Which is basically every mother in the world. Who ever met a mother that didn’t work her backside off?

Getting the balance right between work and family is a job in itself. You’re sat in a meeting and suddenly remember that you need to decorate a paper plate for Halloween by tomorrow, or that you forgot to wash your son’s football kit. You’re waiting at the doctor’s surgery, balancing a sick, feverish little baby in one arm and trying to answer your work emails on your phone with the other hand. You cut the bedtime story short to finish a presentation, only to then feel horribly guilty when you see your little angel sleeping peacefully. The list goes on, and on…

Being pulled in two, three or four directions is demanding, difficult and very stressful. Here are 9 useful lifestyle tips to help all busy working mothers out there:

1. Don’t compare, just be yourself.

And by this I mean don’t compare yourself or your children with other mothers and their seemingly perfect offspring. Trying to live up to insanely high standards is the fastest way to stress yourself out. Feeling “not good enough” is something most mothers experience at some point or another, in fact many feel it permanently, and the worst thing you can do is compare your own private family life with the public image given by another family. Who knows the level of crazy shouting, tantrums and biscuit-eating that goes on behind their closed doors? Focus instead on being the best mother you can be, taking into account who you really are, with all your strengths and weaknesses.

2. Find childcare or a school that you’re really happy with

If you spend most of the day worrying about if your beautiful child is not being well cared for, is not eating properly eating well or is not happy at school, possibilities of doing a good job are really low and you could have serious problems with your boss or employees.

3. Delegate, delegate, delegate

If you spend most of your day worried sick that you’re lovely little boy/girl isn’t being looked after properly, isn’t eating well, or isn’t happy at school, the chances of you producing any decent work are pretty small, which will probably create a rather large problem with your boss (or employees if you are the boss).

4. Organise yourself

Any parent knows that mornings are madness. And yet despite knowing this, most of us still leave everything to the last minute. Because we’re masochists. Get your bag and your children’s nursery/school stuff ready the night before, iron whatever clothes need to be ironed and get uniforms ready before you go to sleep. If you have a toddler who is the devil to get dressed in the mornings and you have an important meeting (or gym class) at 9am, put them to bed with their clothes on! You aren’t crazy, you’re a time-saving genius!

5. Give yourself some credit – and some free time

You are doing the best you can – and that is good enough! No one knows how to manage the work-family life, and despite what you may think, having a messy home and letting your kids eat junk every now and again just means you are normal. Don’t get so caught up in everyone else that you forget to treat yourself. Exercise classes, a manicure, an hour with a coffee and a book or your favourite TV programme are not “treats” you have to earn, they are an important part of taking care of yourself.

6. Do as much as possible online

Whether it’s your supermarket shopping, checking your bank account or paying bills, the more you can do online, the easier you’ll make your life.

7. Aim to separate work/family time as much as possible

When you’re at home, be mum; play with Lego, bake cookies, listen to your kids and be present. This is very hard to do when your phone is beeping every 10 minutes with new emails and messages. Children grow up very fast, and between school and activities they really don’t spend much of their day with you. So at least when you’re with them, be with them.

8. Try not to take your children to work

Just as you should try not to let work dominate your home life, try not to take your children with you. Your colleagues may (pretend to) enjoy hearing about little Eva’s first steps or Matt’s amazing exam results, but try to limit the amount of “Proud Mama” talk to family get-togethers. That way it’s also easier for you to concentrate on work while you’re actually at work, too.

9. Chill out

Remember that before you were a wife and a mum, you were a friend, a sister, a daughter, a colleague, and so on. You are still all of those things, so make time for each of them. Put regular coffee/dinner dates with your girlfriends in your diary and stick to them – laughter is the best way to cope with a stressful life. And wherever possible, relax and have fun with your family. A good place to start is at our Genesis Days, starting in November. Exercise, have fun and relax as a family, followed by some delicious food afterwards. For more information contact a member of the Activate Sports Club team.


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