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25 Ways to Be a Great Mom without Sacrificing Your Career

25 Ways to Be a Great Mom without Sacrificing Your Career
Written by Oana Schneider

Working moms have a lot on their plate. Aside from taking care of the kids, they have to deal with household chores, grocery shopping, recitals, homework, school activities – not to mention the professional aspects of their lives.

If you’re part of the working mom population, how can you juggle your time between family and work? How can you be a great mom without sacrificing your career? That is exactly what we will find more about here.

Read about these ways to be a great mom without sacrificing your career!

Working Moms in the US  

There are many ways to be a great mom without sacrificing your career for US moms. Over the decades, more and more mothers choose to also maintain a career while raising a family. Their work can either be the traditional in-office jobs, while others choose to become an entrepreneur or have a home office from where they can also earn an additional income.

According to Ancestry.com, the number of stay-at-home moms rose from 23% in 1999 to 29% in 2012. Some are working full-time while others have part-time jobs.

Here are a few more statistics about working moms from Statista.com:

  • For the year 2010, 38% of survey respondents said that the increase of working mothers with young kids makes no difference. 37% said it’s a bad thing while 21% said it’s a good thing.
  • For the year 2010, here’s how working moms divide their time: 22 hours per week is spent on paid work, 17 hours per week is used for housework, and 10 hours is spent on child care.
  • For the year 2012, the number of stay-at-home moms reached 10 million. Out of this, 729,721 are married with a non-working husband; 2,043,259 are single; and 7,067,359 are married with a husband who works.

Economic and personal reasons are factors in these figures. For instance, a small percentage of stay-at-home moms said that they care for their kids on a full-time basis because they cannot find paid employment.

Although there are dads who stay at home to care for the kids while the wife is working, the percentage is small as compared to stay-at-home moms who work. Many ways to be a great mom without sacrificing your career include being a little selfish, to begin with. 

How to Be a Good Mom & Good at Your Work

Now, if you are a mom who would like to be great with your kids and at home without sacrificing your career – whether you have an office job or home-based work – here are our ways to be a great mom without sacrificing your career:

Let go of the guilt

A major thing that work-at-home moms deal with is the guilt of being at work, and feeling as if they are not there enough for their child. If “mommy guilt” strikes, think of how your being at work is benefiting your family financially, and improving your individual growth as a person. There’s always a positive side of things that you should be focusing on rather than being eaten by guilt.

Learn how to prioritize

You can’t be in two places at the same time but there will be instances when you have to choose one activity over another. If an important meeting at work coincides with your child’s recital, maybe you can have your husband attend the school activity instead? If not that, reschedule the meeting or have someone else at work take over your role for you. There are no right and wrong decisions here, and it’s entirely up to you to choose which one to prioritize.

There’s no need to be always perfect

Even if you’re one of those obsessive-compulsive moms who want everything to be organized and perfect, remember that having such high standards take time and lots of effort.

Since you cannot do everything yourself, you should let go of that nagging need to be always perfect, especially for mundane things like folding the kid’s clothes or cleaning the house. Of all the ways to be a great mom without sacrificing your career, this one is our favorite. 

Ask for help, and learn when to say no

Work with your husband and kids who can handle age-appropriate chores. Again, you cannot do everything yourself so if you feel that you have so much to do, delegate. At work, learn how to say no especially if saying yes is simply a way to be polite.

25 Ways to Be a Great Mom without Sacrificing Your Career

Separate your home and work life

This rule specifically applies to moms who work at home. If you have a home office setup, let members of your family know that your space is only for work. Set a specific time for working – preferably when the kids are at school or when the day is not filled with chores that you need to do. There are many ways to be a great mom without sacrificing your career, so keep reading!

Take the time to take care of yourself

When was the last time that you had a self-pampering session? Even if you’re harangued with all the things that you need to do at work and at home, you should take the time to take care of yourself. Book a massage session, grab coffee with friends or simply spend a leisurely hour in the bath to read or relax. After giving yourself such treats, you’ll feel ready to face another flurry of activities.

Stop comparing yourself to other moms

Every household is different and if you think that your glamorous-looking neighbor who has the same number of kids as you do does not have any problems, think again. Comparing yourself to other moms will just lead you to have insecurities, or even result to conflicts with other women.

Instead of focusing on what you seemingly lack as compared to others, spend your energy giving other moms support. Other ways to be a great mom without sacrificing your career: keep yourself young both mentally and physically. 

