Finding a Work-Life Balance as a Mom Takes Work
The million-dollar question I get from my friends who are trying to juggle it all is “How do you make time to do it all?” I teach & I work out, I read, I mom! Somehow, I also give off a vibe that I have it all together. The truth is… I don’t.
Maybe I’m not the one to be posting this blog post… I went back to work on August 18 and my last post (which was pre-written before my first day of work) was posted on August 21. Whoops! Here we are in January and mama is still working on getting back into the groove.
I’m still working on mastering this myself, but I do have a few suggestions on how to find a work-life balance as a new mom.
The Honest Truth about Work-Life Balance
I don’t always make time for everything, but when I do, I have to follow a few steps to make sure I find my perfect balance.
I was able to start finding my work-life balance by following these simple four steps:
1. Start small
When I first went back to work, immediately at the end of the day I wanted to come home and be with Sasha. Anything I needed to do for myself felt unimportant. But very quickly, I came to realize that the things I needed to do for me were taking away from my time with her on the weekend. I decided that getting my nails done was something small that made me feel good. I could go get my nails done after school once every three weeks and only lose thirty minutes of time with Sasha, based on our nap schedule, or miss two hours with her on the weekends.. the thirty minutes after school made more sense for me!
Pick one thing to schedule for yourself, then snowball from there. Start small by picking something that makes you excited or relaxed. Promise yourself that in order to be the best mom, you need to be the best you. In order to do your job at work, you need to be the best you.
2. Pick your non-negotiables
For me, the non-negotiable thing I absolutely give 100% of my effort to every single day is being a mom. Everything else comes second, as it should. However, when I finally started venturing out into the world post-baby and finding my work-life-mom balance, I had to pick what my non-negotiables outside of motherhood were.
Finding time to work out and get back to feeling like myself is something that I started doing in September of this year. I got the Peloton app (the best decision I’ve ever made outside of having a child) and then the bike a month later. My dad watches Sasha daily until I get home from work so he and I have a system where one of us watches Sasha while the other works out. Usually, they are still in the same room as me, so I get my workout but still spend time with her during it. I then have her entire after-school nap time to do anything else I want or need to do – like read or write!
3. Schedule EVERYTHING.
No, I literally mean everything. Ok, I don’t schedule trips to the bathroom, but anything that takes more than 10 minutes. If I need to do it – it is in my planner. I give myself strict time frames to limit getting off task.
In terms of bringing work home, I have been REALLY big on not doing any work at home. I schedule an hour on Sunday to prepare for the week ahead. When I walk into work, I turn off my mom-hat (as much as I can) and focus on getting my work done. When I walk out, all work stays behind at the school. The only exception is when I need to get report cards done, but even then, I stay behind at work for a few hours rather than bringing the work home with me.
I schedule everything… workouts, reading time, writing time, cooking, laundry sorting. If it’s not scheduled it probably won’t get done.
4. Plan ahead & line up child care.
Like I mentioned with working out, my dad and I have a schedule and system. I am so fortunate to have live-in FREE child care, but if you don’t that’s ok! Babies have to take naps and need to have opportunities for independent play. As long as you’re in the house, and can tend to them in an emergency, you can schedule a time to do things for yourself.
See if you can find someone to help you out for one afternoon, and take that time for yourself. The time you spend on yourself is SO important. If that’s not feasible, find a way to incorporate your little one. I am already looking forward to the days Sasha will be able to get her nails done with me. Plus, I am not against screen time in order to keep your little one quiet if you need a break. That DOES NOT make you a bad parent!
What do you do to find a work-life balance or self-care? Do you have other suggestions for moms like me? Let me know in the comments below!As an amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This includes sales through affiliate links on this page.