I often dash out the door with a piece of toast in one hand, coffee in the other, and stress on my shoulders. Stress that the house isn’t clean enough, or that I didn’t get to that extra work email over the weekend. Sometimes, it feels like my life resembles a circus juggling act between work and family life.
Sound familiar? I don’t think anyone has perfected the art of work and family life. However, there are ways that you can improve the overwhelming feeling that both elements of your life are being neglected. Below are six tips that have helped me immensely in my quest for that ultimate balancing act.
1. Childcare Assistance
When my first daughter was born, I was also building my booming business.
For the first six months of my daughter’s life, I dragged her around to all of my meetings and errands. One day when she was, yet again, screaming in the back of the car because I had prioritized a Board Meeting over her naptime, I realized I needed something to change.
The greatest task I have ever ticked off my to do list was a call to a nanny agency in Melbourne. Hiring a nanny to help with the caregiving duties of my daughter, plus some tasks around the house have been the number one ticket to work and life sanity!
2. Professional Cleaners
A close second in sanity-saving actions, behind hiring a nanny, was getting a house cleaner. No matter how hard I tried, I could never manage to keep my house up to my high standards while also working full time, being a mum, being a wife and squeezing in the tiny moments of time for myself. Coming home once a week to a pristine house feels like a day at the spa!
I used to think that my multitasking abilities were the key to my success.
Now, I find my most successful days are when I can hone in on one role, and be present. Single tasking is hard to get used to, but once you nail it you will find your days to be far more productive!
4. Food is Fuel
I can’t even begin to count how many times I ran out the door without eating breakfast and had slugged down two lattes by the time I got around to scarfing down lunch. I aim to prepare breakfast at night, so I have an easy egg scramble or smoothie every morning.
I also order an organic box of fruit and veg every week, so the fridge is always stocked with healthy options which take the stress and time of grocery shopping off my list. Did you know eating well is directly linked to higher productivity?
5. Prioritise Movement
One thing for me is certain; if I am not physically moving, everything in my life suffers. I would love to say I am disciplined at going to the 6:15 am yoga class three times a week but, realistically, I make it to that class about three times a year. I try to sneak in a walk at lunch, and I have an effective 30-minute boot camp on my laptop that I can fit in at odd hours of the day.
6. Hubby Help
Lastly, a huge key to success is to let your husband help!
How many times has your husband offered to do something and your immediate reaction is “no I will do it.” Even though we both work, I find myself feeling it is my duty to still do all the domestic duties. Deciding to go back to work was difficult in our relationship because I couldn’t let go of all the things I did before I began working again.
I am working on this one, but the times when my husband cooks dinner does the grocery shop, watches our daughter so I can go to Saturday yoga I am immediately recharged and grateful.
I found out I was pregnant the day after I quit my job to run my business full time. Today, I have a 20-month-old daughter, a booming business, a darling husband who wants to help more, and a house that stays clean thanks to the hands of someone else.
The most important thing is that I have my sanity.
The juggling act of trying to do it all is the result of being an ambitious woman, loving mother, and devoted wife. While there is no way to give 100% to every aspect of your life, there is a way to live in peace with doing your best each day and feeling good about it each night when you tuck into bed.
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