Motherhood is a big transition and finding the balance between working woman and mommy can be difficult. For this week’s Mom Tip Monday, we welcome Michelle from No Ordinary Momma – a mom, Vice President of Media at Media Design Group, blogger and BabySteals fan. She is here to share tips on how she stays sane while balancing work and family, and even hangs on to her own identity in the process.
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Hello fellow parents! Whether you stay at home, work from home, or work outside the home, I hope you can all find something useful to take away from today’s Mom Tip Monday. Let’s face it, at the end of the day we all work really hard. We all want what’s best for our kiddos, but it’s important to remember that you used to be numero uno before these little babes came into the picture and sucked the life out of you! I kid, I kid (sort of). Let’s jump into this, shall we?
1. Multitasking is so 2010. I get it, you’re busy. But sometimes doing less is more. Take time to be in the moment and make those moments count. If you’ve only got one hour in the morning with your baby before you’re off to the office for the day, make the most of that hour. Half-heartedly singing Old Mac Donald while checking your Blackberry isn’t fun for anyone. Put the phone down and sing that “E-I-E-I-OOOO” loud and proud. Those are the memories that your child is going to cherish years from now.
2. Park your car. Each time you get in your car to run a simple errand, you are wasting time. There are so many great sites where you can shop for all of your baby supplies, clothing, gifts for that birthday party next weekend, and anything else you can think of. My biggest time saver is that I only go grocery shopping once a month to buy things like meat or bread and then freeze it…all of my produce and milk is delivered weekly to my home, and it’s organic and local! Similar services are popping up all over, so look online for something like this near you. Avoiding the market on a weekly basis saves me a lot of time, which I can spend focusing on my family.
3. Step away from the baby. You thought these were tips to spend more time with your baby? No, these are tips about balance! I realize it sounds crazy to take time away from your baby after you’ve been at work all day, but this is one of those counter-intuitive things. While it’s important to spend time with your child, it’s equally important to maintain your own sense of identity so you can be the best possible you for your kids. You know how some humans begin to resemble their dogs?!? The same thing could happen with you and your baby if you don’t get a life outside of your kids…you’ll end up drooling with stains all over your clothing. A little “me” time is completely appropriate and can work wonders for your sanity. Get a massage once a month, have a neighbor over for a glass of wine once a week after the baby is asleep, take a photography class and use your new skills to capture your amazingly well-balanced family!
4. Sign up for a mommy/baby class. One of the best things I’ve done with my baby was signing up for a mommy/baby class that was specifically geared to working moms. These types of classes are held in the early evening or on the weekends to accommodate a working mom’s schedule. We discuss a lot of the same topics as a regular group, but we also share information on things like nannies and daycare. It’s been wonderful meeting other moms that face the same challenges and can relate to issues specific to a working mom. We’re a great source of support to each other and offer to help out with anything from “AHH! My nanny didn’t show up today, can I drop my kid off at your house?!” to my favorite “I forgot to buy diapers and my kid is wrapped in paper towels, can you drop off a few on your way to the office?”
5. It will always be “your first.” When my son was born he went straight to the NICU. About one week into his stay, I squealed with glee when he opened his eyes for the first time. The nurse burst my bubble when she told me that he had been opening his eyes since 3am that morning, I just hadn’t been there to see it. One week into his life I learned that although I might not be there for all of his firsts, there will always be that moment of excitement when I see his new skills for my first time. It really helps me to think of things from that perspective and appreciate the moments that I do have with him.
6. Work it. Although it may be difficult at times, suck it up at work. It’s hard to think of working as a privilege, but in today’s economy, it really is. When you are at the office, leave your problems at the door. Put in 110% and stand out as a rock-star employee. You want your employer to know they can depend on you to get the job done, not think of you as someone who always has personal problems that need to be tended to. There are going to be times when you need to take your child to the doctor or go to a school play, but let those be the exception, not the norm. It also helps to think of the office as a runway and work all of those great clothes, heels and jewelry that are no longer practical when you’re at home with the baby.
Part of being a parent is providing, and that sometimes means that both parents need to work. Another part of parenting is being a role model whether you’re at work or home. It makes me happy to know that I’m showing my son that a woman can be something extraordinary — an ambitious, hard-working provider with a wide variety of interests, who loves him more and more each day. What are some tips and tricks you use to strike a balance between work, home and self?
Thank you Michelle for these awesome, life-balancing tips for working moms. Stay tuned for another great mom tip next week! We’d love to hear your ideas so be sure to submit your entry.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Steal Network or its employees.