Balance?

Michelle - posted on 01/17/2009 ( 13 moms have responded )

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I have a terrible time finding balance for my professional life, family, and myself. I am so overwhelmed all the time. How do working moms do it? Since I have to work, I wonder if I am just destined to struggle with this lifestyle my entire life? Most of my friends are stay at home moms and also struggle with balance. My working mom friends do not seem to struggle like I do. How do I find happiness and balance in this challenging lifestyle?

13 Comments

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Laurie - posted on 01/20/2009

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Michelle,

I've been a working mom since day 1 (about 13 years now). I think you just get through the rough days, ignore the laundry pile sometimes, and accept that you're not superwoman. Then read your kid a book, make lunches for the next day, and do it all over again the next day. There are lighter times and holidays and vacations are awesome, but I think you get to a place where you get into a rhythm. And any working mom that looks completely put together either has a stay-at-home husband (who cleans) or cleaning people! I don't believe they really exist.

Laurie :)

Mary - posted on 01/20/2009

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You may be able to find some help through church. Especially with confirmation students (usually sophomores or juniors in high school) who need to do service projects and collect service hours. Or with Boy Scouts or Girls Scouts. Don't hesitate to take offers from family and friends. They would enjoy helping and you'll appreciate a little spare time. But keep in mind, the time goes by really fast and you'll miss them once they become independent...like age 12 or so!

Michelle - posted on 01/20/2009

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Thanks for everyone's kind words. I agree with many of you that I enjoy the professional part of my life and know that it allows me to be a good provider to my children. I am not really cut out to stay at home full time but I just need to find balance with everything that is going on. Until recently, I was part-time and it was working out well, but I was offered a promotion that took me back to full time status. The new position is full time but less demanding and stressful. As a result my husband and I decided to find a mother's helper for me in the evenings. The tough part is no one seems to be interested. I really do not want to pay for a nanny but sure could use a few hours of help in the evenings.



I appreciate all of the words of support and reassurance. It is nice to know that someone else out there feels similar to me and that they are making it work. I hope once my children are a bit older it may get slightly easier. I am still nursing my youngest so I often rush home to her instead of taking a minute for myself.

Alice - posted on 01/19/2009

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I had to realize that I cannot do everything! I went back to work when my twins were 3 months old, and have needed and asked for help all the time.

Natasha - posted on 01/19/2009

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I managed to stay home with my daughter until she was 4yrs, but by then I needed to go to work for my own sanity!  It is definitely a struggle though.



My DH is a chef so usually at night there is only my daughter and I, and the hardest thing for me is meals.  By the time I pick her up from my friends house (after school care), then get home its 6pm and traditionally my DD's bedtime is 7pm.  It just doesnt work. 



Not to mention just how much I HATE cooking.  So we end up with really boring, quick meals - frozen veges and schnitzel or oven baked fish (bought frozen and battered from the supermarket...) and chips (fries).  Something has to give or I need to get more organised and prepare meals the night before.....but thats my time to get a breather.  :(

[deleted account]

Great question! I went back to work full-time when my son was almost 4 months. All it took was a couple of weeks of that to know it wasn't going to work. Now, 2 months later, I work 16 hours a week in the office and about 4 from home. I still have trouble balancing everything! One thing I noticed was not working for me was coming home around dinner time. I wanted to be able to cook and spend time with my baby before he went to bed, and that wasn't possible. So, now I'm home mid-day and find that I have plenty of time. So, if it's possible for you to start work earlier and get home a litte earlier, might help. Best of luck!

Molly - posted on 01/18/2009

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I feel your pain!  You always feel guilty.  "well, if I were to have a day off, should I take them to daycare for me time or, should I spend time with them?"  It's all a struggle and balance..but, as I rocked my 8-month-old tonight, I realized that I won't have much longer to do that and I soaked in, just the half hour that I held her...she is my last so I feel guilty that I haven't spent much time with her, but I know I'm doing what is best for my family.

[deleted account]

I'm a single mom so I have to be a working mom. Things do get better as the children get older and begin to pick up responsibilities for themselves. I also had my son help with household chores since he was very young - things like gathering and sorting the laundry or taking out the trash, doing dishes, raking leaves. It was little things at first and started as 'helping Mommy' games and as he grew he is able to do more to help as well as take care of himself.

Mary - posted on 01/18/2009

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I understand where you are....but could you really sit home with your kids all day? I don't know how stay at home moms can stand it. As a working mom, you have a variety of interests, activities, self-esteem, self-respect and respect of a lot of people. Hang in there and enjoy  the variety and your contributions to society. Your kids will make life-long friends in daycare and will admire you for having a career too. (my kids are 19 and 20)

Callie - posted on 01/18/2009

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You find happiness in knowing you are doing the right thing for you & your family.  You tell all of the important people in your life how important it is to you to work toward your goals/dreams.  Pretty soon your friends & family are embracing the dream with you & willing to help out in any way.  Say yes if they offer!  Believe in yourself, Michelle!

Claire - posted on 01/18/2009

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Working and balancing family etc is a challenge but try get your partner to help out with things. I work either 8-4 or 9-5 and if I am working early I drop my child off at daycare as early as possible and then head to the gym for me time where I can relax. If I'm working the late I go to the gym or run errands before picking him up. I find that a routine works well and planning. I menus plan for the week so I don't have to think about whats for dinner etc. I "schedule" cleaning 1/2 hours or 1 hour into my night with the help of my child and husband. It is a way of getting things done, teaching my child valuable lessons and spending time with him.

With most of the chores done during the very busy week the weekend is free to enjoy. It works for us. I hope you find the balance for yourself. :)

Chelsey - posted on 01/18/2009

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Hi Michelle.



Its hard work, isn't it!!  I had to change job to cut my hours back as i was struggling to manage childcare and work!!  I also got sick of missing things at school such as christmas plays, cake sales, sports day etc.  Even tho its still a struggle sometimes, such as when your child gets sick at school and you have to take days off work, but with a cut back on hours its definitely easier.  I guess organisation is essential, but i have to say, its not one of my strong points!!!  Good luck, hope you find the balace.



Chelsey xx

Rachelle - posted on 01/18/2009

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I wish i could offer some advice! i work part time and it seems to help a little but i still don't find time to do all i want as my daughter always wants my attention and its not like i can ignore her heh. im sure you will be able to find a balance, getting people to help for an hour or two so you get some "me" time, as thats what i find i can't get.
I hope you find some balance soon!

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