Monday, 5 September 2016

9 Essential Tips for Balancing Work and Motherhood

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Are you currently toughing it out and searching for the secret to managing it all?
Read my 9 tips on how you can reach the ideal work-motherhood balance and why for the past few weeks I have been failing!

When I found out I was pregnant, I was convinced I would be back at work within 3 months...that was B.C. before Chance.
3 months soon crept up to 6 months, before I made the firm decision to transition from mother on maternity leave, to full time working blogging mother.
Unlike some mothers, I felt comfortable with my decision as I had used my full quota of keeping in touch days and had the luxury of my own mother caring for Chance whilst I was in the office.
I recognised early on that like my own parents, I would be a better mother to my son because I was committed to my career, not in spite of it; although what I didn’t realise was how hard it would be to balance work, motherhood and wifehood, all at the same time.


I officially started blogging back in February and started seeing the fruits of my labour in April when I was nominated for a couple of awards and ranked 7th in a list of the top 50 mommy bloggers.
Working with brands such as Merci Maman, Boots Botanics, Cybex and Bloom&Wild inspired me to step my game up! Stepping my game up, involved  adding more categories to WHIITELIST, more social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest and becoming a YouTuber.
Blogging had become a love, just like my career, just like motherhood and my partner and I was trying to do it all...but something had to give. I am still climbing the corporate ladder with as much throttle as I did pre-baby, but in doing so it meant that the blog had slid down my list of priorities, which led to fewer posts, missed video uploads and losing touch.


Irrespective of what I like to say, months on I guess I am still recovering from childbirth and the aftermath of childbirth and labour which they don’t tell you about (you can watch the video here) and as much as my son is an angel, I haven’t yet gotten to grips with night feeds and limiting those which means parental fatigue is creeping in.


“I am just suffering from a fatigue of trying to do too many jobs well!”


I am just suffering from a fatigue of trying to do too many jobs well! I wake up early, breastfeed, get ready for work, prepare Chance’s food for the day, go to work, pump milk in between meetings and being commercially minded, leave work, meet the husband for a lovely walk and connect on our way home, care for my baby, eat, prepare for bed, watch TV like a zombie, try and write a blog post and come up with ideas, social media, read my favourite blogs whilst feeding my son to sleep, then pass out...before doing it all again!


Below are the 9 tips that I am working on that help me to balance it all, and may help you get everything done without getting down on yourself.


  1. Plan your responsibilities and schedule with your partner
I love lists, obviously! Creating WHIITELIST was made for the woman who loves a list in order to get organised. Create a list of everything that needs doing (I find it best by moving room to room) such as deep clean the kitchen, cook, feed Chance, clean and dust the living room, play with Chance, wash the bathroom, bathe Chance and so on. Then divide that list between your partner and yourself with timings, for example, I will deep clean the kitchen on Saturdays, Mr.L may do daily clean whilst cooking for the family; I prepare Chance’s food whilst Mr.L does the washing up and loads the dishwasher. For the past few weeks, this has been working and has allowed me to sit here now and write this post.


  1. Find good, reliable childcare and help
My mother has been the ultimate lifesaver with regards to caring for Chance during the day whilst I pursue my career goals. Not everyone is as lucky, but finding someone to take of your child, or finding the right nursery/creche can put your mind at ease. Doing so whilst on maternity leave is a top tip, and remember no one will look after your child the way you do, but you can find someone who can look after your child well. I have also mentioned finding help, if you aren’t a clean-o-holic, then outsource this chore and make time for yourself.
  1. Realise that you may not be able to ‘have it all’
As much as you may want to, sometimes it just isn’t realistic. As mentioned above, I tried to do it all, and I put myself at risk of extreme fatigue. I want to advance in my career, blog successfully, be the most amazing mother and wife and cleaner and it’s not at all possible at 100%. What I have realised is that instead of staying until late at work, I can become efficient in the 10 hours that I am there; I can’t blog successfully 7 times a week, but I can do so 3 times a week; I can be the best mother and wife if I share equally as opposed to leaving my husband out and doing everything; I may not be able to deep clean once a week, I can aim to do it every other week.


  1. Embrace your different roles and commit to them
Once you realise that you ‘may not be able to have it all’ understand what roles you can keep and do it. For me this meant being a mother 100% when I was home instead of trying to blog and work simultaneously. Using the walk commute times between home and the station to connect with my husband, instead of answering work emails. Focussing on work solely whilst I am at the office so I am efficient.



“You become a better you once you have treated you”

  1. Find some time for ‘you’ time
You become a better you once you have treated you. Does that make sense? Essentially for flowers to bloom beautifully they need nutrients, light and water. For you to the best person you can be, you need some time to re-energise whether that’s by reading, 5 minutes in the bath, beauty at home, spa days outside of the home, travelling, anything where you can be yourself and enjoy some downtime.


  1. Keep in touch and ease the guilt
Linked to point 2, I am lucky to receive constant pictures of my son throughout the day. Even though I am not there, I am connected to the fun he is having with my mother, so I don’t feel that I am missing out. You can do this through quick calls on your break (should you NOT work through them), writing notes to yourself to share with your child or even better taking pictures throughout the day to talk about with your child.


  1. Speak with your boss and/or HR
Flexible working can be agreed with your boss/HR, working from home can cut down on commute times which means maximising the time you spend at home with your child; having a good relationship means that you can communicate your concerns, working together you can find a solution.


  1. Make time for ‘couple’ time
Linked to point 5, your relationship with your partner is just as important as that with your child...if not more important and this also needs a little watering. There doesn’t have to be fixed date nights, but time alone can only do good, whether it’s for dinner, a night away, or just in the evening watching that cult Netflix show! The Mr and I achieve our couple time in the15-minute walk to the station and back on our way to work.


  1. Learn to multi-task
They say it’s not possible to multitask, which is funny because I feel I multitask daily. Maximise those 24 hours in the day, be it by showering together with your baby, having fun with water and getting clean, or going for long walks so you’re exercising whilst bonding with your child, or by answering emails on the commute whilst getting ‘me-time’.


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How do you balance work and motherhood? How do you and your partner make it work?


Thank you for reading, and please do follow me on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with me balancing work and motherhood daily.


Thank you.


SAL xx

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2 comments

  1. Couldn't agree more with no5, if I spend too many days putting myself last I become irritable and frustrated. Something as simple as an hour alone to read in the bath can breathe life back into me though x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Well I have the quiet at night time when I can read through all of my favourite blogs (all 200+ of them) and instagram! ha x

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