It may seem that achieving a mum-life balance is nearly impossible. We all want to be super mums and work, take care of kids, cook three meals a day, and decorate like a Pinterest Queen, right? Okay, maybe we all don’t have these goals, but we do want to do it all—whatever that means to the individual. Here are a few tips for reaching that mum-life balance that so many find elusive.
Let Go of Unreasonable Expectations
No, you cannot be at every event your child’s school has during the day if you work a full-time job. Some employers give their staff a flexible work schedule and allow you to attend things from time to time, but there is no way to do it all. You can’t bake for every bake sale, organise every car wash, and reorganise the library in your spare time.
Develop Reasonable Expectations
Consider your entire schedule—children’s school schedules, extracurricular items, work, and other responsibilities. This is all on top of all the tasks that need to be completed in your home, such as keeping up with housekeeping. How much time is left for quality time with your children? Plan for a certain number of hours a month spent volunteering through your church or school, and do not exceed that limit. If the rotary club does a major food drive at the Christmas tree lighting each year and you are in charge, you might not also be able to volunteer at the church Christmas Cantata or play. We know that you want to do both but overextending yourself isn’t helpful. If you need to, use a planner and schedule a specific number of hours for each activity.
Comparison is the Thief of Joy
We should avoid comparing ourselves to others. The mum down the street who seems to be at the school 24/7 or at least 8/5 might be a stay-at-home mum with a housekeeper whose children all go to that school. She can spend days volunteering at the school and her evenings doing other things.
Start Comparing Yourself to the Old You
When you make changes to your life, whether it’s organising or planning better, take note of how this improves your mood and productivity. It’s okay to tell yourself that you are doing better or that something isn’t working. Mum-life balance is more about knowing yourself and what works for your family than being perfect.
Stop Flying by the Seat of Your Pants
If you are still hung up on being one of those “together” moms, consider that they are probably planners. Chaos makes mom-life balance seem unattainable. You probably constantly feel that you forget events, let folks down, or let things go. It’s essential to have some time to be creative, and a little spontaneous but planning actually helps.
Get a Paper Planner if You Need One
It may seem weird to say you can be spontaneous if you are a planner, but planners and calendars will help you ensure that you don’t miss important events. This will also help you know when you have to do something and when you have time to choose what you want to do.
Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin.
One of the hardest things for mums to say is no. It’s not even about having the time to do things. You might have time to stop and pick up 64 cupcakes for your kids entire class. You might even have the money to do it. However, you might be tired and need that ten minutes to give yourself a facial or spend a few more moments in a hot shower. No, an hour of cutting out lamination for Sally’s class doesn’t take that much time out of your schedule, and it can be done from the couch. However, you might want to relax. Don’t do so much that you never seem to be able to relax.
Plan Personal Time
Your mental and physical health is crucial to your family. You want to take care of everyone, but if you never take care of yourself, you will eventually not be able to take care of anyone. You can get your nails done, play racquetball, nap, or garden. Do something that takes you to your happy place. Don’t feel bad about taking time for yourself, either. You deserve pampering—whatever that means to you. Pampering for one mum might be a makeover, brow wax, or manicure. For another mum, that might mean a ten-mile run. Whatever soothes your soul should take precedence at least once weekly. If possible, take ten minutes to do something for yourself daily.
While it’s impossible to be a stress-free parent, finding a mum-life balance significantly depends on your own expectations. Let go of unrealistic goals and expectations, take time for yourself, and keep up with personal and professional engagements. It’s okay to say no to things if you are uncomfortable doing something or don’t have time. You do not have to be Wonder Woman 24/7. Take your own role in your community and family, but you should not set yourself up for failure. You will feel overextended if you say yes when you don’t have the time or energy to do things. Set yourself and your family as the top priority, making it easier to strike a balance.
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