Are you having trouble balancing work and family? Whether your a career woman or a work-at-home mom, balancing family and career is perhaps the single most challenging aspect of modern motherhood. I don’t have all the answers: It is something I struggle with every day. In fact, I am late publishing this article because it is hard to take photos with wiggly little ones, my oldest had science night at his school last night (fun!), and my preschooler got slime all over the living room when I finally was able to get on the computer.
But luckily I have found some things that have help me in my journey. If you are looking for better balance in your life, here are 4 things you can do right now.
Don’t miss our big giveaway below for a copy of the incredible new book Work PAUSE Thrive: How to Pause for Parenthood Without Killing Your Career by Lisen Stromberg!
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Balancing Work and Family: 4 Things to Do Right Now
1. Know that it’s not your fault.
We’ve all heard about “mommy guilt” – that uncomfortable feeling you get when you are doing something for yourself and not your kids. Despite great strides in recent decades, we live in a culture that still teaches mothers that their needs always come after those of their children, whether you are looking at career or simply having some “me” time. But the problem is deeper than that: there are serious structural problems that make it impossible for women (and men) to prioritize both their families and their careers. From national policies to workplace culture, working parents are often forced to put their careers ahead of their families or risk losing out on critical promotions and opportunities. By putting the onus on mothers themselves (how you should find balance in your life), the focus is taken off the changes that could be made in the public realm. Awareness is the first step.
2. Throw out the old paradigms.
Most women feel like they must choose between family and career: once they have a baby, they have to either stay at home or return to the office. But these days more and more women are choosing to trailblaze their own career paths using non-traditional methods, such as flexible schedules, working remotely from home, working freelance or starting their own companies.
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3. Think long-term.
As my mother is good about reminding me, there are seasons to life. You will not always have small children at home. Babies grow up and no longer need constant care. Children eventually learn to make their own sandwiches, find their lost toys (hopefully!), and make their own way in the world. Don’t be discouraged if all of your time is absorbed with these tasks right now, because this will change. Make a long-term strategy of where you would like to be in 5 years, 10, or 15.
4. Read Work, Pause, Thrive.
I highly recommend that every mother read the new book Work PAUSE Thrive: How to Pause for Parenthood Without Killing Your Career by Lisen Stromberg. Stromberg is an award-winning journalist and CEO and founder of her own consultancy and – most importantly to me – she is a mom of three who has been there through career changes and family crises.
But her groundbreaking work isn’t just based on her own experiences. She collected data from nearly 1,500 women about their career/family trajectories and conducted 186 interviews. And what she found was startling: in the face of difficult odds, more and more women are throwing out the old paradigms and forging their own paths to integrate career and family in non-traditional ways.
Yet for the most part, the paths were only clear in hindsight. Often the women were making tough choices at pivotal moments, unsure of where they would lead. Through compiling her data, Stromberg is for the first time presenting to women alternate paths they can take, so that their career trajectories will not feel as haphazard as hers often did.
As a mother of grown children and a woman at the peak of her career, Stromberg has great insight to share with readers, always speaking with her younger self in mind but also her own children as they begin on their careers.
And best of all, you can win a copy of this incredible book! Enter below for a chance to win.
Prizes: One of 15 copies of Work PAUSE Thrive by Lisen Stromberg ($25 ARV)
Dates: February 21, 2017 – March 11, 2017
Entry Options: You may enter the giveaway via the widget with the following options: Tweet a message
Notification: Winners will be randomly selected and notified by March 14, 2017
Terms & Conditions: See the widget for details
Eligibility: Age 18+, US resident only, only one winner per household
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.