Can you really be a career mom and a single mom? Can you really have both a booming career and happy children? The answer is yes, but it does take some time and planning to make the juggling act work. Here are a few tips on handling career and children without going a bit mad in the process:
- Take time for you. It is very important to take time away from your career to spend with your children, but it is also very important to spend time on yourself. Plan some time — even if it’s only an hour — when you do not focus on your career or your children. Make sure this time is just for you. Without that bit of time to decompress, your stress levels will go through the roof!
- Work “flex time” into your work plan. Does your office have a flex plan, or the chance to schedule your time so that you can spend it with your children while still advancing your career? Flex time allows you to give your time to your career when you can, but when your children need you, your time shifts to focus on them a bit more.
- Get a great sitter or daycare. It’s true: A good babysitter or daycare is worth their weight in gold. Once you find the best, do what it takes to keep them. Pay them as well as you can, and never take the peace of mind for granted.
- Always be honest. If you need time at home with sick children, be honest with your boss. If you need to spend more time at work, be honest with your sitter. Never lie to anyone about your situation, and if they are not understanding about it, look for someone who will be.
- Try working from home. Can your boss allow you to work some hours from home? Many projects can be started in the office, but completed at your kitchen table while your children do homework. In fact, many employers find that their employees are much more productive when they can take off work early and do their job at home instead of staying in the office all day.
- Know when it’s time to look elsewhere. Finally, pay attention to the climate in the office. If it’s time to move on to a more kid-friendly career, start polishing off that resume. Your children come first, and many savvy businesses are realizing how big an asset a working mother can be to their team. You can find the one that’s right for you.