It’s not an easy job being a single or a working mum, with us often feeling like we are being pulled in many different directions at once.
Something you may ask yourself is how can you strike the balance between being a great employee and being a great mum? At times it might feel impossible, with one always compromising the other. However, it’s not about choosing between the two, instead, you should feel empowered to be both.
Whether you are in a partnership or a single parent, we hope this article will be able to give you some help and reassurance in achieving a work/life balance while feeling like you are being a role model to your children.
How can I maintain a healthy work-life balance?
- Productivity. Work hard and remember that while your colleagues may be able to arrive earlier and stay longer, productivity is not measured by the number of extra hours you clock up. Avoid wasting time at work and increase your productivity to get yourself noticed.
- Making up for the missed time. You may need to take unexpected time off to care for a sick child – discuss time off with your boss and make sure you have a plan in place to make up for the work missed. Ensure that colleagues know you are there for them too should they need time off at short notice.
- Take charge of your time off. Use your breaks at work and any downtime at home to switch off. Relaxation is important for both body and mind so remember you are worth that investment and it will benefit you over time.
Stay healthy mentally and physically:
- Watch out for any health warning signs such as stress, anxiety, headaches, lack of sleep etc. – juggling the demands of both a successful career and a busy household can be stressful.
- Leave work at the office and avoid worrying about work issues when at home. If you must bring work home then set yourself a time and a place to do it and stick to them.
- Exercise, eat well and try to get enough sleep. Sleep is truly important and is the perfect time to relax and maintain your physical and mental wellbeing!
Maximise your home life:
- Get up a little bit earlier and have a leisurely family breakfast chatting about the day ahead to keep you in touch with home life.
- Get home for bedtime as often as you can and make the most of that quiet winding down an hour before sleep.
- Cook together as a family. Batch cook for easier meals or utilise oven waiting time by playing games at your dining table while the food cooks.
- Make time for your relationship. Couples should remember to book in some time off, have a meal out or see a show and keep your relationship healthy. Single parents should take the time to see friends or date.
How can I be a role model?
Of course, seeing you succeed in your career will be inspiring to your children, however, as a single and/or working parent, there are other ways that you will be a role model that you might not even realise:
- Taking care of your own mental and physical health – This sets a great example for your children as it teaches them the importance of monitoring their own health and identifying if something is wrong.
- Seeking support where you need it – This teaches your children that it is perfectly okay to be vulnerable and to reach out to others for help if they need it and that this is a positive thing to do.
- Making time for your own social life – This shows your children that you are enjoying life and helps to teach them that no matter how overwhelmed they might be feeling, it’s important to take time to have fun in order to find balance.
- Finding your own role models – Joining single or working mum groups online and offline can help you find people who are managing their lives in the same way you are. This shows your children the benefits of connecting with new people and it can also help you to find your own role model to give you some inspiration when you are feeling down.
Whilst balancing work and home life can be challenging it is so important to be happy with the time you spend doing both.
Never underestimate how vital it is to look after your health, so don’t live to work, work so that you can enjoy living and along the way, you can be a wonderful role model for your children.