From desk jobs to remote workers to small business owners, every working mom faces tough choices when it comes to time and money management. Like most working moms, your daycare probably costs about 10 percent of your family income. Plus even though you crave time with your children 24/7, all your invisible household work can make it feel like quality time with the kids comes in last.
Unfortunately, there are no secret recipes for the perfect work/life balance. But there are some ways to drive yourself less crazy and actually enjoy your children. Here are some tried and true tips on making life work as a mommy who works.
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Full-time Working Mommy
Between 8 a.m. meetings and 5:30 p.m. daycare pickups, life is a logistical nightmare. Carve out some time for sick days, teacher conferences and soccer games by asking the boss if you can flex your work time so you can be there for your kids when it matters most.
To make sure everyone is on the same page during a normal day, sync your individual Google calendars to keep track of everyone’s appointments. Also, exchange pictures with your kids throughout the day and keep track of their social media activity through Snapchat.
And please, oh please, subscribe to Instacart or Amazon Prime so you don’t waste precious time driving around to ten different grocery stores in the evening. Instead, use that time to connect with your kids for 30 minutes on the couch after work. Watch a show together, talk about each others’ days, or just have a tickle-fest to decompress.
Working remotely is perfect for many moms but it can also present its own challenges. To combat the urge to draft emails from your kitchen sink while simultaneously entertaining a chatty toddler, set aside a dedicated space to work that is separate from your living area, even if it’s just a guest room closet. (Bonus if that’s also where your smartphone lives in the evening.) That way you can be fully present with your children when you’re not working, with eye contact and everything.
Another great way to balance your work and family time is to work ahead of deadlines as much as possible. Every month, make a list of activities that need to be done by a certain date. Then, start working on those tasks far in advance so that when the time comes, you don’t have to choose between completing a project on time and cuddling with your kiddo.
One of the most flexible ways to work and still keep up with the kids is by starting your own business. Self-employed mommies can set their own work boundaries so they can still do all the pickups and dropoffs, stay home with kiddos who are sick or on breaks, and work after the kids are at school or in bed.
You can also teach the kids valuable lessons in entrepreneurship and hard work by sharing a business like Amway with them. But how do you know if Amway is a scam or not? Contrary to popular belief, it is not a ‘pyramid scheme’—it’s a direct selling business model that allows people to be their own independent business owners and sell products to make money.
Redefining a Successful Work/Life Balance
As a working mom, you won’t check all the boxes all the time (and please don’t try!) but you can redefine your own success so you can enjoy the kids when you aren’t working. Using flex time, a separate work space, and technology, not to mention some solid boundaries and routines, you can be a stellar mom while still bringing home the bacon.