Jul 03 2019
You work full time and want work that satisfies you. You have a partner and two young kids who rely on your presence as much as they rely on your income. You do the lion’s share of childcare coordination/coverage, chores, and family management.
Many days this feels like a story problem with no solution. An answer key doesn’t exist for this motherhood math, but you keep very good company with millions of other working moms–our Building Brave mentor team among them– puzzling over the same equation and with wisdom to share.
Have a conversation with your partner and reset expectations. One of you may have to settle for the salary you need now to keep balance at home, and later prioritize job satisfaction when your kids grow older and you can have more flexibility. – Cheryl Tidwell, VP US Sales, BTS
Start teaching your children to help at a young age. Set the expectation that they will stand alongside you to help declutter a room, fold the laundry, do the grocery shopping (even online), etc. It takes more time to prep dinner as you teach your child to hold the carrot peeler, but do it anyway. Imagine your eight-year-old stir frying broccoli while you boil pasta. Sound dangerous? Not if you trained them step-by-step to be safe. That’s connected family time in the kitchen rather than iPad time. – Elisabeth Stitt, Parenting coach
Make a list of all the chores you’d like help with, sit down with your partner, and come up with an agreement about who takes on what. Include a general timeline for when each chore should be done. Be specific for shared chores (ie if one person cooks, the other does the dishes). Let go of how your partner does their chores. As long as they get done, don’t worry about the how. Learn to let go of minutia and appreciate the actions. Do NOT take over chores no matter how “easy” they seem. The more over-responsible you become, the more under-responsible you teach them to become. – Lisa Merlo Booth, Relationship expert
Consider a nanny share or childcare share. Perhaps you and your husband can work out a pick-up/drop-of schedule that allows the off-duty parent to leave early or come home late to get in extra work hours. – Rachel Neill, CEO, Carex Consulting Group
From the Building Brave community
Cut back and hire out. Sign up with a babysitting service so you have an option to cover sick days, try grocery delivery and cleaning services, and find time at least one day a month for self-care.
Ask a nearby trusted friend or relative to watch kids if they are well enough for a sitter/rest day, but not well enough to return to school.
Read more tips for making small shifts for greater life balance here.
Download Building Brave’s Mobile Mentoring app for more advice from professional women at all ages and stages. Get guidance for your specific situation, or consider fresh voices and perspectives.