Article creator image

BY Samantha Ettus via Ellevate Network

Do These 9 Things to Thrive as a Working Mom

Working mom with baby

Photo credit: Ellevate Network

TAGS: Working moms, Career advice

Now that we have started to confront some of the workplace issues that can hold us back, it is time to address our lifestyle challenges and the opportunities to solve them. The great news is that even the smallest changes can yield enormous results for your happiness and your time.

Here are nine life changing behaviors for greater happiness and success:

1. Play In All Slices

After working with thousands of women, I can tell you that the happiest moms are those that play in six or seven slices including children, career, a relationship (or the quest to find one), friends, hobbies, community, and health. Even if some of these only warrant a sliver, the bite is important.

2. Define Your Non-Negotiables

Look at your slices and decide what is most important to you about each one. Now plan for it. If having time to work out is a priority, add it to the calendar. A trip to buy new shoes with your child? Add that too. Date night, family dinners, your daughter’s hockey game. The further in advance you calendar them, the greater your chance of protecting them.

3. Get Rid Of Guilt

When you realize that there isn’t one beneficiary of this wasted emotion, it is easier to get rid of it for good. Ask yourself who wins when you feel guilty and then name all of those who lose. The best thing you could do for yourself and your family is to be your best self while “on the clock” at work and to be present and engaged with your family when at home. And if you find yourself making decisions based on guilt, rethink them.

4. Design Your Boundaries

In the old days we worked for the same company for 30 years and our daily hours were 9-5. But times have changed and you should too. Don’t expect your company to protect your personal life, that’s your job. Decide a reasonable time to arrive and leave the office each day given your workload and responsibilities, and barring a work deadline or emergency, stick to it. Daily train commuters are slave to the schedule; behave like one of them.

5. Use Your Magic Hour

Wake up one hour before your kids each day so that you can get showered and dressed at a leisurely pace, answer a few emails, have a cup of coffee and even make breakfast. By the time your kids wake up, you are a step ahead of the day. This is magic.

6. Move To The Golden Triangle

To gain more time, shift all of your errands to the three points between your work, your home and your child’s school. This is The Golden Triangle. From the grocery store to the dentist to the hair salon, shift these errands to fit within it.

7. Make Decisions Fast

As working moms, we can drown in the myriad of daily decisions. Should I make pancakes or eggs for breakfast? Say yes to a client dinner next week? Ask for the raise? Let my son have a friend sleep over this weekend? Help my daughter with her homework? As a busy working mom, you don’t have time to dwell in the grey area; make decisions swiftly and move on.

8. Partner Up

To reach your potential personally and professionally, you are either single or you have a partner who supports your dreams and is willing to do his or her part to divide and conquer at home and with the kids. If you are paired up but unequal, it is time to turn your spouse into a partner. After the kids go to sleep, take a night to have an open conversation and spend time writing down what each of you does in a given week, this is your path to a Partnershift.

9. Embrace The Imperfection

When you accept that a fulfilling life is full of messy moments and some chaos, you can get through the rough patches faster. Embrace the imperfection and move on to the next moment which is likely to be a far better one.

Samantha Ettus is an author & corporate speaker. The Pie Life: A Guilt-Free Recipe for Success and Satisfaction will be released in September.

Fairygodboss

Fairygodboss is committed to improving the workplace and lives of women. 
Join us by reviewing your employer!

Related Community Discussions

  • I'm thinking about not coming back to work after my maternity leave -- even if I have to pay some of the pay I receive during leave. Nobody has asked me about whether I'm going to come back (they are just acting as if this will definitely happen when we talk about longer term projects) but I feel hugely guilty....and sometimes I think I should just quit now. Anyone been in this situation? any advice?

  • My company recently put in a nursing room/mother's room but it was designed in a way that the majority of the room is fogged glass - except one strip that runs right at sitting level that was left as transparent glass. I don't think it was done intentionally (men designed the room) but I now have to put up sheets of paper to cover the transparent strip of glass. Any idea on how to address this with my (all male) management team?

  • I recently had a child and worked out an arrangement with my manager to work from home 1-2 days/week. I'm the only female on my team and none of the co-workers have a similar arrangement. There have been discreet comments made about my schedule (mostly in a joking way) but it still feels uncomfortable. Has anyone else ran into this?

  • I need some advice. I recently took maternity leave, which ended up turning in to Temporary Disability Leave because of some medical complications I had after the baby was delivered. I returned back to work after being off for 24 weeks. I have returned to the same job and have tried to get back into the swing of corporate life + new baby (first time mom here) and have the opportunity to take an additional 4 weeks off paid by the state, but it needs to be taken and completed before my child turns 12 months old and that's fast approaching.

