Many mothers work at a job outside the home (whether full time or part-time) and with the pandemic, they may even be doing this job remotely inside the home! The question I hear the most in our online community, Vibrant Mamas, is - “how do I find balance as a working mom?”
Work/life balance has been a really popular buzzword lately, and seems to be this elusive thing we are all chasing. But does a work/life balance really exist? Let’s dive into it.
If we are meeting for the first time - Hi! Welcome to Vibrant Mama Wellness! My name is Megan, and I am a pre and postnatal personal trainer. I am certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, with a specialization in pre+postnatal fitness through PROnatal fitness. I am a mom of 1, and became interested in pre + postnatal fitness as I was going through my own pregnancy journey!
(Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. This blog post is based on my own research and experience - please consult a medical professional before starting or making any changes to your exercise program).
When people think of “work/life balance” I think they generally think about having an even 50/50 split. This would be great in an ideal world, but sadly I don’t think it exists. At least not all the time.
There may be weeks or months where work takes up less time and energy and you can focus more time on your family. But inevitably, the pendulum will swing the other way and there will also be weeks and months where work demands more attention!
So how do we cope?
I think a great place to start is to think about your non-negotiables when it comes to family and home life. What are things that are important to you and you don’t want to give up (no matter how demanding work may be)? It could be things like attending your kids events, being able to do the bedtime routine with them each night, or having designated time each day to be present with your kids (no checking email or texts).
With so many people working from home with their kids, this idea of having a “work/life balance” can be incredibly challenging. Another tool that can be beneficial is time blocking. Managing your time effectively
can help your brain stay on task and focused, and also help you switch gears faster. When you try to do all the things at once, nothing gets done. If you can chunk out your day into work blocks and family blocks, that can help your brain differentiate a time and place for each.
Another important thing to keep in mind is self-care. Often when people feel like they don’t have any work/life balance, it is because they aren’t taking care of themselves at a basic level. Self-care is not fancy bubble baths and massages (but if you can do that - more power to you)! I’m talking about things like: quality sleep, moving your body, eating nutritious foods, spending time out in nature, getting your hair cut at least a few times a year, scheduling important doctors appointments, meditating, etc. Prioritizing things that benefit your physical and mental health go a LONG way! And help you feel more balanced in times of high stress.
My final thought is this - I think something that is super important is disconnecting. Even if it isn’t work related! We live in a world right now where we are very connected, all the time. We are just a quick text, DM, call, facetime, email, IG story, tiktok, etc etc away - and that can be SO draining on our mental health. Something I’ve found helpful recently is using the screen time and downtime control features on my iphone to limit when I can use certain apps. Having designated time each day where I am “device free” does wonders for my overall sense of “balance.”
Do you struggle with work/life balance? Do you have other tips I didn’t share? Leave them below!
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Disclaimer: This blog does not serve as medical advice. Please consult your medical provider before starting a new fitness routine. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.