Tips for Working Moms : Mothers have a tough life. Not only are you taken for granted, but all the work you do for your family is taken for granted as well. People praise a father who is an executive who is earning in the millions, but especially if you have three children or more – or if your children are still very young – it is the mothers who do more work. The mothers do all the menial jobs, things that a servant or a slave would do for you if you had one.
Furthermore, not only are they not given their rightful place in society and in the extended family, they often have to work much harder than their husbands and all the work is dismissed with the single comment – “If she doesn’t do it, who will?”. Often the answer is no one. Our mothers are the unsung heroes of the modern generation – if she does her job perfectly, she will be invisible to all around her. And that’s just the way things are supposed to be, right?
Now add a working job into your life as a mother – and really, if you were busy before, you are frenetic now. Even 15 minutes of free time can be too much to spare, especially in these days of cell phones and laptops and always having to be ‘available on call’. And if you’re in a service sector like nursing, healthcare, catering, being a waitress, etc – all I can say is – all the best, because you’ll need it! Juggling several hats like mother, doctor, wife, writer, aunt and so on concurrently, is not just challenging and difficult, it also takes a lot of genuine character and raw determination.
Having said all that, being a mother is also the world’s most rewarding profession. There is no joy like your child being the person he or she was meant to be and finding his or her place in the world – a mother’s joy, happiness and pride is forever and for eternity. Children going to school, bringing joy and happiness to the proud grandparents by just being there – there is nothing like it, and no amount of cash, wealth, or achievements will be able to replace that if it is missing in any family.
OK, without beating around the bush any longer, let’s get to the central theme of this article – ten tips for working mothers!
Ten Tips for Working Moms
Get plenty of sleep. Often mothers reduce sleeping hours because of the amount of work they have to do. This is a big mistake, and sadly, a very common one. Getting less than seven hours of sleep every night can leave you out of energy and completely exhausted with the demands life puts on you very fast. Don’t cut sleep time. Your body heals itself while sleeping. And don’t forget to turn off that cell phone or tablet. Nothing is worse than indulging in all-night messaging while being a working mother.
Learn to say ‘No’. The word ‘No’ is a powerful weapon. As a mother, you have innumerable responsibilities. If you have a job, their demands of people on you increase further. Learn to say no to time-wasting activities and focus on the top-priority issues while also taking care of your health consistently. Which brings us to our next tip.
Eat healthy. You are what you eat. If you intake a lot of carbs, and very little fruits and vegetables, and a lot of sugar, you will find yourself out of energy very fast. Plan your eating and your diet carefully. Include fibre, fish, meat, eggs and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Avoid carbohydrates like white sugar and factory-processed artificial products as much as possible. Focus on natural foods. This will have an impact on not just you but on your whole family, and serve to keep your family’s average body weight down.
Drink enough water. An active individual requires around five litres of water every day. That’s around 10-13 glasses of water every single day. Most surveys that people take less than 70% of the recommended water levels commonly (8 glasses a day in the average case). A lot of water keeps you going throughout the day. It will also help your children follow suit according to their needs and establish a healthy water intake.
Plan your day. Have a blueprint of what your average day is like. This will ensure that you don’t waste the invaluable resource that is finite and just keeps decreasing – your time and your family’s time. And every day, if you are a mother, follow the 80/20 rule (focus on the 20% of your time in which you commonly finish the critical 80% of your duty – especially with family) and plan 20% extra time for any activities involving your family members. This may seem like a large margin and impractical for many, but it is the only rule that works. In case of doubts or problems, refer to Tip 2.
Remember Murphy’s Law. With family, and especially so with little children, usually if anything wrong can happen, it will. That’s Murphy’s law and it’s especially valid for babies and little children. Plan for every contingency. For example, carry first-aid medical supply basic items with you everywhere. Check your stock of raincoats and underclothes – do I have to say nappies?
Monitor family hygiene. It’s easy for a working mother to forget that children might not follow strict rules of hygiene like they should. If you attempt to give a bath to one of your kids while attending an important call with your boss, for example – I am not responsible for the very serious consequences!
Be transparent. It is important to be open with the people in your life who need to know basic things about you. This list could include your boss, your colleagues, your subordinates, and your family. You might think that people might not indulge your needs, but surprisingly, people in general are compassionate and understand the demands a mother has on her time. Be open with your superiors and hide little from them. Also, for best results, be open about everything with your family and try to hide only what absolutely needs to be hidden. The more open you are to your husband and children, the more open they will be to you. You will be surprised, if your need is genuine, at how much consideration you will receive as a result.
Establish open lines communication with everyone. Your workplace acquaintances will work better with you if you open direct lines of communication with everyone. Listen. Most people do not. Also, your kids need to know that they can approach their parents with every single doubt in their lives without fear, judgement or condemnation. In most cases, you just need to listen. And of course, act decisively when necessary.
Ban smartphones for kids and at the dinner table. Your kids need a device to communicate. They do not need a 24×7 connection with the horrors on the Internet. Children are curious by nature, and they are explorers at heart. A smartphone in the hands of a child is a dangerous weapon against himself or herself. Get your kids phones. By all means. But a Nokia 3300 model without Internet capabilities. Simply put, they are not ready for it at all. Give your child a smartphone with extreme care and precautionary measures, like high quality child safety software installed and Parental Controls enabled. Also, phones while eating a family meal together can take up valuable and precious family time that you will never receive again. Your children will be young only once. So be kind to them – and to yourself – and turn off everyone’s phones at meal times. Breaking bread is literally sacred. Everyone should respect family time.
So there you have it – the top ten tips for working mothers! And finally, if you are a working mother reading this, my heart goes out to you. You bear a responsibility to your family to manage your affairs efficiently and keep order, decorum, and peace in the house. Be as transparent as possible with everyone, including kids except when they try to dictate terms to you, in which case you need to assert your authority.
And one more key point. I cannot imagine any mother following these tips for herself and not including her children in the process. It is understood that tips 1, 3-9, and clearly 10, apply to your kids as well. When you make arrangements for your food, water, hygiene and sleep, you should also make arrangements for their food, water, hygiene and sleep (also remember that kids need between 9-12 hours of sleep daily depending on their age). Except for tip No. 2, all 9 remaining tips apply to your children as well. Indeed no responsible mother would do anything less – out of sheer love, care, and compassion for them.