    I submitted a request to HR to take temporary leave of absence and my HR department is denying me the ability to take this leave, stating that I exhausted the 13 weeks FMLA that the company offers (has to offer) to all employees. They are saying that I don't qualify for this leave until a full 12 months after my initial leave started. Everything I have read online and everyone I have talked to say that FMLA and TCI leave are completely different and separate. Technically, I think I am allowed to take this leave, the State says I qualify for it, but it's now in my employers hands and I am afraid if they deny me, and I choose to still take the leave, that I will not have job security. The brochure talking about TCI doesn't say anything about FMLA being the deciding factor "http://www.dlt.ri.gov/tdi/pdf/TCIBrochure.pdf."

    Does anyone know what my rights are? Can I legally take the 4 weeks off, and still have a job to return back to? Given that I had to take so much time off, do I still qualify for job protection and benefits?

    Thank you for any an all help.

  • I am currently 36 weeks pregnant and gearing up to go on maternity leave at the end of the month. I recently came across a new job oppurnity that would be better for my family. I'm at the finishing stages of interviewing with this new company and I am worried that I will find out I got the job while on maternity leave. My question is, what happens to my maternity benefits and how do I go about leaving my current job without issue?

Find Out

What are women saying about your company?

Click Here

Share This

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Share with Friends
  • Share Anonymously

Do These 9 Things to Thrive as a Working Mom

Do These 9 Things to Thrive as a Working Mom

Now that we have started to confront some of the workplace issues that can hold us back, it is time to address our lifestyle challenges and the opportunit...

Now that we have started to confront some of the workplace issues that can hold us back, it is time to address our lifestyle challenges and the opportunities to solve them. The great news is that even the smallest changes can yield enormous results for your happiness and your time.

Here are nine life changing behaviors for greater happiness and success:

1. Play In All Slices

After working with thousands of women, I can tell you that the happiest moms are those that play in six or seven slices including children, career, a relationship (or the quest to find one), friends, hobbies, community, and health. Even if some of these only warrant a sliver, the bite is important.

2. Define Your Non-Negotiables

Look at your slices and decide what is most important to you about each one. Now plan for it. If having time to work out is a priority, add it to the calendar. A trip to buy new shoes with your child? Add that too. Date night, family dinners, your daughter’s hockey game. The further in advance you calendar them, the greater your chance of protecting them.

3. Get Rid Of Guilt

When you realize that there isn’t one beneficiary of this wasted emotion, it is easier to get rid of it for good. Ask yourself who wins when you feel guilty and then name all of those who lose. The best thing you could do for yourself and your family is to be your best self while “on the clock” at work and to be present and engaged with your family when at home. And if you find yourself making decisions based on guilt, rethink them.

4. Design Your Boundaries

In the old days we worked for the same company for 30 years and our daily hours were 9-5. But times have changed and you should too. Don’t expect your company to protect your personal life, that’s your job. Decide a reasonable time to arrive and leave the office each day given your workload and responsibilities, and barring a work deadline or emergency, stick to it. Daily train commuters are slave to the schedule; behave like one of them.

5. Use Your Magic Hour

Wake up one hour before your kids each day so that you can get showered and dressed at a leisurely pace, answer a few emails, have a cup of coffee and even make breakfast. By the time your kids wake up, you are a step ahead of the day. This is magic.

6. Move To The Golden Triangle

To gain more time, shift all of your errands to the three points between your work, your home and your child’s school. This is The Golden Triangle. From the grocery store to the dentist to the hair salon, shift these errands to fit within it.

7. Make Decisions Fast

As working moms, we can drown in the myriad of daily decisions. Should I make pancakes or eggs for breakfast? Say yes to a client dinner next week? Ask for the raise? Let my son have a friend sleep over this weekend? Help my daughter with her homework? As a busy working mom, you don’t have time to dwell in the grey area; make decisions swiftly and move on.

8. Partner Up

To reach your potential personally and professionally, you are either single or you have a partner who supports your dreams and is willing to do his or her part to divide and conquer at home and with the kids. If you are paired up but unequal, it is time to turn your spouse into a partner. After the kids go to sleep, take a night to have an open conversation and spend time writing down what each of you does in a given week, this is your path to a Partnershift.

9. Embrace The Imperfection

When you accept that a fulfilling life is full of messy moments and some chaos, you can get through the rough patches faster. Embrace the imperfection and move on to the next moment which is likely to be a far better one.

Samantha Ettus is an author & corporate speaker. The Pie Life: A Guilt-Free Recipe for Success and Satisfaction will be released in September.

Fairygodboss

Fairygodboss is committed to improving the workplace and lives of women. 
Join us by reviewing your employer!

thumbnail 1 summary