I’m a Working Mom — Here Are 5 Things I Do Everyday to Maintain Work-Life Balance

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Jennifer Shoffner128
May 23, 2024 at 12:30PM UTC

As working moms, there is a lot of pressure (and guilt) on us each day. The basketball game starts at 4 pm but we have a budget meeting that lasts until 4:30 pm. What to do? We all talk about work-life balance but what does it mean and how do we achieve it? I’ve found it isn’t something we “set and forget”. We rebalance our lives on a daily (and sometimes hourly) basis. As time passes, we learn more and get better at the balancing act. Here are a few things I do each day to reassess and rebalance.

1. Be present. 

It's very important to be present no matter where you are. When at work, be present at work. When at home, be present at home. It's important to understand that sometimes we need to mix the two in emergency situations. For example, when I'm at my son’s basketball games, I don’t check my email. My organization knows that if it's something crucial, they need to call me. Otherwise, I will get back to them the next day. When I have to miss a basketball game for work, I talk to my son. I let him know how I came to my decision. I’ve seen this help him when he is put in a position to prioritize and balance his own schedule.

2. Set schedules.

Speaking of schedules, be sure to set one with the understanding that sometimes the schedule gets changed at the last minute. At the beginning of each month, I set up our family schedule. On Sunday afternoon, we review the schedule together. In the evenings while eating dinner, we talk about the next day’s schedule. Each morning when I arrive at work, I review my work schedule and make sure it’s updated with any changes to my personal schedule. I make sure everyone in the family understands when we are prioritizing work time vs family time. I have frequent discussions with my boss and my team about changes to each of our schedules to ensure we are all on the same page. While this may sound like it takes a lot of time, it really doesn’t. Once you’re in the habit, it’s a quick few minutes each day. Communicating and setting expectations will keep harmony in your life.

3. Find time for yourself.

Each day I carve out an hour or so for myself. I like to get up early (5ish M-F) and begin my day with exercise and meditation. I fill myself up so that I am able to pour into others at work and at home. Sometimes I can’t spend the full hour doing this or I have to shift exercise to the evening rather than the morning. But I make sure I find that time during the day to fill myself up with something I enjoy. 

4. Balance the workload.

I remind myself every day that I can't do it all. Sometimes that means I go to my team at work or my husband at home and tell them I need help. I’ve never had a team member that said no. And this balancing act goes both ways. When I see a team member overloaded, then I offer to help. The key is communication.  

5. Set boundaries accordingly.

As I evaluate my schedule and workload, I also think about the season I’m in and set boundaries. Learn to say “no". I can’t be the team mom for the basketball team when I know basketball season is also budget season at work. And that’s okay! I can choose to be a team mom for another sport or I can just support the team mom when I have the opportunity. It's important to learn to rephrase the “no” to “not right now”. 

Work-life balance doesn’t have to be a perfect 50/50 split. Some days/weeks are more skewed to family and some to work. It's when we are going too far one way or the other that we need to step back and reassess how we’re maintaining balance.

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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Jen Shoffner is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) She currently works as Vice President of Finance for  Mosaic Pediatric Therapy which provides personalized ABA therapy for children with autism. When she isn’t on a field or in a gym watching her children play sports, she enjoys reading, cross-stitching, and relaxing beside the lake or ocean.

What's your no. 1 piece of advice for moms hoping to achieve more work-life balance in the new year? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

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