Balancing Work and Kids

Balancing Work and Kids

I worked hard before I could find my work-life balance. As mothers, we have this great responsibility of making sure our kids grow up as they should. Sometimes, they are extremely demanding. Picture a situation where you have a breastfeeding baby and another sick toddler. For a working mom like me, work/life balance was elusive at the beginning even sounding like a myth.

But when I began making deliberate choices about which opportunities to pursue and which to decline, I began to be more meaningfully engaged. When I reflect on my progress, I realize that there are defining themes that keep coming up.

Travelling & relocating selectively

Whenever I was travelling, it was always stressful. Lingering questions like whether the kids were asleep, eaten, or even if sick keep flooding my mind. I ended up making so many phone calls that I concentrated less on my job than I should have.

I did the math eventually, and decided to cut back on my trips. I realized that some were not worth it at all. When my children eventually become adolescents, I do not plan to travel a single bit.

Collaborating with your spouse

If you have no emotional support from your partner, they may be contributing very little to your balancing efforts. We women love complimentary relationships, especially if you’re a working mother with kids to raise.  I realized that my spouse’s work and behavioral skills balanced out my own tendencies. If there is stress, it’s shared out between us.  Yes, I do count myself lucky!

Manage your communications

Undivided attention both at home and workplace is essential. You can imagine your boss calling and it’s your 4 year old who picks up…it’s happened. Worst of all kids can delete your text messages or even important emails. Deciding when and where to be accessible is still a challenge but I am getting better at saying no.

These days I am honest about how much I can multitask and how often I’m available to my team. I keep my inboxes under control too.  When I put my phone down, I don’t look at it again until morning, if it isn’t on fire it can wait. Here is some help I has achieving that, it wasn’t easy the temptation to look at your phone is great.

Create support networks

That aunt you rarely call could be your savior when you go out of town. Occasionally, you will need to vent out your frustrations. What better people to talk to than family. I once had a cousin come over to help babysit whenever she was on holiday.

My colleagues have also been valuable sounding boards. Were it not for their compassion, my career would be derailed.  Nevertheless, obtaining this balance has been a sobering reality with no clear cut formula. I still have my family and my work calling for attention and that isn’t going to change.

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My Kids Play Soccer So I Can Have an Hour of Peace

My Kids Play Soccer So I Can Have an Hour of Peace

Remember back when you first discovered you were pregnant how thrilled you were, you would soon have a little bundle of joy of your very own.  Then came the sleepless nights, teething and colic and whatever else that deprived you of sleep.  For that you were rewarded with the terrible twos.  Oh joy!  Ah…but then a few years later the real reward came…school.

Suddenly your little bundle of joy was 5 and off to kindergarten and you could pee all by yourself.  It’s the small things, I know.  Yes, you did miss them and hoped they liked school but the peace and quiet was precious.  That doesn’t make you a bad person or a bad mother, it makes you human.  Alas the school day would end and within three minutes of walking in the door chaos resumed.  Now once my kids went to school I went back to work so my quiet times alone were very, very short lived.

Going Back to Work

Make no mistake leaving my kids and going back to work was hard and for a long time I spent half my day working and the other half fretting over how they were doing, were they eating and were they driving the teacher absolutely nuts.  I know teachers, it happens to the best of them.

Evenings and Weekends

Ask any working mother and they will tell you evenings and weekends are certainly not the relaxing oasis they once were.  You are trying to prepare for the days and weeks ahead while your littles run around like they have eaten pixie sticks with a Red Bull chaser, honestly I need some of that!


Most parents will tell you they put their kids in extra curricular activities like soccer, swimming or whatever your preferred sport is so that their kids will learn valuable lessons like teamwork and good sportsmanship.  Yeah, I am not that parent.  Oh don’t get me wrong I want my kids to learn all that stuff and become well rounded adults.

An Hour of Peace

The truth is…my kids play soccer so I can have an hour of peace!  I can drop them off to practice and go sit in Starbucks sip my latte, make fun of the hipsters (never out loud) and just bask in the quiet…aaaah.  Yes I know there will come a day when they’re all grown up and gone and I will miss the hugs, kissing skinned knees better and the chaos that reigns today.

But right now it’s just me and my caramel macchiato extra foam.

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