I pulled up to work with just enough time to park and take that last gulp of my green tea. I could feel my hair frizz and my skin start to perspire. My worst nightmare was becoming a reality. I just couldn’t fathom the fact that I was rushing through life robbed of time, slaving for corporate and blind to the real joys of being a mom and wife because time wasn’t on my side. I found myself rushing to work, rushing from work, rushing to get the kids to activities, rushing to appointments, rushing to cook dinner, rushing through helping the kids with school work and rushing through life in general.
I became fed up! I knew that something needed to change. If I was going to be a working Mom, I knew I had to create my own balance and you need to do the same! After starting the journey of finding the perfect balance I realized that finding a unique balance between home life and work life wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. It was tons of little things that I changed that made all the difference.
Simple things like putting up pictures of my children at my desk or placing them as my computers screen saver helped to keep me motivated throughout the day. If you don’t have a desk, placing your kids as the screen saver on your cell phone will still give you the push you need.
Whatever small changes you make towards reclaiming your freedom and living life on your own terms I’m confident you won’t regret. As you take the journey to find your balance here are 10 tips to get your creative juices flowing…..
10 Tips That Will Help You Achieve A Better Work/Life Balance…..
Start and End Each Day With Prayer
I’m sure you are aware that your mind is the most powerful tool in the world. Your thoughts are powerful! Starting your day with positivity and prayer will prove beneficial in giving you daily balance. The good thing about prayer is that it doesn’t intrude on your time. It is so easy to do and you can do it anywhere and in conjunction with other activities. For example, you can pray in the shower in the morning or before bed time. As you are cleaning your body you can also cleanse your mind.
Pray and profess that your day will be great. There is definitely power in the tongue, so claim a great day with more free time then you know what to do with. Believe it, and watch how this alone will transform your attitude from the tired mom, low on time to a mom full of energy making the best use of her time.
Use Your Mornings Wisely
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “The early bird gets the worm”! There is some truth here. Waking up a little earlier in the mornings will add more time to your daily routine. I used to wake up when my alarm clock went off and then hit snooze one or two times before actually getting out of bed. That only left me with enough time to shower and get dressed. If I was lucky I was able to make my hair and makeup look like something. I’m stressed by just reading what I wrote! Don’t do this to your self, please!
Getting up earlier in the morning, even if it just 15 minutes earlier will decrease your rush time. Read a chapter of your new book, flip through the latest publication of your favorite magazine, watch the news while sipping a cup of coffee. This will ensure that even if you don’t get another opportunity for the rest of the day to do something for yourself you will have had that small amount of “me” time. The rest of your household will still be sleep and you can soak up the peace and quiet.
Another option is to prepare for dinner. Cut up the vegetables, season your meat and let it marinate, get a head start on your crock pot meal. Doing this will increase the amount of time you have available after work.
Ride To Work In Silence
I used to ride to work listening to the latest tunes blaring from my Bose speakers! I mean, I would jamming, singing and dancing giving away my last bit of energy hoping to find some motivation to go kill my day. Little did I know, that I was doing the exact opposite. As I mentioned earlier there is power in the tongue. I was singing songs about cheating, strife and conflict in hopes of a better day not realizing that those tunes were manifesting in my spirit. I was inviting the negativity into my mind and my life by singing those words. By the time I got to work and got comfortable my day was no better, my energy was still low, my thoughts were still jumbled, and my attitude was still funky.
I then decided that I would only listen to gospel music. I was then professing positivity over my life with each word I sung. I felt good but I didn’t feel great! My thoughts were still jumbled, my visions weren’t clear and I still had a hard time focusing. To add insult to injury, I found that the radio played the same gospel songs over and over again. I started to get bored.
It wasn’t until I made the vital decision to turn the radio off completely and ride to work in silence that I truly felt like I had made a dent in my work/life balance journey. At the point of silence, I became engulfed in the peaceful sounds of the wind or rain. I was finally able to feel my hearts desires. I was finally able to hear from God. Previously, the music was too loud to hear his plan for my life. This also left me with time to pray on my way to work without distractions. The shower is cool but sometimes I like to pray out loud! With no one else around I was truly able to be free.
In turn, I got more accomplished and my days became more manageable.
Take Your Breaks
You earn your breaks so take them! Take your breaks and lunch break. When you do take these breaks, get out of the office even if its just to go sit in your car. Getting out of the cubicle or those same four walls will not only help break up your day but it will give you the mental break you need.
While, I’m all for a cohesive work environment sometimes sitting in the lunch room is an invitation for people to talk your ear off. Before you know it, your break is over and you have had no time for yourself to gather your thoughts. Take a short walk instead. Step outside for fresh air. Add some steps to your Fitbit by walking around your building.
If it’s a must that you stay at your desk, silence your phone and log out of your computer. Set your desk top screen saver to some exotic beach, read a few pages of your new book, or consume your favorite snack…just do something for you that going to promote “HAPPY” thoughts!
Designate A “YOU” Day
If you work all day and still come home and Mom Like A Boss, you deserve a “YOU” day! A “YOU” day doesn’t mean spending an entire 24 hours doing what you love. If you can pull that off, kudos to you! It just means picking a day to either have some “me” time or a distinguished day to do something nice for yourself.
