Managing the Unmanageable
Practical tips for working moms
Working moms often fall into the trap of wanting to be everything for everybody which is virtually impossible. The fact that you are pursuing a demanding career in finance while managing things at home with children and spouses already makes you a superhero, so don’t be too hard on yourself, go ahead and breathe a sigh of relief, you’re doing great.
Coming to terms with the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day and that the world won’t fall apart if you are not there to micromanage everything on your to-do list is the first step towards regaining your sanity and perhaps also finding some time in your day to reward yourself for a job well done. As the new school year kicks off, we have put together a few useful tips to help you balance career and family without becoming too overwhelmed.
1. Create an accessible calendar
Schedules can be hard to manage particularly when you are trying to juggle business trips, conferences and meetings with school appointments, sports training and play-dates. A family calendar that can be viewed by multiple family members on their digital devices is an excellent way to plan ahead, minimize scheduling conflicts and keep everyone on the same page. With children becoming more and more tech savvy at a younger age, they will have no problem downloading and using one of the numerous calendar apps that are currently available with user friendly interfaces that also include features such as to-do lists and reminder notices. If your children are too young to use calendar apps then at least you and your spouse will be able to coordinate schedules and delegate responsibilities more efficiently.
2. Make use of as many time saving techniques as you possibly can
We’ve all been there. You’re in the middle of an important meeting and your phone is ringing off the hook with inquiries about routine household/childcare matters that could all have been resolved ahead of time had you invested a bit of time at the beginning of the week to make sure that standing instructions have been put in place to address recurring tasks.
• Precook and freeze or at least pre-plan meals for the week with your household helper or cook so you don’t have to think about menu planning on a daily basis.
• Make use of EFG Hermes buses or invest in a driver so that you can use your commute time to return phone calls, answer emails, read or simply meditate and catch a power nap. If you’re not driving you will arrive home feeling more refreshed and ready to spend quality time with the family.
• Delegate as many household tasks as possible such as daily cleaning, laundry, and ironing to others. If you’re a perfectionist, you may have to compromise bit on quality but your limited time should be spent on the things that only you can do.
• Consider giving older children incentives for taking on extra chores like laundry, dish-washing, cleaning their room or helping out with their younger siblings.
• Resist the temptation to over-schedule your children. Pare down your child’s sports and extracurricular activities to one or two at a time to reduce stress and maximize quality family time.
3. Maintain physical and emotional well-being
If you don’t take care of yourself, you will never be able to give a hundred percent at home or at work. Just as you would never compromise the well-being of your children, don’t compromise on yourself. Take time out of every day to indulge a bit, even if it’s something as small as a cup of coffee and a chat with a friend before you start your day.
• Never skip breakfast even if it’s just a cup yogurt or a piece of fruit and don’t forget about these brain-friendly foods
• Don’t forget to pamper yourself: if you have a regular massage, nail or hair appointment, try not to give that up
• Do something physical each day. It can be as simple as a bit of stretching right before you go to bed or a short walk
• Don’t waste commute time and money going to an outside gym when you can use the facilities that are available at EFG Hermes.
• Don’t ignore your social life, whether that means socializing with other couples or taking a girls’ night out, go have fun on your own terms, you need to step outside your role as a mom and a serious finance professional every once in a while.
• Try to get enough sleep.
• Spend time each week reading or enjoying a hobby.