Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tips on how to balance work and baby

As Mums, we get told we can 'have it all'. In other words, that is code for being expected to not only look after children and the house but have to work as well and contribute to the household income. It's not all roses by any means (sorry suffragettes and other women's lib movements) and it usually results in us Mums being stretched to the limit in more ways than one.

However, we are extremely lucky to actually have the choice whether to work or not, and I have been one of the working Mums that for all three of my children have worked right up to babies birth, and back to work once bub is born (with bub in tow I might mention for all of them, my daughter is now 20 months and is still with me full-time, I just work around her schedule).

I thought I would share with you a few of my tips for balancing work and baby as there are definitely some strategies you can implement to make life a little easier for you and your family.

  1. Even if you are working, you and your family still need to eat dinner each night. Unless you have a husband or partner that helps out here, take the pressure off the evening routine by planning your dinners and making use of your slow cooker by throwing a meal in it early, so it is ready to go at dinner time. Loan some slow cooker cookbooks from the library and photocopy some recipes that suit you and go from there. Plan your meals for the week and cook in double or even triple so you can pop meals in the fridge or freezer and not have to cook every night.
  2. Be organised with babies needs. The night before, pack the nappy bag so that you are not having to do it as you are heading out the door.
  3. Make use of online shopping. Whether shopping for clothing or groceries, life is so much easier these days when you can do it all at night or over the weekend and not have to worry about fitting it into your busy work day.
  4. If you work in an office, ask if you can work from home for some of your days. Perhaps your workplace can implement some external workplace systems for you and any other parents that wish to do this.
  5. Don't feel bad about having your child involved in your work. The great majority of people understand when you have your children there... I have had many telephone calls with kids making noise in the background or having to talk to clients/customers/tenants with baby spew down my back!
  6. Make lists, keep a diary, and be as organised as you can. This is definitely one of my top ways of coping with everything in my life. It helps me not forget anything and keeps everything in perspective. 
  7. Differentiate between IMPORTANT and URGENT, and tackle things appropriately.
  8. Limit social media time if you feel you spend too much time on Facebook or similar. 
  9.  Realise some days will simply be dead losses if baby is sick or otherwise out of sorts. If this happens what will you do? Will you be able to not work and look after baby? Or do you have someone else who can?
  10. Finally, banish that Mother Guilt. Whether you work or not, know that you are a great Mum and that you are doing a great job :)

Do you work after having children? What has been your top strategy for coping?

This post is written in partnership with Goodman AU.

No comments: