5 ways to balance motherhood and ambition

A mom’s work is never done. Fact. After a long day at the office, your second shift starts at home where loved ones look forward to a good homecooked meal and some quality time with the family. The same can be said for you, but before you know it you’re rushing through a neverending list of to-do’s at home resulting in another exhausting day.

I can’t help but to think about the movie ‘I don’t know how she does it’ starring Sarah Jessica Parker (SJP). She plays an ambitious mother and wife struggling to find the perfect balancing act for both work and family. If you haven’t watched it yet, I’m sure you’d be able to relate to her character.

Finding time to do it all is one of the most difficult tasks for any working mom as time management becomes critical in getting everything that needs to be done ticked off on your ever-growing to-do list. In the movie, SJP’s character finds herself laying awake at night making up her to-do lists.

If you can relate to this, then I’d encourage you to try the following 5 ways that you can balance motherhood and your ambition to succeed at work, more effectively:

1. Be efficient with your time

Try to be as efficient as possible – meaning don’t feel that you have to do everything by yourself and try to find alternative ways to do your tasks that would save you time

– Limit any distractions that may lead you down the path of procrastination (a habit that I still tend to struggle with every now and again).

– Make use of alternative ways to do traditional tasks that are time consuming.

  • Shop online.
    In today’s fast-paced world the World Wide Web has expanded to such an extend that busy moms are now able to purchase their groceries, clothing and many other items (like, wine!) online as it is quick, easy and a super time saver through using direct delivery. My personal favourites are Takealot.com and Faithful-to-nature.co.za.

  • Simplify your chores.
    Keep chores easy and simple by using straight-forward, easy-to-use tools and methods. For example, keep the cooking simple by making one meal for the entire family. Even better, make one pot meals to reduce the amount of washing up thereafter. Cook enough of a dish for you to store a few in the freezer that can be used when time is limited and you cannot cook a hearty meal for your family. It’s the easiest way to keep them eating healthily without breaking the bank.

2. Be realistic

Let’s face it. You have children, a husband and you have a full-time job. Your house is bound to be a mess at some point during the week. Be realistic in the fact that it is inevitable for your children will play and mess anywhere. Stop fussing about having a perfectly clean home and manage the cleanliness by teaching the children to clean up after they’ve played.

Also think about being realistic about your daily routine. Do you really need to spend 30 minutes doing your makeup? Stick to the basics with a touch of style (like a pretty pink lip or bold eyeliner) and save the glamorous looks for formal functions.

3. Priorize

We get home, prepare dinner, do the laundry all the while we’d prefer to rather enjoy some quality time with our children and hubby. Resolve this problem by prioritizeing your tasks at home. Only do the essential tasks while your children are still awake and do the rest after they’ve fallen asleep. This will allow you to enjoy quality time with them doing fun, stimulating activities and most importantly investing in your bond and relationship with them.

4. Delegate where possible

Too much to do for a normal 24-hour day? Delegate some of your tasks to people within your network (Dad, Grandma, Sister. Or at work, a co-worker) that you know they’d be able to complete successfully. You’ll feel less pressured and will be more focused on the work and tasks at hand that you need to complete in the short term.

5. Change your work schedule

Working from the office and yet you’re not getting things done in a productive manner? Shake up your work schedule by changing it to work at its optimum capacity. This means that if you work better in a quite place with no interuptions, try working from home while everyone is at daycare or work. Or better yet, try the library (the perfect place for when you need to do some writing!). Make early mornings work for your by going to work earlier as it will enable you to leave earlier or try to work half days.

This is by far the best way to balance the pressures of motherhood and work ambition, however you do need an understanding employer, work in the right type of industry and exercise great dicipline. Still, it’s worth considering as it gives you a lot more flexibility.

Personally, these methods allow me to get everything done (including some light exercise), to enjoy some quality time with the family and a few minutes to work on my blog. By utilising them, you’ll be sure to rock the ‘supermom’ style in no time!

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