A close friend once shared a meme that said we ask that moms raise children as if they have no job and work a job as if they have no children. Though women are working hard to reset the social pressures around working and raising children together, it remains an act of juggling to get it all done. Create a better work-life balance for yourself with these 5 simple tips.
Schedule Regular Self-care
Self-care is a passion of mine and a huge reason why I founded Oxford Momma in the first place. I needed to practice better self-care, and I knew there were other moms out there like me. Having a better work-life balance means investing in yourself regularly. Build it into your schedule or allot yourself at least 5 minutes a day to dedicate to it.
One of my favorite self-care activities is a worry releasing exercise. It works as both a visualization exercise or in real life, and it is intensely satisfying. To start, write down one or more worries on a slip of paper. Light a candle and burn the paper. As it burns, imagine your worry burning along with it. See it releasing into the air as smoke. Take deep breaths and focus on mentally releasing the worry from your mind just as the worry was released from the paper in the flame.
Why worry less? Because “having it all” is a myth. There is no such thing as having it all. There is only the ability to find satisfaction is what you have and what you can do. Your best effort doesn’t mean measuring your efforts against an ideal of perfection. It means working to your best potential when taking into account your own needs and limits.
“You can’t pour from an empty cup. Whether you’re a working mom, stay-at-home mom, or entrepreneur, you have to invest in yourself if you’re going to have enough of you to go around.”
-Tiffany Barry, Oxford Momma
Outsource and Delegate
At work, you may feel a pressure to do it all yourself or need to prove that you can handle it all. As an entrepreneur, there is a similar pressure to get it done yourself, and it can be hard to relinquish control of any part of a business you’ve built up yourself. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, outsourcing and delegating is a lifesaver!
Focus on what you’re passionate about, and ask for help with the rest. Pour your energy into what you do best.
“Focus on what you do best and outsource the rest!”
-Pamela Meister, Hunt Wisely
Eliminate Wasted Time
As a subscription box entrepreneur and influencer, I’m frequently juggling the demands of my business and blog with the needs of my family (not to mention mine) and the responsibilities I have at my full-time job. When people find out how many balls I have in the air at any given time, their first question is usually, “How do you do it all?”
Getting rid of the idea of multi-tasking as an effective work habit was a big part of my personal strategy. I’ve spoken with many moms working toward a better work-life balance, and strategies like my uni-tasking, as well as time blocking, are common. Instead of trying to stop and start various tasks, create a routine where you dedicate a specific length of time to a task like answering emails, meal planning, etc. Then rinse and repeat.
“Time block! It is a life saver when balancing work and home life. As a stay at home mom, I depend on time blocking to get any work done.”
-Tricia Jones, The Healthy(ish) Home
As I said earlier, “having it all” is a myth. You simply can’t have everything, so you can’t possibly say yes every time. Empower yourself to say no, but do it with purpose. When a boss or coworker or client asks for your help, pause and reflect. Think about how much time it will take, what’s currently on your plate, how will you manage the additional energy expense, and decide whether it’s something you can or want to do.
You can do the same in your personal life, too. The kids don’t have to attend every skate night, and it’s okay to tell the room mom that you just don’t have the bandwidth to volunteer that week/end. Allow yourself to embrace the positivity behind the word, “No.”
“Before you say yes #pause2prioritize . Pausing will allow you to confidently know what actions to say yes or no to in your life and business.”
-Naphtali Roberts, NaphtaliRoberts.com/
Pivot and Keep Going
My dad used to say that babies were the best teachers. When a baby is learning to walk, it falls over and over and over, but it keeps getting up. That baby learns every way not to walk before one day it’s off to the races. Failure as an adult is just like that. It’s going to happen more than success, and sometimes you’re going to find all the ways that don’t work before you land on what does.
Keep trying. Keep failing. Fail more and fail better. Learn from your mistakes, pivot, and grow.
“My advice is to not let failure knock you off course. It isn’t easy to manage business growth and a busy family – you will make mistakes! Learn what you can from them, tweak your process, and keep going!”
-Samantha Siffring, SamanthaSiffring.com