Being a working mom comes with its own set of challenges, especially during the summer when your kids are out of school. Balancing work responsibilities, spending quality time with your children, and balancing mental health in summer can sometimes lead to feelings of guilt and added stress.
It's essential to prioritize your mental health during this time to ensure a harmonious work-life balance. In this blog post, we will explore strategies to cope with the challenges of having your kids at home while working, including ideas to alleviate guilt and incorporate self-care activities into your routine.
Create a Structured Schedule To Help Balance Mental Health in Summer:
Establishing a structured schedule helps both you and your children understand the expectations for each day. Set designated work hours and create a routine that includes dedicated time for your kids. By having a schedule in place, you can balance work and quality time more efficiently, reducing stress and guilt.
Involve Kids in Work Activities:
If your work allows, involve your children in age-appropriate work activities. Give them small tasks or projects to work on alongside you like shredding, or organizing folders or materials, which keeps them engaged and gives you the opportunity to spend time together while still getting work done.
Set Realistic Expectations:
Accept that you may not be able to participate in every summer activity with your kids, and that's okay. Set realistic expectations for yourself and communicate openly with your children about your work commitments. This helps manage their expectations and reduces feelings of guilt.
Embrace Work-From-Home Perks:
As a work-from-home mom, take advantage of the flexibility it offers. Consider taking a break during lunchtime to spend an hour at the pool with your kids. This way, you can enjoy the sun, have fun with your children, and return to work refreshed and energized while they burned energy and are ready to relax watching a movie or nap.
Plan Quality Time:
Even if you have limited hours available, plan intentional quality time with your kids. Create a list of activities you can do together, such as cooking a meal, playing board games, or going for a walk in the evening.
Making the most of the time you have with your children helps foster strong connections and memories. If you have a flexible schedule, maybe you can block a couple of hours during the afternoon or morning for them and work later in the evening.
Self-care is crucial for maintaining good mental health. Find moments during the day to take care of yourself. Whether it's practicing mindfulness, reading a book, taking a short walk, or enjoying a bubble bath after the kids go to bed, make self-care a priority to recharge and rejuvenate.
Delegate and Seek Support:
Don't hesitate to ask for help or delegate tasks when possible. Reach out to family members, friends, or babysitters who can lend a hand with child care or household responsibilities. Having a support system in place allows you to focus on work when needed and alleviates some of the pressure.
Establish clear boundaries between work and family time. Communicate these boundaries to your family and colleagues, ensuring they understand your availability and limitations. This helps create a sense of structure and respect for your personal time.
Practice Mindfulness and Stress-Relief Techniques:
Incorporate mindfulness and stress-relief techniques into your daily routine. Take a few moments throughout the day to practice deep breathing exercises, meditate, or engage in yoga or stretching. These activities promote relaxation and help manage stress levels.
Connect with Other Working Moms:
Reach out to other working moms who can relate to your experiences. Join online communities or local support groups where you can share your challenges and gain support and advice. Connecting with like-minded individuals can provide a sense of belonging and help alleviate feelings of isolation. And in some cases, you may be able to set a system where you all rotate and take turns each day to give each other an afternoon or couple of hours without the kids if they live close.