Balance As A WAHM!
BALANCE As A WAHM
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This is a guest blog by Christine Marcotte
Balancing Motherhood: Is it Possible?
I have been a mom for nearly five and a half years (not including the pregnancy… which is its own, in my opinion, level of challenge and feeling sick alllll the time). I have been a traditional working mom with my kid in daycare, a work alternate shifts so we can spend time with our kid (but rarely see each other, The work long hours on the weekends only mom, and, over the last year, the work at home mom.
So when Rebecca asked me to write an article on balance, I was like, “okay, I got this.”
However, I was recently challenged to track how I spend my time.
As a work at home in the internet space mom, I have felt at times like I needed to be glued to my phone or computer. Other days I have literally told myself, Forget it, I want to just spend time with my [sick, cranky, high maintenance, fun, or whatever it was that day] children. I’m tired.
As moms we are great at multitasking. Cook dinner while talking to the preschooler about using the restroom and making sure the toddler doesn’t eat the clay? No problem. How about sitting in on a zoom call, refereeing the kids’ spontaneous wrestling matches (#boymom here), and checking email? Well, we can switch our brain between tasks, but we are not doing any of them well at that point.
A Harvard medical study suggested multitasking hinders your cognitive function more than being under the influence. By checking IQs, the multitaskers’ went down 10 points while the people under the influence of drugs only went down 5 points. How scary is THAT?
So while we can, for example drive and talk okay because our brain remembers automatically how to get to the grocery store, when we are using our mind in too many capacities we just get… well, out of commission. Off our mom power game. AND…. less effective.
Have you ever, like me, told your kids to do something while staring at a screen or obviously engrossed in something else? I have… more often than I would like to admit. Guess what? They do not listen. They know they have time because it is going to take you time to a) enforce the direction, b) come up with a consequence of not following, and c) actually pay attention to them.
Not only that, but our kids do what we do. So if we are half paying attention to them when we talk to them… they are more likely to tune us out. I learned that lesson by having to tell my preschooler 3702 times to get dressed every morning while laying in bed. So I don’t have my phone in my hand anymore.
Anyway, stopping and starting work that many times also hinders how much we can focus on it. I notice this when, by the time my kids finally go to bed, I just want to zone out. Of course, following people on social media and posting pretty photos on IG doesn’t take so much brain power… so why not read the latest article on celebrity babies and check out what our long lost friend from HS is doing now while we are there?
I have found that the more time I spend randomly checking posts and switching from activity (making decisions along the way), the more tired and unproductive I am when it IS time to work.
So my tips for balance include the following:
Take days off (including from the computer and phone)
Plan your day out each night and/or morning and stick to it
Be intentional about really spending time with your kids
Take breaks throughout the day (Example: Rebecca’s meditation, breathing, yoga, etc). Kids can do this with you!
Listen to something while doing automatic activities like washing the dishes or driving to school. I have been on an audiobook and podcast kick.
Let your kids help you with everyday tasks (yes, it takes longer but the quality time is still there and they are learning).
Stick to a schedule. When we skip naptime one day, it makes it harder the next day to get anything done during nap, for example. Also, if the kids know they will eat at a predictable time, they may* be less likely to ask you for a snack every five minutes. At the same time, I try not to be so rigid that I get mad at my kids when they have a legitimate need. After all, they aren’t robots!
Be present. When playing with your kids, look them in the eyes and engage. On the other hand, when it is work time be firm with your kids that you need to get something done before you can, for example, take them outside.
Prioritize your calendar. Put dates with your partner, playdates with your kids, and important appointments on it FIRST. Then put your work meetings and schedule tasks. Of course children can be unpredictable, so flexibility is also key, but at least you have your priorities set and know how to adjust accordingly.
Remember your reason. You want to work at home to be a big part of your kids’ lives, right? So when you start always being on the phone or getting frustrated with your kids, remember that kids are only little for so long.
In my opinion (and Brendon Buchard’s), balance IS possible. We can have that time with our kids, time with our spouse, time taking care of ourselves, AND time where we are in community in a way that we need. It doesn’t mean that we always spend equal time on these, but that we don’t overdo one to neglect the others. When parenting becomes our only identity, all the other areas of our lives suffer. Same with work.
So what will you do today to be a more intentional parent and work on balancing your work and home life? Share below!
Christine is a #boymom and #momprenuer. She writes on her blog, Managing a Lived Life, with the hope of helping mother’s who are overwhelmed thrive, not just survive in the daily aspects of life, including health, relationships, parenting, and personal development.
I'm Rebecca Packard, a passionate practitioner for living from love. As a Wife, Boy Mom, Daughter, Friend & Entrepreneur!
I invite you to join me on this journey to create balance being the CEO of my best life. As I share the tools, tips, & tricks I use everyday for making sure everyone is happy, healthy, living free & living their best life!
I'm open to any & all of your ideas, too, so be sure to share them by commenting on the blog posts, I do read them! AND will respond!
“The purpose of my life is to connect people with their higher power, their truest self. Supporting them in healing wounds, expressing acceptance. While inspiring them to feel the bliss life can be."
- Rebecca Packard
Rebecca strives to support others on their path to a whole life. Through her blogs, group, and events she shares the modalities and practices that she uses in her life, with her family and clients to create full life balance. Sharing all the ways she is supporting herself and others in living their best life. She is passionate about and truly believes that everyone can and should live a life they are passionate about built from balance and purpose.