Give yourself the gift of a better work-life balance this Christmas
Juggling work, kids and whatever else life throws at us can be tricky at any time of year. But mix in a round of office parties, Hatchimal Hatchiwow hunting trips and the inevitable time spent distressing mince pies for the school fair and you have the recipe for a less than merry Christmas.
With the festive season in full swing, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But it’s also a good time to press pause, look at your work-life balance and take some positive steps to make it work better for you.
Here are our top tips to help you on your way:
Ask for help
We all know mums are superheroes but even superheroes need sidekicks. Ask everyone at home – yes, even the kids – to do their bit to keep things running smoothly. So what if your partner is rubbish at wrapping presents or doesn’t load the dishwasher as well as you do? Just grit your teeth and in the words of a famous ice queen: Let it go!
Leave work at work
In a world of smartphones, this is no mean feat. But a healthy work-life balance relies on boundaries, so you need to take control. If you make a point of answering emails and texts only during work hours, you won’t feel like you’re constantly “on-call”. Of course, it’s trickier if you work from home or run your own business, so set yourself strict rules and try to confine work to one room so you can close the door on it at the end of the day.
Be (more!) organised
Being organised is part of the job description when you’re a busy mum, so you’re probably ahead of the game when it comes to to-do lists, online shopping and packing school bags the night before. But there are loads of ways to free up time that might be less obvious. Spending hours ferrying your kids around to clubs? Chances are, other parents are in the same boat, so ask around and arrange to take turns.
Find out about flexible working
If you’re not already one of the UK’s growing army of flexible workers, think about how it could benefit you – and your employer – and talk to your boss. It doesn’t have to mean giving up pay or responsibilities: it might mean working from home one day a week, job sharing or taking unpaid leave during the school holidays. There are lots of options out there, so explore what would work best for you.
Don’t strive for perfection
In the age of Instagram, it sometimes seems there’s more pressure to be perfect than ever before. But it’s also worth remembering that “good enough” is, y’know, good enough. Let’s face it, your boss would rather you turn in a piece of work that ticks all the boxes on time than a masterpiece that’s a week late. Similarly, your kids will suffer no harm if they don’t sit down to a picture-perfect dinner every night. So stop fretting and have a chicken nugget.
Remember: This Mum Can
This is our mantra at Successful Mums for good reason: a positive mindset can work wonders. Having confidence in your abilities, recognising your strengths, letting go of guilt and celebrating everything you’re doing right will help you stay in control and banish feelings of inadequacy.
And finally… breathe
Make some time for yourself every day. You might choose to do some exercise, catch up on that box set, have a soak in the bath or spend half an hour googling “Tom Hardy + kittens” (no judgement here!) – whatever you do, regularly recharging your batteries will help you stay more focused and effective, whether at work or home.
Get more work-life balance tips, along with expert career and business advice, by booking a place on one of our NEW courses and MAKE IT HAPPEN in 2020!