I had someone mention to me the other day ... "I don't know how you do it all?" I am sure from the outside it can easily look like I have it all together. Social media has a way of only showing the highlights of life. None of us just post our boring weekday evenings, washing the dishes or folding laundry. It is easy to compare ourselves to one another. We look at other working Moms and wonder how they find time to take their kids on a walk and then also cook dinner that evening. Often I feel like working mothers feel this constant pull in so many different directions. I know that I will see stay at home moms on social media and I am often jealous that they don't have to fit a traditional work schedule into their routines.
This comparison is not healthy. Social media is just a quick snap shot into people's lives and never shows the whole picture. I thought it would be a good idea to just touch on work, life balance and maybe share some recommendations to help you. I do not claim to have everything in order and all of this figured out. I am just a working mom who is going through life, doing her thing and then using this blog platform to tell you about my experiences.
I think any mother would tell you that time management is part of motherhood. As soon as you become responsible for another little human, you have to start managing your own time. To help with my own work, life balance I have accepted the fact that I do the same things over and over again. Each day I get up at 6am. I get ready before William wakes up. Then I load the car with the bags that I packed the night before. I go to work. Then after work I have about 30-45 minutes that I can fit in some physical activity before picking up William. Then the night time routine starts when we get home: make dinner, clean up after dinner, bath for William, put William down, pack lunches, and get myself ready for bed by 10-11pm. Then this cycle repeats each day. Managing my time each day is the only way that "everything" gets done. Taking the time to figure out what your schedule looks like and then account for each hour of each day will help you prioritize what needs to get done. If I have any tasks left undone and it is already 11pm then I just call it a day and head to bed. I need that 7-8 hours of sleep a night and that is a priority for me!
To maintain whatever schedule you create for yourself and your family, you need help! You need the support of your friends and family. There will be days that things don't go right and the schedule get totally messed up. There will be times you will be asked to help with something that you didn't anticipate. Being able to call on those friends and family members at those times will keep you sane. For example, there was a week day when I decided we needed to go see a family member. I had to make a few extra stops after work and I called up our amazing nanny. She helped me by assisting William with making a card. I didn't have the time to do that with him, but with her help and support we were able to get that done. Having those support people in your life to help you is so important. Even if it is someone you can complain to at the end of the day. Just having a shoulder to cry on is important.
Having a schedule and sticking to that routine throughout the week is great, but we all need some down time. When we can relax and just wear our pajamas all day and don't care. That is the weekend for me. I try to not set an alarm on Saturdays so that I can just sleep until William gets up. That is so liberating. After the hustle and bustle during the week, that quiet, care free start to the weekend is a must. It provides some time to help re-charge those batteries and gear up for the upcoming week. This past weekend, I came down with a cold. I let myself take a nap on Saturday and Sunday! When William slept I took a 2 hour nap with him. It was the best thing ever. I knew that I need to slow down and take that time for myself. Those "relax days" are an important part to the whole work, life balance dance. Without them, you can easily get burnt out and then be left feeling so overwhelmed.