This week’s Saturday Sidebar Question comes from World Moms Blog Fan. She asked our writers,
“What are your best tips for balancing family life and career life? How do you make it work where you live?”
Check out what some of our World Moms had to say…
Momma Expat of France writes:
“ When I was in the US, working full-time outside of the home, my husband always pitched in to help around the house and three
days a week made dinner. This allowed me to fulfill my work requirements and feel supported. Now that I’m working from home part-time, my husband is STILL continuing to support me by freeing me up to run in the morning while he takes my son to school. Since my sister-in-law is also here with me, she said, “Also making sure mom gets a full night of sleep! So important to face the next day! And lastly choosing to let certain things go and focusing on what’s more important. Lastly, parents should make time for one another. Both of us would pick one day a month and leave our kids in school or daycare to go out for lunch. Spending time for one another is really important!”
Eva Fannon of Washington State, USA writes:
“As a working mom, sometimes I feel like every day is a juggling act. So I try to plan ahead whenever possible (coordination with my husband about business trips is key!), but also take things one day at a time, more than that gets too overwhelming for me!”
AnaGaby@StumbleAbroad of Indonesia writes:
“As a stay-at-home mom currently in the process or reentering the work force I have to say that we have to add a third and maybe fourth factor to the equation. I believe that separating some time for ourselves is key to an integral lifestyle. Whether you need a good run, a good book or a good cup of coffee with girlfriends, you need to find a balance that keeps you engaged and happy. The fourth element is reigniting your relationship with your partner. Family life is fun but remember that your family started as two and changing diapers and taking turns helping with homework or baths isn’t the perfect date night.”
Hamakkomommy of Japan writes:
“This is a big problem in Japan! With the aging population and prolonged recession, women could be a vital resource but most women quit working (many times they are pushed out by their companies, other times they are pressured by family) once their first child is born. It’s hard to get back in the saddle after you’ve been thrown from the horse. Full time employees here work very long hours; childcare is in short supply, and the tax system encourages spouses to stay at home. (If you earn less than $700US a month than you are covered under your husband’s insurance and pension. You have to earn around $2500/month to make up the difference.) Japan is really struggling with work balance, and a culture where many males think it isn’t their responsibility to help around the house adds another factor to the mix. In our family, I’m a SAHM (like 2/3 of women with children under the age of 6). I’d like to work at least part-time once my youngest starts school, but my husband has made it very clear that he won’t help around the house, and with aging in-laws who expect me to care for them when the time comes, I don’t know if work outside the home is in my future at all.”
Kirsten Doyle of Ontario, Canada writes:
“Don’t stress out if something doesn’t get done. Ask yourself if that load of laundry absolutely HAS to get done tonight, or if the world will fall apart if you occasionally get takeout for the family because you’re too tired to cook. Moms who work outside of the home tends to feel a great deal of guilt if they cannot do everything. We’re human – we need to cut ourselves some slack.”
Maman Aya of New York, USA writes:
“We chose to live in New York City, so that we wouldn’t have long commutes, and so far it has paid off (although we are running out of space). We both work, and are both able to make it home relatively quickly, so that we can have dinner together as a family, which is so important to me. I find that our apartment is often messy, with toys all over the place, and laundry may not get done exactly the day I was intending to, since I’d rather take the kids out to do something, or join them in playing a game when I’m not working. We also order dinner in, so that I can have time with the kids instead of getting home and prepping dinner and not speeding time with them. I am lucky though – I only work out of the house 3 days a week, and from home on a fourth day, which works out really well for me.”
Mannahattamamma of United Arab Emirates writes:
“My husband and I are both professors, so my “joke” is that between the two of us, given the odd rhythm of a professor’s schedule, is that we create the illusion of one full-time parent. But…er…most of that “parent” stuff falls to me: doctor appointments, haircuts, calendar logistics…. How do I do the juggle? Don’t be afraid to be messy, know what domestic chores left undone push your buttons and make sure THOSE, at least, get done by someone, anyone (and outsource the cleaning if you can afford it); know that you’re not going to please everyone all the time but could kill yourself trying, remember that old cliché that NO ONE on his/her deathbed ever, ever wished for more time at the office. And perhaps hope for a time-turner, ala Hermione Granger: More here on my blog.”
Susie Newday of Israel writes:
Other than letting go of your own expectations as well as what you think others expect from you, make sure your kids and husband lend a hand. Not only do your kids learn how to clean and cook but they also learn a sense of responsibility. You can start them from a young age. There is no reason they can’t pick up after themselves or fold easy things like kitchen towels. Check out two of my posts here on my personal blog. One is here and the other is here.”
ThirdEyeMom of Minnesota, USA writes:
“I think it is honestly easier when one spouse stays home with the kids when they are young. But I know it doesn’t always work out that way.”
Travel Lady with Baby of Quebec, Canada writes:
“My husband and I run a company, and as things have taken off, in a crazy way, we look at our household as a company. We outsource everything that doesn’t matter, cleaning etc. but our son is our priority. We don’t have any help, no daycare, no regular babysitter, and we don’t have family to help. Our company is family friendly, we just schedule meetings in such a way that one of us is with him. As for individual time, we exercise, and once a month we do have a date night.”
Natalia Rankine-Galloway@CultureBabyBlog of Morocco writes:
“I find that you have to forgive yourself a lot. You can’t do it all. I try to focus on one thing at a time. If it’s play time, no smart phone. If it’s work time, then the baby is with Dad, at school or with a sitter. Cutting myself in two leaves no one very happy.”
What about you…How do you balance family life and career life?
And do you have a question you would like to pose to our WMB writers? If so, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see what they have to say.
Don’t forget to visit us tomorrow to check out the travel itinerary for next week!
– World Moms Blog
Photo credit to Richie, Robert Yarnall http://www.flickr.com/photos/smu_cul_digitalcollections/7009417647/. This photo has a creative commons attribute license.