Working mothers: How to achieve balance in your life

Good balance helps you to be productive at work and good in parenting

In Summary

• Having a trustworthy child care system will remove the stress and anxiety that may come with not being with your child.

A mother breastfeeds her baby.
WORKING MOTHERS A mother breastfeeds her baby.
Image: /COURTESY : She Knows, Pinterest.

Being a working mother is one of the biggest challenges women face.

Most especially, when you are a mother to your firstborn, second or third-born child.

Getting back to work and leaving your child at home can cause you anxiety and anguish that may affect your productivity at work.

It is therefore vital that you develop a good balance between your work and your life in order to be productive and thrive at work and in motherhood.

The first step of getting a good balance is developing a routine.

A routine for yourself and your child will make sure you get to work on time and get back home in time after work.

The second step is getting child care that works best for you. Do you have a nanny to stay home with your child or do you take your child to daycare or to school?

Having a trustworthy child care system will remove the stress and anxiety that may come from not being with your child.

Work-life Balance

Now that you know your child is safe while you are at work, you need to actually work.

Your work life and personal life can end up exhausting you if you are not careful.

You may end up bringing your personal baggage to work or bringing your work baggage at home.

So first things first:

1. Leave your work at work.

As a personal philosophy, strive to leave your work at your workplace.

Remember how teachers told us that homework is done at home? Well, the same applies to your work.

Try not to send that email or receive that phone call or even write that draft of that report while at home.

Women already have a lot to do when they get home. From children requiring undivided attention to spending time with their spouses to finishing up on laundry or dishes and to preparing their children for school the next day.

Even when you have a domestic manager helping you with your household, be present at home.

Times are changing

2. Ask for help.

There is no shame in asking for help at work or at home when you feel overwhelmed.

Moms tend to feel like all-powerful superheroes and often feel guilty to ask for help.

If you have great colleagues, you may ask them to cover your shift or your extra hours when you feel too overwhelmed by work.

You can also do the same for them when they feel overwhelmed so that you prevent burnout at work.

At home, you can even ask your partner to handle some tasks so that you can get breathing space.

They can cook or pick up the children from school when you are running late from work.

They may even help clean up the house after a long day. After all, you both live in that house.

Even though our cultures are very patriarchal in nature, times are changing.

3. Schedule time for rest, family, and friends.

Don't skip your time off.

Sometimes you may want to skip your day off because you have a lot of work to catch up on. Don't do it.

Don't spend it at home doing work either. Just rest and reset your mind so you don't end up resenting your job.

Be deliberate about making time for outside-work activities with friends and family as well.

Ask yourself when was the last time you saw your friends outside of the workplace or your sister who lives in Kiambu, less than an hour away from Nairobi?

Don't let your life be all about work.