Since work-life balance is so important to me, I was happy to have guest poster Aniya draft a post to highlight a situation dear to her heart. She has some great tips to share for those balancing kids, college and being married…But let’s be honest — these tips can apply to any woman balancing a lot!
Society seems to put a lot of pressure on mothers these days. They are expected to keep the perfect house, have a happy marriage, adorable children and possibly even a lucrative, fulfilling career. Whew, I’m exhausted after just writing that. As my younger sister anxiously awaits the arrival of her firstborn, these are things that are no doubt on her mind.
I try to give her what advice and guidance I can, but the truth is her situation is much different than mine was when I had my first child. I was a stay-at-home mom who didn’t have to worry about anything other than my family, our financial situation and house. She, on the other hand, is in her first year of MBA school, 6 months pregnant, with hopes of one day being a high-powered executive.
I can’t even imagine being in her situation. Her current schedule is hectic enough. Between coursework, married life and the contract assignments she does here and there to stay relevant, it’s a wonder she has time for anything else. And in 3 months they’re going to factor in a baby? Bye-bye sleep, free time and sanity.
But, as I start to think about it, several women go through similar situations all the time—I just wasn’t one of them. In fact, my best friend had her first child shortly after she started law school, but that didn’t stop her from graduating on time and successfully passing the bar exam, so clearly it can be done. I just didn’t know how to explain that to my sister.
After talking with my best friend for a while, she came up with a short, easy list of tips to help her not just survive, but thrive, during this demanding, stressful time. Read on to learn more.
Set up a Schedule
…And try to stick to it. I’m sure more than a handful of you laughed at this ambitious notion, because if anyone knows anything about life it’s that it’s unpredictable at best. Yet, although that may be true and life has a tendency to get in the way, it helps to have a routine in place for when things do go right. Set aside specific times to do everything on your typical to-do list. For instance, let’s say you do your best critical thinking in the morning—well, sounds like you should make a point to do all of your school assignments then, and plan the rest of your responsibilities around that.
Use your strengths to guide your decisions
Arrange for Date Nights
This is honestly an important tip regardless of your situation. Anyone can get caught up in the rigors of day-to-day life and neglect their relationship. This is a huge mistake, as every partnership takes time, commitment and attention to succeed.
Couples expecting a child should implement this as soon as possible, so that they get that quality time in before their world’s change forever. Then, once the chaos of your new life with your baby calms down, try to stick to it.
My friend said she and her husband had a rough patch when she first started law school because she was overextending herself and, thus very stressed out. Without meaning to, she was taking much of her frustration out on him, that’s if she made time for him at all, but she realized the error of her ways and took the steps to fix it.
Silence Your Guilt
Now, this last tip almost didn’t make the cut. At first, my friend imparted some superficial advice about investing in a good calendar app to help my sister stay on top of things. But after she said that she paused for a minute and offered a much more powerful grain of wisdom for new mothers who are expecting to juggle motherhood, school, work, etc. She stopped and looked at me and said to remind my sister to silence her guilt. Tell her to ignore that inner voice that gives her a hard time when she occasionally sleeps in; silence the “conscience” that makes her feel bad for wanting a break sometimes. Allow herself the opportunity to fail and make mistakes. Because, although we all strive for this much sought after “perfection” it is an unattainable, shallow pipe dream imposed on us by societal pressures that are beyond our control.
What we do control is our own sense of happiness and contentment. It is only when we let external forces dictate our feelings that we truly fail.
So, if you know a special mommy-to-be in your life who is stressing about her impending schedule, please share these tips with her. She and her loved ones are sure to thank you.
A freelance blogger and writer for over ten years, Aniya Wells now regularly contributes to theOnlinedegreeprograms.com blog. She is passionate about giving potential students advice as they embark on an online or traditional degree program. Aniya is very excited about the latest advances in technology that have made a comprehensive education more accessible to all. Please direct questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking to share helpful tips and want links back to your website? Feel free to send your idea to laurenmarieweber[at]gmail . com.
How do you balance it all? Share tips with us!