Summer will be here before we know it. That means warm weather, kids out of school, and activities galore. This time of year can be especially challenging for working moms with the family routine and schedules changing for a few months. But don’t sweat it! Here are five tips to keep you cool and balanced this summer and beyond.
Create a Shared Family Calendar
Understand the demands, deadlines and working hours of your job, then write them on a shared family calendar. Then have the rest of your family do the same, children included! The smaller ones may need help, but getting everyone to see how the family works together will make your job much easier.
A large monthly paper calendar works great when it’s hung in a family room. Or sharing an online Google calendar is a great option for tech-savvy families. It really doesn’t matter the method, the point is to communicate with each other about each day’s schedule. Find what works best for your family and use that.
Pro tip: If you’re using a paper calendar, give each family member a different pen color so you can quickly glance and see who has what commitment.
Combining calendars helps family members understand your responsibilities inside of work so you can set the expectation at home. Get the entire family into the habit of writing down their responsibilities, it will help create a balance for the entire family.
2. Practice Time Management
With kids out of school, you’ll need to be especially aware of where and how you spend your time at both work and home. Spending too much time in your inbox? Consider time-blocking. Taking on too many tasks? Delegate. The more efficient you are at work, the less stress you’ll bring home. From the Pomodoro Method to Steven Covey’s Time Management Matrix, use resources to manage your career life without sacrificing your personal life.
At home, practice time management by preparing your family’s meals ahead of time, assign each family member a daily chore, or if possible, book a regular house cleaner.
3. Take Time For Yourself
Take time for you! It’s crucial to maintain your health and wellness while you maintain your busy schedule and long list of responsibilities. Make time to do whatever makes you happy and feeling recharged. Some popular ideas:
Get a massage or a manicure.
Indulge in extra sleep or alone time with a great book.
Take a relaxing yoga class or stretch before bed.
Again, it doesn’t really matter what you do. As long as it makes you feel your best.
4. Plan a Family Vacation
Adding a family vacation to the calendar can be just what you need to push through stressful times. When it gets tough at work or home, remind yourself of the vacation getaway coming up.
5. Cherish the Moments
Multi-tasking is not always the answer to balance your time. When you’re with your family, be present. The spontaneous dance party in the kitchen after baking cookies are the memories you and your family will remember throughout your lives. Make the most of your time together and cherish every moment.
Remember, everyone’s path is different. If you struggle to balance your work and personal time, a career coach can help. At Parents Pivot, we help moms discover a career they're passionate about while not sacrificing family. If you need more guidance on balancing your work life and home life, we’d love to hear from you.