Mums returning to work must always face the challenge of striking the optimum work life balance. Here are a few useful tips from Jobs for Mums Malta on how to ease back into the working world without compromising your family, and how to give proper attention to family without compromising work duties.
1. Adopt a guilt-free attitude
The very first thing to do is to let go of guilt. Do not feel guilty for leaving your child to go to work and, equally, do not feel guilty for enjoying the break from your family responsibilities while you are at work. Also, do not feel guilty for having to let go of your work responsibilities when your family demands priority. Getting rid of any guilt is crucial to your ability to focus on whatever is at hand so that you can give the best quality in any given time.
2. Invest in quality child care
Naturally, you need to put your mind at rest that your child is being well looked after while you are away doing your work. Being able to rely on quality child care is essential to your peace of mind so that you can properly focus on work while at work.
3. Trust your level of communication with your child carer
Schedule times during the day when you will check in with your child carer. Specify the situations when you will expect to be contacted by your child carer, such as if the child is taken ill. Such arrangements for communication at opportune moments will help you trust that your child is in good hands and that you will be involved if necessary, so that you can be released of family concerns while at work.
4. Communicate with your employer
Maintain a transparent relationship with your employer, particular where work or family concerns are involved. This will increase the level of trust, understanding and flexibility you can expect from your employer as situations arise.
5. When the quantity is less, focus on quality time
Being with your child at all hours of the day is less significant than the way you spend your time with your child. As long as children are being loved and cared for, they will rarely feel a lack. Make sure that the mornings and evenings spent with your child are so special that the hours in between spent apart fall into insignificance.
6. Create and organise a family calendar
A good way to organise your work life balance is to actually schedule family time into your calendar as you would your work time, then fit everything else around that. This literally means making appointments to spend time with your family as you would to attend a meeting with a client. Allocate as many hours into “family-time” as makes you feel comfortable and guilt-free about the time spent away from them.
7. Create special activities for the family
Playing and talking with your child during the family quality time hours of the day is great as it is essential, yet better still is to dedicate hours in the week when the entire family enjoys quality time together doing memorable activities. This not only enhances the quality time given to your children, but also helps create lasting bonds between all members of the family.
8. Spend time alone with your partner
Do not be tempted to dedicate all your “free” time to your children. Remember what it was like when it was just the two of you: you and your partner. It is important to keep rekindling that flame, as it creates a happier couple and a more harmonious family environment for your kids. Time alone with your partner is worth investing in, for the benefit of the relationship as well as the whole family.
9. Schedule time for yourself
For most mums, the most overlooked part of work life balance is actual “me time.” Many mums can barely get enough time to themselves to have a quick shower, what to speak of enjoying a pamper or reading a book. Schedule time with yourself as you do with your children, partner and work - there is only so much you can give before you burn out, so make sure you are refuelling yourself with a proper dose of self-care and self-love, even if it is just a twenty minute meditation before you start the day, lunch with a friend, or a walk alone in the park.
10. Get rid of distractions and time wasters
When you are placing so much care into managing your time effectively between work and family responsibilities, you need to eliminate those things that are mere distractions and time wasters. List your priorities and allocate time to those things first, and allow time and space for other things only as and when there is time for them without forgoing the important things. You will be surprised by just how much more time you can win once you discard the non-essentials from your life.
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