As working moms everywhere execute the delicate balancing act of wife, mother, employee, sister, daughter, volunteer, taxi driver, coach, disciplinarian, encourager, nurse, and so much more, there is an insatiable desire to truly be all things to all people. Here’s the thing: it’s impossible.
So what’s a girl to do? How do we balance our calling to be top-notch mothers with the desire to contribute meaningful work outside of the home?
We must learn to do two hard things: say no, and utilize existing resources. Both require prioritization and an understanding that your time is at a premium. For me, that means I often say no to client work that takes my time, but doesn’t excite me. And I’m constantly on the prowl for resources that help me to multi-task, manage time and minimize the chaos. So, I’m sharing some of those findings below in hopes it will help as you manage your own working mom style:
Resources for Work & Play
Nothing brings on the mom guilt more than when you leave your little one with a caregiver. Hiring dependable, trustworthy childcare makes the separation from my little ones easier. I don’t worry about their well-being, and I know their needs are being met – along with lots of their wants. I understand that someone is snuggling them in my place – and that’s OK! If you’re in the market for a babysitter or nanny, check out Raleigh-based Stellar Sitters. It’s a great resource to find safe, local care that’s right for your family. Fun fact: It was started by a Meredith grad while in college.
Now that you have child care, make your spouse a priority. We love to take cooking classes at Wisk or check out local restaurants during Triangle Restaurant Week. If looking for a fun, affordable option, go see an outdoor movie at Koka Booth Amphitheater or the North Carolina Museum of Art.
I’m not sure how full-time working moms survived life prior to meal delivery services. My own working mother spent good money on Dominoes and Chinese food – but we have some healthier options these days. National services like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron are yummy, but local options are affordable and just as tasty. Hallelujah Kitchen and Fresh From the Kitchen both offer delicious, time-saving options with great menu variety.
One of the first things working moms let slip is their sense of community. We barely make time for our spouses, so how are we supposed maintain friendships? We don’t. We allow them to shift to the back burner, and we let them sit for far too long. I’m as guilty as the next mom, but I cannot give of myself – to family, to employers, or to co-workers – if I’m not intentionally connecting with others. That’s why I helped start Restored, a community specifically for working mothers to connect and engage with each other. It’s faith-based and offers relevant programming at convenient times in a casual, low-commitment setting. Moms from around the Triangle meet once a month to hear from engaging speakers on relevant topics like mom guilt, success and intimacy. If you’re interested in checking out the June event with Molly Stillman from the Still Being Molly blog and Business With Purpose podcast, you can register here.
And since community is something that working moms typically struggle to cultivate, I’ll give you one more. I recently discovered 4word. It’s also faith-based, but generates content that moms from all walks of life can enjoy. Weekly blog posts and podcasts motivate, inspire and encourage.
Whether you work inside or outside of the home, there are at least a gazillion additional resources that help mamas make it from one day to the next. Share what resources are most useful to you in the comments below.
Stephanie Llorente owns award-winning public relations consultancy Prep Communications. She also serves as the communications director for Restored, a community that purposefully equips working moms for life at home and at work. She is married to an amazing man and chases after two kids under six. Stephanie can be reached at [email protected].