Know when to slow down

Women may be capable multi-taskers but when you’re biting off more than you can chew, you might not be doing yourself any favor. Know when to slow down, and remember that it’s usually better to work on one thing at a time so that you can give it your whole attention.

If you’re working full-time, find quality child care

For moms who have nine-to-five jobs, make sure to look for good quality child care. Ask friends and other working moms for referrals. You can also look for an excellent day care facility so that you can have peace of mind knowing that your child is well taken care of while you are at work. Most ways to be a great mom without sacrificing your career don’t cost a thing, so why not try them?

Organize your week or month

Create a family calendar which everyone can see, and squeeze in your own schedule at work. By organizing your week or entire month ahead, you can avoid getting frazzled with everything that needs to be done.

Plan your day the night before

After organizing your monthly or weekly schedule, you can plan your day the night before. If you need to lay out the kids’ clothes as well as your own, do so the previous night. Divide the next day’s tasks between you and your husband, and make changes as necessary. Which better ways to be a great mom without sacrificing your career than sharing responsibilities with your loved one?

Start your day right

To avoid running late and having everything seem to go wrong in the morning, start your day right. If you prepared things the night before, you can spend a few minutes enjoying breakfast with the kids without having to rush out of the house. Begin your day with a positive attitude and everything will fall into place.

25 Ways to Be a Great Mom without Sacrificing Your Career

Be open with your employer

Let your HR representative or immediate supervisor know that you are a working mom, and there might be instances when you would have to file emergency leaves at work. Are there allowances for that? What about maternity leave? Discussing these things beforehand will avoid confusion and clear things out when the time comes that you actually have to take a day or two off from work.

When looking for ways to be a great mom without sacrificing your career, make sure you don’t let your job run you over!

Connect with your kids often

For moms who already have a child care provider and feel as if they’re not spending enough time with the kids, technology will let you stay in touch with your kids often. For moms with babies or toddlers, let your child hear your voice over the phone so that you can stay connected even if you’re at the office.

Eliminate distractions and time wasters

There are a lot of time wasters at work and eliminating them will give you more time to focus on what you really need to do. When you’re at home, resist the temptation to always check on your work e-mail or take work-related phone calls. The best ways to be a great mom without sacrificing your career involve purchasing helping tools like an electronic calendar or a smartphone. 

Create family moments that matter

Which day of the week is best for family activities? If it’s the weekend, make sure to schedule something fun to do in advance and inform the kids of your plans so that you can create family moments that matter.

Have a no-phones rule during family dinner

Dinner time is the best way to catch up on each other’s lives, so have a no-phones rule when you’re eating your meals. Be a good example and try not to check on your computer, so the kids can follow suit. All these ways to be a great mom without sacrificing your career are here to help you and make your life happier.

Organize your home to save time and effort

Having an organized home also saves you a lot of time and effort as a working mom. If you’re always tripping over school items on the hallway, enforce a house rule about where the kids’ things should be placed when they get home from school.

Know how to juggle the kids’ activities after school

Moms who are working full time may not be able to attend PTA meetings during weekdays, so find a way to make up for it by talking with the teacher. If you know that you’re going to miss a school activity because of something important at work, ask your husband to sub for you.

The best ways to be a great mom without sacrificing your career mean being there for your kids no matter what, but your job puts food on their table, so compromise as much as you can!

Actually work when you’re at work

Once you leave the house, put your mind on a working mode. This way, you can be more efficient and productive without bringing all your domestic worries and problems in the workplace.

Spend quality time with your husband

Aside from the kids, you should also spend quality time with your husband. Ask a relative or book a babysitter to watch over the kids once or twice a month so that you can have a date night. You want to discover ways to be a great mom without sacrificing your career, but how about ways to be a great dad and still have a job? Think about your partner!

Squeeze in a girl’s night out in your calendar

Catching up with friends over coffee or snacks is also an excellent way to refresh your mind as a working mom.

25 Ways to Be a Great Mom without Sacrificing Your Career

Make sure that your schedule is flexible

Having a flexible work schedule in the first place is what makes for a successful working mom. Can you work at home during Fridays, or maybe get out of work early so that you can attend your kid’s school activity? How short a notice can you give at work to file for leave if your kid gets sick?

When you have a flexible schedule, it will be easier for you to juggle the things you have to do at work and at home. Some of these ways to be a great mom without sacrificing your career may not apply to you, but your friends may need to know about them.

Use technology to your advantage

Download apps on your tablet that will let you organize your home and work calendar. You can also use apps which let you keep track of your budget and manage your time.

