Career Woman

3 top strategies to juggle your career and kids


There’s no balancing act more rewarding—or more stressful—than being a working mom.

If you’re raising kids and pursuing a career, your everyday life is a tug-of-war between two full-time jobs, one of which never actually ends. And unless scientists are holding out on us, there’s no secret recipe to make it easy. Luckily, there’s no such thing as a perfect parent, but there’s definitely a difference between efficient and inefficient multitasking. Consider some of these strategies to help ease your burdens and reframe the way you approach this juggling act.

1. Set boundaries, then stick to them

Multitasking is a fact of life for most moms, but a busy schedule doesn’t mean you should be overwhelmed to the point of exhaustion. You need your physical and mental health to stay productive and be a good parent and employee, so it’s important to learn how to set limits. When you start losing sleep, neglecting your own physical needs, or losing track of your thoughts and time, these are red flags that you’re pulling yourself in too many directions. Give yourself permission to set boundaries and stick to them, suggests Inc.

Of course, sometimes it’s other people who are doing the pulling. Your family members and colleagues may not realize they’re asking too much of you, so it’s your job to tell them. Set healthy boundaries, and don’t be afraid to enforce them, asserts Business Woman Media. If your kids expect you to bring their forgotten homework to school or drop everything to help them finish a project, it’s okay to let them take responsibility for their poor planning. If you spend hours sitting at a desk and fielding questions from different co-workers, ask for a heads-up or an email before people stop by your desk. It’s not just okay to take breaks and set limits with co-workers; it’s actually crucial for your morale and productivity.

2. Open new doors by studying smarter

Sometimes, the best career move is to go back to school. Today, more and more women are gravitating toward careers that offer more flexibility and room for growth, such as jobs in the skilled trades. If you’re one of the many women juggling the demands of work, parenthood and school, it’s important to make sure your study time actually counts.

Fortunately, anti-burnout, anti-boredom strategies like taking breaks and being social will boost your ability to absorb new information. For example, RSI suggests shorter study sessions, breaks every 40 minutes, and group study sessions to supplement your learning. These strategies make studying more effective and enjoyable, and they help maximize the impact of classroom and hands-on learning.

3. Remember the example you’re setting

The Guardian recently profiled a few high-profile executives and attorneys who happen to be mothers too. These female leaders, who advocate for maternity leave and strong family support systems, are setting an example for their own kids of independence and power in the workplace. However, you don’t have to be a CEO to turn your profession into a parenting opportunity. If you value your job and yourself, your children will learn how to do the same.

Your kids don’t need a mom who pushes herself to be perfect, but they do need a healthy model of self-care, professional ambition, and appropriate priorities, notes Forbes. Show them what it looks like to enjoy and value your work, but also take time for your family and yourself. Women who pursue traditionally male-dominated careers, such as in the STEM fields or skilled trades, set a unique example by encouraging their kids to defy social norms and consider the careers that appeal to them no matter their gender. Ultimately, however, parenthood should always be your biggest reason to take care of yourself and fight for fulfilling work that gets the recognition it deserves.

No matter how big your family or how demanding your career, balance is always possible. Just don’t forget to set a good example for your kids by getting enough sleep, eating well-balanced meals, and choosing them when it really counts.

Striking a balance

Striking a balance between all the roles you play in your life can help you give your best to each one with less stress. Having boundaries, studying smarter, and setting an example are just three ways to make juggling a career, kids, and school easier. What are your strategies for success for working mothers?

About Kathy Jackson'

Kathy Jackson is a freelance writer covering a variety of topics from the US.

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