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For decades, women have fought for their right to be recognised as equals to men – and while it’s no longer necessary to choose one over the other, finding the balance between a busy family life and a demanding career can be a challenge.
From arranging childcare to attending parent-teacher meetings to managing bedtimes, juggling a family brings its own challenges – and that’s without factoring in a hectic job schedule. At the end of last year, the Daily Mail discussed the results of a poll which revealed that 42% of women struggle to fit everything into the working day – which is unsurprising when you take a closer look at a working mother’s schedule.
With so many plates spinning, how can women find the balance between having a successful career and taking care of the family? We’ve put together 5 tips to make a seemingly mountainous task a bit more manageable.
Take a time out
In the busy life of a woman, there are any number of important roles to fill. As a wife, mother, employee, daughter and friend, there’s not a great deal of time left for anything else – but it’s essential you set time aside to just be you.
Whether it’s reading a book, going shopping or meeting friends for lunch, find a way to focus on yourself and you’ll soon find that, by utilising this personal time, you’ll be more productive in all other areas of your life.
When it comes to working hours, discipline is key. If you feel yourself losing focus, step away from your desk and take a trip to the water cooler or outside for a 5 minute breather.
Resist the temptation to check in with your family during the working day – as long as their guardian has your work number for emergencies, you can go about your working day safe in the knowledge that your children are being properly taken care of.
Where possible, keep your personal phone out of reach during office hours – as the temptation to respond to unimportant texts, calls and email notifications can drastically eat into your work time.
While trying to compartmentalise different areas of your life, you can often feel like no-one understands your situation – let alone empathises with you. But, in all likelihood, there are a huge number of other working mothers in your industry who feel the same daily strain as you.
You’ll have heard the saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’, and speaking to like-minded people can give you vital comfort and support on days when it all gets a bit too much.
From regular check-ins with friends to following motivational twitter accounts, you can find a way to inject some inspiration into your day to help keep you focused.
Give yourself a break
As a working mother, there’ll be days when things inevitably slip through the net. Whether it’s missing a deadline or doctor’s appointment, deal with it and move on. Avoid spending time dwelling on things which are unavoidable.
There will be times when family life will take precedence over work and vice versa – and it’s important to recognise that this is okay. One hiccup doesn’t reflect on you as a mother or an employee.
Be honest with your employer
Whatever industry you’re in, there will be scope for a more flexible approach to employment – and you’ll find that most employers will be happy to support you however they can.
Whether it’s working from home once a week to allow you to take care of the children or starting work later to maintain a more manageable schedule, being open with your boss about what works best for you will help you to be more present at home and more productive in the workplace.
Armed with these 5 tips, you can work towards finding the perfect balance for your life – meaning you’ll never have to choose between your family or career again.