Today’s successful woman truly balances several balls. She goes from dropping a kid off before work, ironing hubby’s shirt, negotiating deals, and caring for a sick loved one. Then she turns around and does it all over again. She tends to be the one everyone leans on.
Women go from one task to the next from moment to moment. Having an expert speak on how to handle this juggling act and keep your peace will be a topic we are all interested in knowing more about. So bear with me, all-rounders.
1. Maintain regular schedule
Your duties and responsibilities are diverse. So make sure you keep your calendar updated. Google calendar, online note apps, and reminders will come in handy in juggling your official meetings, your kid’s school event, your husband’s office trip, the meeting with a house renovator, and so on. There are plenty of digital family calendar apps and online event organizers to choose from. The notifications will be sent to each of you, depending on the event. If you are old-school, a blackboard with a schedule or sticky notes can also be helpful. So take notes, folks, literally. Writing downtimes and events prevents forgetting or delaying them.
2. Maintain routine and discipline
It does not bode well for anyone to go about everything willy nilly and wing it. Structure your day, and everyone else’s, even when you are at home or are in vacation mode. Get up and go to sleep at a specific time, keep routines for cooking, household chores, and fun activities. Discuss amongst yourself the expected behaviors and disciplines. Keep yourself and others accountable to stick to the house rules. The adults should also stick to the protocols and boundaries you all came up with. Once in a blue moon, it may be broken but do not make it a habit. For example, if your kid is returning after midnight daily or sneaking out of their room at night, if you have a household night curfew after 11 pm, it is time to have a chat with them.
3. Ask for help
It is simply impossible to juggle all the balls without any help. Make sure your husband and kid take up household chores, do their cleaning, keep their rooms tidy, and help you in cooking, laundry, washing, errands, and other tasks. Ask them to step up if you are falling behind your schedule in the office and would like an extra hand. Your parents, in-laws, and cousins also may help tackle some of your duties. Make a community of friends and take turns helping each other by sharing responsibilities. Build a rapport with your neighbors also, help them out however you can, and request their aid when you need it, like accepting delivery or watching your kid for a few hours. At the workplace, swap your time with a colleague or ask for time off in case of family emergencies.
4. Seek Professional Support
Sometimes child care services, nanny services, housekeeping services work wonders for taking loads off of your shoulders. Contact the professional agencies or use the grapevine network to use the services to look after your child, manage household chores, and keep everything organized when you and your hubby are outside and pulling long hours at work. It is not nice to always hound your friends and relatives for helping you out. Professional help will come to your aid when you need to up your ante in the family and workplace.
5. Do not try to micromanage everything.
If you are a perfectionist and a control freak as well, you are doomed forever. Allow some slacks to yourself and others. Do your work and chores as best as you can, but never expect everything to be picture perfect. Make sure your hubby and kiddo know that you might have to spend long work hours and cannot be expected to always take care of them. If tasks are lining up, do them at your own pace. So a bit of messy laundry on the floor, scattered cups on the sink, or unopened documents in the office are no reason to freak out.
6. Compartmentalize your work
When you are at the office, forget about your household worries and family problems. It will only drag you down. Focus on your job. Similarly, when you are getting out of your office cubicle, leave your job in between your office walls. Focus on one thing at a time and do not try to pull all-nighters at your home and work; they will make you more unproductive and wear you down in no time. Talk to your boss and colleagues about your family responsibilities and come up with a flexible work schedule.
7. Keep aside ‘me’ time.
Make sure your daily schedule allows you to set aside some time for yourself without caring for other people. Keep some time to take a quiet walk, read or watch something you like, pamper yourself with a nice bath, visit a friend or pursue a hobby. It will keep you refreshed and will rejuvenate your mind from fatigue and burnout. Taking a breather once in a while with a short solo trip or a one-day outing also might help come back with brimming energy to handle work and home.
8. Use holidays for bonding.
Use your holiday or vacations to spend quality time with your family. The picnics, road trips, weekend getaways, or chilling on the couch together could strengthen your family bonds. It is not unnatural for working parents to become distant from each other and with their children, even though all are living under the same roof. Talk and listen to each other and remove your phones, laptops, and digital interactions from your vicinity. Try to enjoy the company of each other in an old-fashioned way.
9. Keep things in perspective.
Once in a while, all your plans might go haywire. Do not fret about it. Some tasks and duties might turn out to be overwhelming. Your husband may face work problems, or your kid may become recalcitrant or have a tough time and lash out at you. Do not feel guilty or inadequate for not doing enough. Do not feel obligated to solve all their problems. Support them as much as you can. They will work it out.
10. Do not neglect romance.
Do not forget about romancing your hubby with a hot date, fancy dinner, a movie, or a sports event. Make romantic plans, have regular sex, and keep aside some time to show your love and care, in both physical and emotional ways. Keep your spark alive with small and mundane things like a love note, cooking together, talking under the starry sky.
11. Use technologies wisely
Be a bit tech-savvy to handle your duties. Keep aside your distractions from social media notifications when you are at work or spending family time. If your kid is an infant or a toddler, use surveillance devices like baby monitors or CCTV to keep tabs on them. If they are old enough, use video calls to check up on them, GPS devices, location sharing to know about their whereabouts, and stay connected to them. Also, be mindful about your time on social media and absent-minded scrolling.
So that’s it, ladies. Follow these tips, and you will be all set to handle home and work without burning out in the process. It is not easy to juggle your tasks and don your robe of mommy, wifey, the boss lady at once. But a bit of patience and perseverance will ease up your bumps.