15 Moms on Balancing Work and Motherhood

15 Moms on Balancing Work and Motherhood

Moms who work outside the home share how they balance it all (or don’t).

By Judy Koutsky

Nobody ever said balancing work and motherhood would be easy, and yet so many women do it. We asked moms to share their secrets to making it work. Their answers may surprise you.

1. “Lower your standards across the board.”

2. “Plan, prepare, and get ahead whenever you can.”

3. “Accept that there is no down time -- there will always be a sick child or a work deadline and usually both.”

4. “Don't let your guilt make you an indulgent parent.”

5. “Learn to ask for and accept help.”

6. “Prioritize what is really important and figure out what to let go.”

7. “Realize you can't do everything to 100 percent. Once I accepted that, it made things much, much easier.”

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8. “I have no idea … I considered just burning down my house and starting over, but a couple of friends took pity on me and got me a full housecleaning for my 40th birthday last month. That should get us through a couple more weeks. I feel guilty -- a lot.”

9. “I try to be as organized as possible and do anything I can to save time during the crazy workweek. I cook several meals on the weekends, so I can easily reheat and serve Monday through Friday.”


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10. “I make and pack lunches at night before I go to bed, so mornings are easier.”

11. “My husband and I divide and conquer: My husband cleans up after dinner while I bathe the kids. He handles drop-off and pick-up for one child, and I handle the other.”

12. “When I am at work, I concentrate on work and doing a good job. And when I am at home with my kids, I concentrate on them. I try not to bring work home, but when I have no choice, I wait to do it when my kids are asleep. I try very hard not to let the two jobs conflict.”

13. “When I’m at home, I don’t touch my [phone]. It’s important to give my kids my undivided attention.”

14. “What I've found works well (if you have a job that allows it) is to do work at home and home at work. Ordering a winter coat for the kids online during lunch at work takes half the time it would at home! Sending a birthday evite from work and focusing on it for five minutes is better than the 30 minutes it would take while wrangling kids off your keyboard. And of course this means taking a conference call from Asia at 9 p.m. when the kids are in bed or finishing a presentation on a Saturday while someone takes your kids to the park.”

15. “The trick to finding balance as a working mom is to take the long view: Some days, work will come first, other days, family will come first, and hopefully, once in a while, you will come first. You have to look at how your life balances over the course of months, not days.”

How do you balance work and motherhood?

Judy Koutsky is the former Editorial Director of KIWI magazine, a green parenting publication. She was also Executive Editor of Parenting.com, AOL Parent and BabyTalk.com. Follow her on Twitter @JudyKoutsky.

Image ©iStock.com/IS_ImageSource

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