As a working mom, it’s hard to find the balance between career and family. However, there are some simple ways to make time for your family when you’re a working mom.
I used to work outside the home before leaving my career to raise my kids. Now that all of my kids are in school, I work from home.
Over the years I learned that a few changes in how I approach my days help me make time for my family without sacrificing my work.
It wasn’t until I discovered my passion and began to pursue it that I realized how all-consuming work can become in our lives.
I was so excited about the work I was doing that I didn’t want to do anything else. Because I was doing this work from home, it was hard to separate the two.
There came a time when I knew something had to change before I burned out and left my family neglected in the process.
Ways to make time for your family when you’re a working mom
Are you a working mom who is desperate to make more time for your family? The following things have helped me, and I hope they help you too.
You need to be able to focus on your work and your family because both are important. A few simple changes will keep you from sacrificing one for the other.
1 // Set good boundaries
As a working mom, you have to set good boundaries to make the most of your hours at home. Make a commitment to leave work at work.
Put your phone in the other room as soon as you get home. Don’t check emails or respond to work texts or phone calls while you’re with your family.
If you work from home, set specific office hours and stick to them. Pack your laptop up by a certain time each day and do your best not to work during the evening hours.
2 // Create good routines
Streamline your day by creating solid routines for both the morning and the evening. Each routine has a different purpose, but both will ensure that time with your family is spent well.
A good morning routine sets your day up for success. Plan to wake up before your kids, so you have time to get ready for work and drink your coffee before they get out of bed.
This allows you to start your day in peace instead of chaos. Once your kids wake up, you can spend time with them while they eat and get ready for school instead of feeling rushed to get out the door.
Use your evening routine to do things that will allow you to rest well, knowing that you can start fresh the next day.
We spend a lot of time in the kitchen each morning, so I like to make sure the kitchen is clean before I go to bed. I also make sure the coffee pot is ready to go, so I don’t have to think about that the next morning.
3 // Manage your time well
You have to learn to say “no” to certain things to make room for things that are more important in this season of life.
Just because it’s a “no” now doesn’t mean it can’t be a “yes” later. Saying no isn’t always easy. Keep the end goal in mind.
Do not feel bad for saying turning down an opportunity that doesn’t line up with your priorities.
For example, let’s say a friend invites you to attend a spin class with her on Wednesday evenings after work.
A polite way to say no would be, “Thank you so much for thinking of me. That sounds like a lot of fun, but I won’t be able to go. My weeknights are reserved for my family.”
Be sure to give a firm no without leaving things open-ended. You can be direct without being rude by expressing gratitude and stating your priority in this season.
4 // Split household tasks
As a stay-at-home mom who works part-time from home, I do not ask my husband to do housework. He contributes in other ways, and I am okay with that.
However, if you are working full time, you should not expect to shoulder all of that responsibility yourself. Not only should you ask your husband for help, but you should also enlist your kids.
It is your duty as a parent to prepare your kids for adulthood by teaching them how to help out around the house.
Start this when they are young, and they will be eager to help. Click here for more tips on keeping your house clean when you have kids.
5 // Do your shopping online
There are so many online resources for shopping for household goods online these days, it’s ridiculous. Do you even Amazon Prime?
Seriously, though, these resources are a lifesaver for busy moms. I use Amazon for everything from books to birthday gifts and toothpaste to paper towels.
Prime shipping is amazing, and their Subscribe and Save program is awesome. You can use Subscribe and Save even if you’re not a Prime member.
Another great resource for household and pantry goods is Brandless. There is no membership or sign up fee, and everything they sell is $3.
This is a good place to order organic and non-toxic goods. They list all of their ingredients on the website, so you know what’s in everything before you purchase.
Using online resources such as this will save you a ton of time spent in the store.
6 // Turn off the technology
In today’s busy world, parents and kids are easily distracted and disconnected. There is so much stimulation available to occupy our minds.
We are missing out on connecting with each other and our families because of things like social media and smartphones.
Technology is a huge distraction, no matter the circumstance. While technology is certainly useful, it can easily drive a wedge between husbands and wives, parents and kids.
Set clear-cut boundaries for everyone in your household in regard to technology. It is so easy to pick up your phone when you are bored and completely disconnect from the world around you.
Before you know it, the evening is wasted and the time you had to connect with your family is gone.
Put the phone away as soon as you get home from work and try not to look at it again for the rest of the evening unless absolutely necessary.
7 // Have dinner together
With the number of hours that parents spend working and kids spend in school, there is not much time left to connect in the evening.
Commit to eating dinner as a family every night of the week. Sharing a meal at the end of the day is a perfect way to get everyone in the same room together.
Open the lines of communication by asking about school or talking about your own day at work. Go around the table and listen to each person share about the best and worst parts of their day.
Talk about goals, tell funny stories, dream up your next vacation, or talk about what you want to do together over the weekend.
This will foster community in your family and strengthen your bond.
8 // Plan fun activities
Dedicate your weekend to spending quality time with your family by planning fun activities to look forward to throughout the week.
Spend your weekends together exploring your city and state. Weekend getaways are a great way to make memories.
If planning out your whole weekend is difficult, do that once a month or once a quarter. Instead of a weekend getaway, plan a family game night or movie night once a week.
Our kids love snuggling on the couch to watch a movie with us, and we always have a blast playing games together.
9 // Connect with your spouse
The foundation of a strong family is a strong marriage. Find the time to connect with your spouse on a regular basis.
This is as simple as setting aside 5-10 minutes each night to check in with each other before bed. Communication is the key to a happy marriage.
Vulnerable conversation allows you to grow closer and rely on each other rather than looking elsewhere.
Continue to date each other the way you did before you got married, and always put your spouse first – even before the kids.
You chose your spouse before you chose to have kids. Show your kids what a strong marriage looks like by making it your top priority.
10 // Focus on your priorities
Do not beat yourself up if your life feels out of balance. There is an easy fix. Know what your priorities are, and so no to the rest.
When I feel overwhelmed, it is almost always because I have my priorities out of line. Your priorities won’t always get equal playing time, and that’s fine.
Let your priorities be your compass. They can guide how you choose to spend your time, but you have the freedom to choose which one needs the most attention.
Now, it’s your turn
If you are a working mom, I know you have felt the struggle between work and family. It doesn’t matter whether you work from home or outside the home, these tips will help you create the balance you crave:
- Set good boundaries
- Create good routines
- Manage your time well
- Split household tasks
- Do your shopping online
- Turn off the technology
- Have dinner together
- Plan fun activities
- Connect with your spouse
- Focus on your priorities