When it comes to child care, housework and your career, it can be a very tough balance. Every WAHM needs help from time to time, so here are 5 tips to help you in the juggling act called daily life.
1. Establish a Routine
Depending on how old your children are, this can be easier said than done, but the sooner you can establish a routine for the children to follow (when they are with you), the easier it will be to get everything done. For instance, get the children up for the day at the same time. Have meal times and play times at the same time in blocks throughout the day.
When the children can get adapted to a routine, you know what to expect, and they do too. It will help minimize behavioral issues, and help give you more productivity. While things will happen to disrupt the routine from time to time, it is important to readjust to the routine as soon as possible after the disturbance.
2. Enlist Help
Don't be afraid to ask for help. If there is a spouse in the picture, or if there are older children around to help you, make sure you use them. Not all of the housework should fall on you. Have your husband take out the trash, and make sure that the children who are old enough to do so are picking up after themselves and helping with other chores.
Schedule time specifically for the children, specifically for work and specifically for the housework. In this schedule, account for larger chores, such as cleaning the oven and toilets, once a month. For instance, on the 12th, clean the refrigerator and stove. On the 19th, clean the toilets and showers. This keeps everything in a rotation so that all major cleaning is done in addition to the surface cleaning the other people in the home can help you with.
4. Accept Limitations
Don't always expect to be able to get to the end of your to-do list each day; some days you will be able to, and others you won't. Accept that you are not Super Woman. When you realize that you can't possibly handle all there is to handle at once, you will find yourself stressing less, and usually accomplishing more. If something doesn't get done today, it's not the end of the world. Prioritize and move things around as needed.
5. Learn to Say No
Many mothers have a hard time saying no, and if you are one of them, you are saying yes to too many things (and this could be large part of why it is hard to balance child care with your housework and career). When you have too much to do or are feeling overextended, say no. It will not be the end of the world.
Once you have mastered the art of scheduling and saying no, building a routine, asking for help, and accepting limitations, balance should come easier to you. The bottom line is that no matter how much you want to, you cannot do everything. Do what you need to do and take care of the rest as you can.