Finding a healthy balance
Let's not mince words: motherhood is hectic. Juggling your work, family and leisure commitments is often a daily chore. But taking these five simple steps can tip the scales in your favour and help you find that elusive word: balance.
Create a routine
It's safe to say that there is no "proper" way to manage motherhood while juggling other commitments. It's a huge trial-and-error process. But you can find balance and alleviate the stress related with conflicting priorities by creating a daily routine. Prioritise your tasks – work, spending time with your kids, time for your partner, studying, leisure – and then create a schedule that allows you to utilise your time properly on a daily basis. Also be flexible enough to change your schedule if need be. This will help you manage your time better, while also completing everything on your to-do list.
Sometimes you may want to, but you can’t always do it alone. So build a support system of people that you can rely on and share the load with. Enlist the help of your partner or other family members and create a schedule that allows everyone to pitch in the household. If you’re working or studying, seek help from study support groups, forums and your co-workers. Also take counsel from your friends or other social support groups like a local community group. You can also find support through online forums especially designed for mothers like Raising Children and Kidspot. Others may not know you are feeling overwhelmed so make sure you communicate your feelings and seek out support.
Find flexible work arrangements
Whether you’re considering returning to work or are currently on maternity leave, take time to consider which work options are going to work for you. If you are currently employed, you might choose to speak to your employer about working flexible hours or becoming a work at home mum. If you are looking to re-enter the work force, you might want to seek out part time employment or a job with a shorter commute. You might also want to consider ways to set up a home office by, for example, becoming a consultant or finding self-employment. Finding the perfect work arrangement will help you strike a healthy balance between motherhood and all of your other commitments.
Adding study to the mix of an already overwhelming workload isn’t ideal. But for those mothers keen on brushing up on their skills to further or re-start their career, study is an important tool. With the online study options available, you are able to integrate a range of courses into your everyday life without having to go on-campus. You can also structure your study time in ways that suit you – whether you choose to study late at night after your children have gone to bed or on the weekend. The flexibility of online study means that a) there are no more excuses for you not to pursue a course if you want to and; b) You can set your own schedule that doesn’t conflict with your other priorities.
Have some fun
You know the saying, "All work and no play…"? Well, alongside scheduling your work, study and other priorities with motherhood, ensure you make some time to have fun! Set aside some "me time" and pursue your passions with friends and family. Schedule in time for a workout or a hobby if you already have one, or find a hobby if you don't. You could take up yoga, running, art classes, volunteer or even take up fun classes with your kids. With competing priorities it's sometimes easy for mothers to neglect fun because it may add to an already hectic schedule. But it’s vital for a healthy and balanced life.