How To Balance a Demanding Job and Motherhood02 Jan, 20241-2 minutes
In this blog, you will learn:
- How to balance being a mum and managing a busy workload.
- The challenges of being a mum and having a busy workload.
- How to look after your wellbeing as a working mum.
- What to do if you feel burnt out at work.
Becoming a mother is one of the most fulfilling journeys life has to offer; however, it can also be incredibly tiring and emotionally challenging when trying to juggle it with a career.
According to Gov.uk, the number of working mothers has increased by 10% since 2010, with 73% of mums also holding down a job in 2022.
According to Women's Health, 58% of women return to work before they are fully recovered from birth, due to financial pressures. These challenges are often overlooked and being a working mum leaves little time to prioritise their own wellbeing.
Establishing a sensible and realistic work-life balance is a vital part of caring for your wellbeing. If you're struggling to establish this, we’ve recently compiled 6 tips for a better work-life balance in a recent blog.
Taking care of a little one is hard enough on its own, but when you add work to the equation, it's easy to feel stretched to your limits. If you’re struggling to manage a demanding job and motherhood, we’re on hand to help you balance being a mum with a busy workload.
How to balance being a mum and a busy workload
Here are some of our top tips for balancing motherhood with a busy workload:
- Set a routine.
- Prioritise your to-do list.
- Practise self care.
- Delegate where you can.
Set a routine
Establishing a routine is an effective way to bring order to a busy day and juggle the demands of parenting and working.
A routine will allow you to effectively manage your time at work and then when you return to family life. If you know you have a busy day at work ahead, we advise sticking to your morning routine as closely as possible to mitigate the chance of falling behind and starting your day on a bad note.
Your routine might involve cleaning, dressing and feeding yourself and your children before you begin your day at work.
You might also wish to create an evening routine to ensure your children are in bed at a reasonable time and that you have time to unwind after a long day at work.
Sticking to a routine is not just about managing your time efficiently; it also helps to create a sense of stability and familiarity for your children too.
A routine can also help to minimise stressful situations, as you know what needs doing and when it needs doing by. This means that if you have any plans that don’t fit into your usual routine, you can efficiently determine whether you can juggle them amongst your other responsibilities.
Prioritise your to-do list
If you find yourself running out of time and energy to juggle parenting with a demanding job, we advise writing a clear list of tasks you need to complete. Creating a to-do list is a useful way to visualise tasks that need tackling.
Prioritising the tasks on your list will help you break down your responsibilities into manageable chunks, making it easier to focus on one thing at a time.
Deciphering what needs urgent attention and what can be dealt with at a later time, can help to reduce stress and prevent burnout. Effectively managing your time will help you excel as a parent and within your career by ensuring you aren’t wasting time on unnecessary tasks.
Delegate where you can
Delegating tasks is essential for working mums, as it helps efficiently manage the demands of both work and family life.
Delegating, whether it be at work or as a mother, can help to reduce stress by freeing up more of your time, making it easier to be more productive at work and spend more time with your children.
As delegating will free up more of your time, it allows you to have time for self care and to do things you enjoy doing, which means you can switch off and recharge.
Delegating will also help prevent burnout as it helps distribute the workload, reducing the overwhelming burden that often leads to physical and emotional exhaustion.
Practice self care
As a working mum, it's easy to get caught up in daily tasks and forget about yourself, but practising self care is important.
Focusing on your own wellbeing gives you the opportunity to completely switch off, destress, recharge and do what makes you happy.
Ways to relax and recharge include:
- Taking a relaxing bath.
- Reading a book.
- Having a home paper day.
- Getting stuck into your favourite TV show.
- Making your favourite food.
It’s important to remember, the happier you feel as a mum, the better this might reflect on your parenting and ability to manage motherhood and a busy workload.
Why is it important to strike the right balance between working and being a mum?
Finding a balance between motherhood and managing a busy workload can allow you to pursue your career goals, whilst remaining present in your children’s lives.
This is important as pursuing your career goals not only brings personal fulfilment but also sets a positive example for your children, teaching them about dedication and the possibility of achieving both personal and career goals.
A successful career often means increased income, financial security, and providing opportunities for a comfortable lifestyle. Financial security also reduces stress and supports the family's overall wellbeing.
Striking the right balance can also help to prevent you from feeling burnt out and overwhelmed. It's important that mums don't feel overwhelmed and burnout, as feeling this way can result in decreased productivity and therefore make balancing motherhood and a demanding career harder to achieve.
What should I do if I feel burnt out at work?
If you're a working mum feeling the pressure of juggling parenting with work, it's important you put yourself and your mental health first.
If you’re feeling burnt out and it’s having an adverse effect on your life, here’s our 6 simple but effective ways to beat stress head on.
Taking a short break can do a world of wonders. Even if it's just 10 minutes whilst you're still at work, use this time to do things for yourself such as make a hot drink, take a short walk to clear your mind whilst listening to a podcast or just step outside for some fresh air.
Listening to podcasts can be beneficial for clearing your mind and staying motivated. Check out 6 wellness podcasts to nourish your mind and body.
If you're not able to take a short break at work, take the time at night when your children are asleep. Take 10-15 minutes to reflect on your day, make a hot drink and take time to relax.
