A Working Mom’s Guide to Survival in 2020
And just like that, it’s the end of a decade. One of my favorite memories from the past ten years is the birth of my son, Zachary, who is now two and a half. In these two years alone, he’s helped me learn patience (and tested it, too), compassion, and most importantly, balance.
To all the working parents out there – you are amazing! It’s not an easy feat and I can honestly say that I’m still learning how to balance it all. And I am still learning that it’s OK not to be perfect. You can go to bed without the dishwasher unloaded, laundry folded or zero unread emails in your inbox.
It is important to do your best at work and at home, and here are some helpful tips that keep my sanity in check.
1. Make a list
And check it twice. I live by lists and they live everywhere: on my phone, on my desk, on the kitchen table at home, etc. I’m a visual person so seeing things is helpful to keep my memory on track for both personal and home tasks. Shared Reminders on the iPhone is great because you can sync it with your spouse and check off tasks once they are complete. Reminder: We need milk at home.
As a group exercise instructor at Boston Sports Clubs, my obvious answer is that I encourage everyone (not just working moms) to find a type of physical activity that they enjoy and stick with it. For me, I couldn’t live without my cardio/strength classes and yoga. Wellness also goes beyond exercise. Sleep is just as important, and it is recommended to get at least seven hours a night. Both exercise and sleep will keep your energy levels up for when you need it in and out of the workplace.
3. Sunday meal prep
Sure, you’d rather be out with friends having mimosas, but you’ll thank me come Tuesday night when dinner is ready, and Wednesday morning when you are enjoying your overnight oats. So, add to your Peapod cart and get as many meals prepped as possible – Crock-Pot® and Instant Pot are great options. I also like to refrigerate meals in individual containers, so lunches are readily available. (Mom tip: Have lunches packed the night before.)
4. Seek support and ask for help
Don’t be afraid to ask your employer if there are ways to modify your schedule to make your days easier. I’m fortunate to work for a great company with work from home / flexible hours, which enables me to have the time with my son after work. March also offers a sabbatical after ten years of service and this year I enjoyed August off, which was a wonderful time to recharge the batteries. If that sounds like the kind of team you’d like to join, we’re hiring – reach out!
To all the working parents out there – how do you find balance?