Whether you’re a mom of one or more, you’ve got plenty on your plate!
Add to the mix telecommuting part-time or a work-from-home job, and it becomes even more tricky to juggle.
“Much of stay-at-home mothering is harder than any other job,” says Shannon Hyland-Tassava, Ph.D., author of The Essential Stay-at-Home Mom Manual. “Can you think of any other profession that has 24/7 shifts, no coffee or lunch breaks, and no vacation or sick days?”
Being a stay-at-home mom can be one of the most rewarding jobs in the world, but it’s no secret that it can also be one of the most difficult and frustrating. You get to be with your kids during their best and most precious moments—but of course, you also have to juggle some not-so-glamorous times as well.
While you may feel discouraged and plain worn out, the fact is that you can find success as a stay-at-home mom. In fact, many women have found their biggest career successes after they had kids! It’s tricky, and extremely difficult, especially in the beginning as you ease yourself into a new routine, but it’s important to realize that you do have it in you to succeed! Success starts as a mindset, and as such it’s something that you can embrace, cultivate, and become.
If you’re looking for some tips to make the whole ‘being a mom and finding career success at the same time’ thing work, you’ve come to the right place. It’s possible, and you can do it! Let’s take a look at a few things that successful stay-at-home moms have in common.
They Have a Schedule
For most stay-at-home moms, scheduling things out in time blocks is an invaluable part of getting everything, or in some cases, anything at all, done! Having an intuitive schedule that allows you to prioritize important or pressing tasks is essential. Without a schedule, the hours will run together, and you’ll find yourself looking back at the day wondering what happened, and where the hours went. “Time can go quickly when there is no external pressure to get things done and you don’t have a deadline,” says Dr. Robi Ludwig, Psy.D., a Care.com parenting expert. “You need to structure your time so that you can use it productively while still allowing for flexibility.” Check out the Day Designer collection of daily planners here!
They Get Out
Titles aside, being a Stay-at-Home Mom doesn’t mean that you never get out! You already make sure you get your kids out every day, but it’s also important to set aside time to make sure you get out to do things that are meaningful to you as well—such as joining a book club, taking a photography class, going for a run every day. Doing things that define you outside of the role as “mom” is important for your well-being and overall mindset, adding balance to your week.
They Make Time for Friends
Having friends is essential for providing a reprieve from all of life’s stresses and often-overwhelming moments. Don’t get so lost in your work and parenting that you inadvertently cut your friends out of your life. Make time for the ones you love, and try to connect with new people with interests similar to your own. You won’t regret it. Getting some much-needed adult time in is important for your sanity, and carving out time with your gang is important! Make some plans and write them in your daily planner today.
They Don’t Strive for Perfection
Successful moms know that striving for perfection is the fastest way to burn out. Instead of putting unrealistic pressure on yourself to do everything absolutely perfectly—for example, having a spotless house, an amazing dinner, the laundry caught up, and all of your work done. Try to strive for “good enough.” Have the kids been fed? Check. Is the house still inhabitable? Check! Are there clean clothes still in the drawers? Check, check! Remember: Don’t stress it. Things don’t have to be perfect, and your kids won’t mind having simple toast and eggs for dinner!
They Expect to Succeed
This one doesn’t mean that stay-at-home moms expect everything to be perfect all of the time, but it does mean they keep persevering—even when things get messy. Sure, we all have our good days and our bad, and when you have the responsibility of raising children, the pressure can feel overwhelming at times. It’s important to realize though, that at the end of the day, you have what it takes to handle anything that life throws your way. Instead of viewing success as an option, make it the only option. Don’t let minor setbacks discourage you or cause you to give up. Know that you can make it happen.
Finally, don’t feel guilty about outsourcing. Hire someone to help with the housework or some of the daily tasks, or even enlist the services of a babysitter a few times a week. Find what works for you—and embrace it. There’s no need to feel guilt over doing whatever it takes to make things work for your family.
In many ways, having kids can inspire you and encourage you to reach higher, do better, and demand more from life. Children don’t have to mean the end of a career. In fact, in many ways they give us more motivation to succeed—which is something that will undoubtedly carry over into your professional life.
Moms, have you found success after kids? Share your inspiring stories with us in the comments!