want to take your career to the next level, it is likely that there is going to be training involved with this, irrespective of the industry you currently operate in. However, the good news is that virtually any type of qualification can b attained online these days. This includes everything from master’s degrees to online CPR certification. Therefore, you do not need to attend classes and fit in with a structured scheduled. You can study from the comfort of your own home, meaning you can put together a study schedule that fits in with your new life. This means that whenever your baby is asleep, you can cram in a few hours of learning and revision. Yes, working, studying, and looking after the family is a challenge, but online learning makes it much easier to achieve.
Expand your network – Connecting with other women that are in the same position as you can be very powerful. When you return to work after having a baby, it is easy to feel like you are the first mother in the world to return to work. It feels like no one understands your struggle or knows what you are going through. This is why it is a good idea to reach out to other people that are in the same position as you. These professional women can be a great source of advice and inspiration, especially if you need to have some difficult conversations with your boss. Nowadays, thanks to the Internet, it is easier to contact with people than ever before, and so you should have no worry finding forums that are dedicated to professional women that have young families.
Limit time wasters and distractions – It is important to set time limits and be disciplined. You would be surprised by how much time is wasted making phone calls and checking emails. Instead, if you allocate yourself a slot per day for doing this, you will be able to use your time much more efficiently. If you are working from home, you also need to carefully consider how you are going to schedule your day. It is important to schedule tasks for those moments whereby you have no disruptions and your focus is at its highest. This could mean getting up early in the morning before anyone else is awake so that you can put several hours in without any disruption.
Talk to your partner – It is so important to communicate with your partner, as you are going to need their support. It is a good idea to sit down and talk with your partner to see if there is any way that they can take some of the pressure off, especially if you are going for a promotion or you are simply finding it hard to juggle home life and work life. Making a few small changes regarding roles and responsibilities within the house can make a massive difference.
Make your presence felt within the workplace – Just because you are now a parent does not mean that you are not serious about your career or your job. Unfortunately, there has been research that has shown that discrimination still exists in many companies and workplaces around the world. It can often pay to remind your boss that you are back in action. There are a number of ways you can do this, from jumping on a training opportunity to putting your hand up for a promotion.
Remember that there are no rights or wrongs – Last but not least, there is no rulebook regarding how to manage your career and being a mom. It is vital to recognise that there is no rights or wrongs. There are going to be times when you feel like everything is going perfectly, and there are going to be times whereby you feel like your career-family balance is going terribly wrong. The sooner you accept this, the better. After all, nothing is perfect in life, is it?
So there you have it: some great tips in terms of balancing work and a family as a new mom. Hopefully, you now feel more prepared for juggling looking after your new baby with your career aspirations. Of course, no one said it is going to be easy, but you are a woman – we were born to multi-task!
[Editor’s note: This post was produced by one of our partners.]