Married with Children and a Job: Organizing the Chaos
Having a child is a full-time job. So what if you have a career on top of it all? Since my first kid turned 4, I’ve been juggling school, athletic, and other extracurricular activity schedules on top of meetings, conference calls, and presentations. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. My life turned upside down once my second born arrived.
My personal duties somehow fell entirely by the wayside. Even the simple more mundane duties and errands, such as scheduling a dentist/doctor appointment or exercising… Forget about a hair appointment!
Then there’s the whole spouse dilemma. Your relationship used to be spontaneous, but now you have to pencil a date night into your calendar – or worse, schedule time for intimacy. Let’s face it, if we leave that last one up to chance we’ll be too exhausted and full of excuses to ever make it happen!
Regardless of your work schedule, if you’re married with children and a career, the job DOES NOT end at 5pm. And everything changes season to season, for example, when the kids start school, and then holiday and summer vacations. To be successful, you’re going to need to be a pro at juggling. Here are some things you can do to ensure you stay sane and live a joyful and productive life:
Plan, Plan, Plan!
No matter how busy your life becomes, it’s crucial to stay organized and make sure you’re planning. Every weekend, preferably Sunday late afternoon or evening, take time to sit with your spouse and go over big events, appointments, volunteering, and any other daily duties for the following week.
Now I know, this can be a pain in and of itself... trust me, I do know! But if you just take the time to do it, then it becomes a weekly habit (a good one!) and before you know it, these planning sessions will be kind of enjoyable and rather stress free. You’ll get better at planning and the sessions will become shorter...which means you'll be streaming Netflix sooner.
When you and your spouse know what each of your duties are for the week, there will be less chance for miscommunication and problems on any given day. Even if last minute surprises come up, you’ll be better prepared to tackle them with no sweat. And don’t forget to include chores for the kids in the schedule and have them pick up some of the workload!
Make sure you don’t fall into the trap of being a martyr or super woman. We know you’re awesome, but it is still okay to ask for help, and even learn to delegate. After all, that’s what you’ve learned to do at your day job.
Make sure your partner knows if you’re going to have an unusually busy week, so that they can take on a little more of the load. This way, you get through your projects quickly knowing that the kids are being properly cared for. Your spouse will come to appreciate the scheduled and organized routine, and will be glad when you return the favor.
Also, once your kids enter the preteen and teenage years, it’s essential that you delegate duties. Have them go to the grocery store to buy the evening’s dinner ingredients and prep the meal so when you get home, it’s less of a wait time to eat! Delegate other age appropriate duties and chores; and feel good about knowing that not only are things getting done, but your kids are also learning life lessons that will serve them well later on. So communicate and delegate.
A Little TLC
Don’t forget yourself in all the hustle and bustle of balancing work and taking care of your family. Martyrdom is a terrible predator and as women, we often feel we have to sacrifice our own needs and prioritize others. But as we all know too well, you cannot take care of others if you are not taking care of yourself. So make sure to schedule in some time for that bike ride, yoga class, meditation, or reading a great book; whatever it is that makes you happy!
Your family will see and enjoy a more relaxed and content mom. You’ll also be setting a great example of balancing work and play. After all, all work and no play isn’t good for anyone! So have fun and don’t neglect yourself and your needs. Don’t leave it up to chance—schedule it in. And remember to schedule date nights with your spouse/partner too!
Spend Time with Your Kids
It's easy to feel guilty about having a career and not always being home when our kids get home from school, or making it to each school performance, or joining the class field trip, or… You fill in the blank.
Schedule in some one-on-one time with your kids. It could be once a month for each kid and spend time doing something you both will enjoy. It's not the quantity that counts but the quality when you're making memories to last a lifetime.
Are you a mom with a career? If so, how do you balance family life, work and play?Tags : motherhood working moms career