Working mothers making it work

I’m not sure how many of you’ll are aware, but I have a 3 year old daughter and forget the work-life-real-life balance crap, its hard enough being a mum and convincing yourself you’re doing it right! Being a parent was the biggest wake up call…hand’s down! From being a 26 year old who was still waking up at noon, and sleeping at 4am, I suddenly had this tiny alarm clock that always had me on alert. Even now as a toddler, she’s constantly testing my patience – dramatically crying to wear the same Cinderella t-shirt every waking hour until I am pushed to breaking point. She’s also teaching me how to survive on less than 4 hours of sleep and still function some days (while ‘creatively’ posting on instagram) ha ha So what’s the formula? Is there any way to actually be part of your child’s milestones and part of the real ‘working people’ world? Well, I’m still not sure! I physically only work part-time at the store and about 6 hours from home. I have a few pointers though –

· Stop labeling yourself! You don’t have to fit into one of the 3 categories – Working mom (career driven), stay at home mom (on a break) or working from home (apparently the most convenient). You are doing the best you can, and yes you can be a combination of the above.

· Their sleep time is your work time – Amen. No matter how crazy the day pans out to be, it’s always nice to know I have about 2 hours in the morning before she wakes, or maybe if I’m lucky an afternoon nap when I can work in silence. School hours are a blessing too! This is when I usually make my phone calls so I don’t seem like a crazy unprofessional (calling from home, with a whining chorus in the back!)

· Don’t plan on working all day from home – carve out time to just be a his/her mom at home too. Scheduling and time management is the key, so you’re not ALWAYS multi tasking.

· If you had decided not to quit post your baby, DON’T! If work gives you a sense of self-accomplishment and independence, then keep at it. Everyone goes through tough days, even single people with no kids, so don’t dramatize situations and keep telling yourself that everything will iron itself out soon.

· Don’t let the guilt get the better of you! I have days where my toddler strictly tells me “no more working, put away your phone and listen to me mamma” which always makes me feel terribly guilty that even though I’m home, I’m not making enough time for her. But kids forget just as quickly, you give them a big hug, respond to their requests and you have a happy bunny again. Don’t beat yourself up!

So to conclude, coming up with ingenious solutions at work, is great…really. But in my experience dealing with a defiant toddler requires patience, exceptional creativity and other qualities you’ve probably rarely tapped into…so learn on the job…both the jobs 🙂