For example, my “YOU” day is Friday. You will may catch me trying a new restaurant for lunch or waiting patiently in Starbucks drive-thru line for my Green Tea Frappuccino on my way to work!
You can reward yourself with something simple and small or something complex. Just pick a day and do you! Thursdays may be your designated day to roam the internet for the latest deals and then purchase yourself something fabulous keeping your budget to a $20 max. You may have arranged with your spouse that Wednesday evenings is your day to go get a work-out in without the kids in tow. For the book lovers, Mondays may be your day to go to the library for some quiet time. For the Foodies, Tuesdays may be your day to get Tacos for lunch.
Sometimes we over think things and make them complicated. This is one area where not much thought is needed. You deserve it so go enjoy your “YOU” day!
Maybe its the planner in me but there is no greater satisfaction then pen, paper and a plan! Use Sunday’s to plan out your work week.
For example, I know that Niah has cheer practice on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. So when I am planning my work week if I have other things to get accomplished I have to assign them to other evenings.
Meal plan for the week. This saves you time after work trying to figure it out. If you need the groceries to complete the meals, plan a designated day to go grocery shopping.
Iron everyone’s clothes for the week on Sunday instead of ironing day by day.
Keep a bag in your car for your children just in case impromptu plans are made. You should have things like snacks just in case you aren’t going straight home, a first aid kit, sunscreen and bug repellant just in case you all decide to frequent a park, swimwear just in case its a hot day and a splash pad is calling your name. We know that anything can happen with kids. As a result, its sometimes hard to stick to plans. However, the message here is to try and plan and to stay as prepared as possible.
Planing helps you use your time more effectively. It will help you see the bigger picture of what you need to get accomplished for the week. As a working mom staying as organized as possible is key!
Stay Up Later At Night
Staying up later at night will make you feel like you have more time in your day. It’s not always ideal when you have to wake up early the next day but it will help you get more accomplished. You could use the extra time to complete a project you have been working on, spend more quality time with your spouse after the kids go to bed, prepare dinner for the next day, or catch up on the latest episode of your favorite T.V. show.
The idea is to achieve a better work/life balance. This entails using your time effectively so that you can get more accomplished using less of your time throughout your work week. Taking baby steps work too. If you can only stay up later on a few days a week rather than every night, its a start. Every little bit of time helps, so create your stay up later at night plan today!
Keep Your “Favorites” On Hand
I know that I am one happy Momma when my day is going left and I can dig in my favorites stash for some incentive to get me through the day! Your favorites can be favorite snacks, favorite affirmations, favorite music, favorite journal, or favorite pen to use. Search for that thing that makes you happy instantly. Could it be soothing green tea? Go fix yourself a cup! Could it be the affirmation that’s hanging at your desk that tells you how you are such a kick ass mom? If so, repeat it to yourself a few times and believe it! Could it be the cute little journal you picked up over the weekend. If so, pull it out and write a few sentences. Sip coffee from your cute mug or water from your fancy water bottle. I don’t know about you but that calls for a selfie!
Use your favorites as a bribe, as motivation, or as a happiness tool. Use it to lift your spirits! After a long day at work I have to fight my way through rush hour traffic for over an hour. But, if I have my favorites snacks to tie me over somehow the distance don’t seem so great. Somehow that negative allows me to see some positive.
Stash you car, your purse and your desk…Cheers to Favorites!
Schedule Playdates For Your Children
I’m a big fan of playdates. I remember the good ole days when I was chasing behind my toddlers, connecting with other moms at the park. My children are getting older now but I still find time to fit in age appropriate playdates.
Do you know why I am such a fan of playdates? It’s because playdate’s are also mommy’s playdate. As a mom you get to talk to other moms, you get to vent, you get fresh air, you get laughs, and if you’re lucky you get the opportunity to realize that your situation is not so bad as you thought because Samantha’s child is out hollering your child, or while you work an 8 hour day Nicole works twelve hour shifts. It’s the most convenient way for the parent and the kids to take advantage of the playdate outlet! Whoever created the playdate phenomenon is genuis!
If you don’t know where to find playdates for your children, start with family and friends. If that fail you can find playdate groups to join on sites like Meetup.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
As much as we want to be Superwoman sometimes we have to just ask for help. If you’re too tired to transport the kids to their sporting activities ask your spouse for help. If you need a few hours to yourself ask the grand parents for a brief visit.
Some of my mommy friends and I started a child swap when our kids were younger. For example, I would keep my friends child on Friday and she would keep mine on Saturday or whatever other day I needed her. I suggest finding a group of moms that you know and can trust and create your own child swap so that every mom can get a small break to breathe. This is really beneficial when you have relocated like myself and have no family resources or you’re a single mom.
Asking for help will not take away your awesome Mom Award! If anything, you should get two for recognizing your breaking point and caring about the well-being of your household.
I wish you the best of luck on your journey to finding a better work/life balance and I’m confident that you won’t regret it!
You may also be interested in 10 Little Ways To Be A Better Mom
Do you have tips to provide on how you achieve the perfect work/life balance? If so, I would love to hear more!
What are you waiting for!?! GO OWN YOUR FANCY!