Today’s Latina mom finds herself wearing several hats throughout the day. She may be a mother and a wife, but also a successful entrepreneur or career woman, a daughter and best friend, and then some. At the end of the day, most things get done. But, too often, at the expense of feeling stressed, tired, and guilty.
It’s not easy to do it all and do it well. Following are some tips that can make it easier for you to shift gears successfully throughout the day.
• Crunch the numbers and if your income is mostly going to childcare, rethink your work strategy. Perhaps you can telecommute, set up a home-based business, or launch a free-lance career as a consultant
• Talk to your spouse and discuss how to share childcare and house chores in a way that neither of you will feel overloaded. If you are a single mom, enlist the help of girlfriends and family.
• Hire cleaning help. If you think it’s expensive, calculate how much money you could be making if you worked during the hours you spend cleaning the house. Take shortcuts like using down comforters instead of bedspreads, and buying clothes that don’t require ironing.
• Disconnect from work when you get home. If the nature of your job requires you to be connected most of the time, at least take long breaks from the Internet and your Smartphone. The old adage that quality time with your kids trumps quantity, is true.
• Treat your family unit as a team. Teach your kids responsibility from early on. Delegate chores and responsibilities and as they grow older, base their allowance on extra tasks. Make sure each child is in charge of their keeping their own room in order.
• Before you go to bed, prepare everything you will need for the next day. Lay out your clothes and ask the children to do the same. Set the breakfast table, fill the coffee pot and do anything that will save you time in the morning. You will start the day feeling more in charge.
• Pay it forward to your spouse. If your marriage or relationship is strong, you will feel supported and will find it easier to balance work and motherhood. Take into account that your partner is also tired when he gets home; don’t greet him with an endless list of complaints. Make sure you communicate to the extent that when either of you needs help or alone time, you know you will have the other person’s support.
• Exercise or practice a sport to get rid of stress. There are many ways to carve out time to exercise, such as pushing your baby on her stroller while you go for a walk or a run. If your kids are older, you can choose family friendly sports.
• Ditch working mom guilt. Whether you work because you need to or because you want to, there is no reason to stop. You can be a successful working mom if you learn to cut yourself some slack. Your kids love you for who you are, and that includes your professional persona.
• Keep in mind that you are the best model for your children. Your children will learn through you that motherhood and work are compatible. Your sons will learn that women are strong and capable, and you will raise strong, hardworking and nurturing women, as long as you model that for them.