Accept the fact that you can’t do it all yourself

Finally, accept the fact that you cannot do everything by yourself. If you have a good support system in the form of your husband, kids, friends and relatives, you can be a great mom without sacrificing your career.

All these ways to be a great mom without sacrificing your career are here to make sure your kids will grow up to be responsible adults without making you feel deprived. Enjoy your life, your kids and your work!

About the author

Oana Schneider

Oana Schneider is a published author located in Chicago, Illinois, who currently works for DontPayFull.com as a communication specialist and blog editor. She writes about lifestyle, family budget, has a degree in Communications and advocates for women’s rights. Her future plans include getting a Labrador and losing a few pounds.

12 Comments

  • It can be incredibly difficult for parents to balance home life and work life, and one of the hardest things is the fact that they will always get people complaining no matter what they choose to do. In my country, the UK, many stay at home mothers will claim benefits while caring for their children, and they get talked about in a negative way for doing this. Similarly, though, are the parents who work all of the time, and it can feel as though they are talked about for not spending enough time with their children. So they simply cannot win.

    Parents need to remember that they should do what is best for themselves and for their children; not just what other people feel as though they should be doing. Let go of the guilt, and enjoy the time that you can spend together while they are still young.

    • Exactly. When you have children, that doesn’t mean you literally drop everything in your life for that child. As long as you’re raising that child to the best of your ability, then you should absolutely focus upon what’s best for yourself, too. That applies to mothers and fathers alike.

  • I agree that mothers in the UK get a raw deal. They get flamed if they choose to stay at home and claim benefits, but get an equal slating if they choose to go out to work. It is encouraging to see a website which tries to address the guilt that working mothers feel, this is a massive problem and they should be supported wherever possible.

    • I don’t think working mothers have anything to be ashamed of, although I do realize that there’s a lot of controversy on the topic. People love bashing a woman for deciding to work. Then again, there are people out there (men and women alike) that would criticize a woman for doing just about anything that doesn’t involve raising children. It’s a shame that things are like this today.

  • I’ve never been a fan of the related dynamic where a woman stays at home ALL THE TIME with her child. There’s a healthy medium in there somewhere where a mom can work and still raise her child properly, with help from the father (if present). I think working moms are great, and I would never criticize a woman for wanting to focus on her career. I understand far less the moms that decide to stay at home and not work at all.

  • I do not have kids but I agree with this article. People just need to learn to prioritize and relate with their kids, ask them questions and so on. My mom was a house wife so she had the luxury of not dealing with working outside the home other than selling vegetables from the house. We saw her all the time and were able to all connect well and get along.

  • This is one of those grass is greener topics. The stay at home moms wish they could work, the working moms wish they could stay home. If moms would realize that they would probably have the opposite feelings as soon as they tried the other side of the fence, then we would all see the only thing we can do is be the best mom we can, no matter our situation, and find reasons to be grateful for the situation we have. We are all just doing the best we can, and in the end our kids will see that.

  • Thanks so much for sharing – every mom would love to stay home and spend more time with her babies – but there is no shame in having to work to make sure they have everything they need. Most parents are doing their best to balance. No need for guilt

  • So many tips! I think letting go of the guilt and trusting our instincts is fine, but let’s be honest: there is a right or wrong. Kids will always find *something* to blame us for eventually, but if we do it really wrong, then it is not just the usual blaming, but rather it can really cause problem such as trust issues and an excessive need for attention. (Those are traits of my partner whose mother pretty much left him alone so she could work and then buy him gifts to make up for it).

    However, your article gives clear pointer as to how to make up for this — I’m pretty sure my boyfriend tells me he did not really eat dinners with his mom, nor have “special moments” that had sense and all.

    What can suck is that, if you have a job rather than a career, you get less leeway and if you would want to work just a 20 hours job in a week, your boss can push you to take more shifts. It makes it hard to deal with!

  • Wow, this is very insightful. My mom had to let go of her career to raise me and my siblings ( 4 ) and this would probably have been great for her to read before us. Some moms think they’re leaving their children by working, which you covered and as you say, they have to let go and learn how to prioritize what life is. Sometimes guys have to do mom stuff. Some other times mom has to go away, mom has to be hard on you. New generations aren’t learning this. Moms have to be secure about themselves all the time and try to be the best, not being martyrs for it. Having understanding bosses does help with this matter, though! They can help with rescheduling and overall being good with letting mommy out to see her kids one or two important times a month.

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