It’s not easy being a parent these days; with all the pressures put upon us to be the perfect mom or dad while still working 40-plus hours outside the home, it’s no wonder so many people are feeling stressed, anxious, and depressed. Not to mention the stress we put on ourselves when schedules become overloaded and nothing is going right; most parents are their own biggest critics and feel a huge sense of shame or guilt because they can’t spend enough quality time with their children.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to ease those feelings and take back control of your life. It’s important to remember that you’re only human and that it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. The first step is to get organized and on task. Read on to find out the best ways to manage a busy workload alongside family time.
It’s no secret that the most organized people seem to be the most successful. You can’t expect to manage your time wisely and whittle away at a to-do list when your desk is heaped with paperwork and unfinished tasks, so tackle that first. Get your office or work space in shape (you can find helpful tips on Pinterest) and invest in a good-sized planner, which will allow you to write down every chore, task, project, meeting, and event and what time you’ll need to be present for them. Seeing these things in black and white will help you keep track of everything while allowing you to cross off tasks as you do them.
Nix the guilt
Parenting is hard enough without making yourself feel guilty about it. Try to find ways to move past those feelings so that you can be more effective at work. If you feel the need to talk to someone, try a support group or organize one yourself on social media. Reach out to other parents and find out what their strategies are for getting through the busy days.
“The most successful career moms have found ways to be efficient in both worlds — and that requires being able to come to terms with choices and focus on the priorities that are in the moment,” says Lisa Pierson Weinberger, founder of the website Mom, Esq.
Put the quality back in quality time
Finding time to spend with the family is never easy when you have a huge workload, so it’s important to make it a priority whenever you have free time and put some care into it. Turn off the phones, put away the laptop, and refuse to answer emails during this time. Even if it’s just watching a movie and having some popcorn, that time should be all about your family and nothing else.
It’s hard to have a good start to the day when you can’t find your car keys, your son is missing his homework, and breakfast is a messy, haphazard affair. Think ahead and prepare the night before by setting your keys, purse, backpacks, and shoes right by the door and pre-make lunches. Gather everything you need for breakfast and place the ingredients on the counter or together in the fridge. Being one up on the day will help you face it with confidence.
You’re not a superhero, and you only have two hands. Not everything is going to get done every day, and that’s okay. If you feel overwhelmed, start delegating responsibility to the kids, your spouse, or hire help for household tasks such as walking the dog or cleaning so that some of the burden is off your shoulders. Splitting up the chores will enable you to focus on other things…like looking for that homework.
It may feel sometimes that balancing work with your busy home life is nearly impossible, but if you put some effort into easing the burden on yourself, you may just find that things aren’t quite as hectic as they seem.
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