Setting clear boundaries between work and your personal life is important too. Learn to say no if your employer is pressuring you to take on additional work. Spinning too many plates can lead to you feeling overwhelmed and stressed.
Don't forget to take care of yourself through activities that make you happy and relaxed such as exercising, meditation, meeting up with friends and pampering yourself. Taking part in activities you enjoy has been shown to release endorphins, chemicals known to reduce stress and improve mood.
According to MedicalNewsToday, high endorphin levels may also help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, highlighting how important it is to dedicate time to yourself, as well as your role as a mother and in the workplace.
If an overwhelming workload is interfering with your day to day ability to perform as a mother, seeking professional help is advised. There are lots of amazing charities who offer guidance and coping strategies for working mums, such as Working Families, MumsAid and Mums In Need.
What if my workplace isn't helping the situation?
If you're struggling balancing motherhood with a demanding workload, and your workplace isn't providing the support you need, it can be tough.
Here are a few steps we advise taking:
- Have an open conversation with your manager.
- Keep a record of your efforts to seek support.
- Take time to understand your company’s policy on parental support and work-life balance.
Have an open conversation with your manager
Talking to your manager is important as they might not realise you are struggling to balance work with motherhood. Having an open conversation will help them understand what's going on and how it's affecting you.
Your manager might have some good advice or resources that could help you balance your job role with being a mother. They may offer you a flexible working schedule or the opportunity to work from home.
Having an open conversation will also help build a better relationship between you and your manager, meaning you feel more comfortable discussing problems and finding solutions together.
Keep a record of your efforts to seek support
It's a good idea to keep a record of all the times you've tried to get help when you're struggling with balancing motherhood with a busy workload.
You should write down the dates, who you spoke to, what you talked about, any emails you sent, or anything else you did to try and seek advice or support.
Documenting your efforts shows you've been trying to reach out for help and can be useful if you need to talk to a senior member of staff or HR.
Take time to understand your company’s policy on parental support
Taking the time to understand your company's policy on parental support is important when you're struggling to juggle work and being a mum.
Knowing the ins and outs of this policy can help you figure out what kind of help you can access from your company. It gives you the knowledge to stand up for yourself if you think you're not being treated fairly.
When you understand the policy, it's much easier to talk to your manager or the HR department. They should take you more seriously if you can highlight areas of the policy that you don’t feel are being adhered to.
How can I look after my wellbeing as a working mum?
Taking care of yourself as a working mum is vital. It helps you prioritise your emotional wellbeing whilst juggling parenthood with the demands of your job.
When you prioritise your wellbeing, you create a happier, healthier environment for both you and your baby.
Here are a few ways to look after your wellbeing as a working mum:
- Exercise and enjoy the fresh air.
- Set realistic expectations.
- Rest and sleep.
- Connect with other working mums.
Exercise and enjoy the fresh air
Taking time for exercise and fresh air as a working mum can work wonders for your wellbeing. Not only does it help you regain your physical strength after childbirth, it also has a positive impact on your mental health.
Getting those feel-good endorphins flowing can boost your mood and reduce stress and anxiety. Being outside in the fresh air can also give you a much needed change of scenery.
Whether it's a long walk in the countryside or an outdoor yoga session, it's important to give yourself an extra boost of energy to help you balance being a mum with a busy workload.
Set realistic expectations
Setting realistic expectations is crucial for a working mum's wellbeing. We advise setting yourself achievable goals as a mother and within your career. Doing so will mitigate the negative effects of piling too much pressure on yourself, such as stress and potential burnout.
Setting realistic expectations also gives you the opportunity to celebrate small victories. This is a great way to boost morale and feel positive within your personal and professional life.
When expectations align with reality, it’s also easier to adapt, which is an important skill when balancing the demands of motherhood and a busy career.
Rest and sleep
Rest and sleep play a crucial role in looking after your wellbeing as a working mum. With the demands of being a parent, it's easy to neglect your own sleep, but prioritising rest is essential for your physical and mental health.
Getting adequate sleep helps restore your energy levels. Taking short naps whenever possible and establishing a consistent sleep routine can help you feel more refreshed and better equipped to handle the challenges of juggling parenthood and work.
For single mothers and those without a strong support system to rely on, finding time to rest can be especially challenging. If you find yourself in this position, consider reaching out to local community resources or support groups that may offer temporary child care assistance.
By ensuring you get the rest you need, you can approach each day with a clearer mind and a stronger sense of resilience.
Connect with other working mums
Connecting with other working mums is a great way to meet people facing the same challenges as yourself and can provide valuable support whilst reducing feelings of isolation.
Sharing tips with other working mums can offer practical strategies for balancing the challenges of parenthood with a busy job.
Additionally, it creates opportunities for socialising and building friendships, providing a much needed break from the demands of childcare.
Who is Spencer Clarke Group
Since 2017, we've been changing the face of recruitment. From our employees, to the way we do business, to the culture within our office, we're determined to make a difference and create a positive impact on everyone around us.
Recruitment to us isn't just about matching candidates and clients; we’re passionate about finding candidates the perfect job which has the ability to boost their salary and standard of living, better their work life balance and improve their mental health.
Similarly, we understand the impact which an experienced and skilled employee can make to a business and we love seeing clients thrive through the hard work of candidates which we have placed with them.
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