Being A Career Woman And A Mother: How To Find Balance
By Sarah Fader
Updated February 04, 2020
Reviewer Stephanie Beebe, MSW, LISW-S
The majority of parents who are working struggle to find a balance between their job and their personal lives. This can be challenging for a mother who wants to be a career woman, but it's not impossible by any means. One of the things to think about is this - you don't have to do this on your own. You might feel that, as a mother, you've got to raise your children, bring in the money, and do it all by yourself. If you have a partner, they can help with childcare, and if you're both working, one of the things to remember is that you can work on finding babysitters or childcare centers together. As you know, raising kids together is a team effort. If you're a single parent, it's important to remember that your full-time job is important, and so are your children. It's okay to take breaks for yourself and hire a babysitter so that you can go out with your friends; in fact, it's vital. You need to get that downtime. There are ways that you can balance having a career and a family life, and we will go through that in this article.
You Don't Have To Do it All
There's a lot of societal pressure on women and mothers to "do it all." You might feel tremendous pressure to be successful at your career and motherhood, and it could feel paralyzing. That's an understandable way to react when you're trying hard to make a life for you and your children. Remember that you get to decide what works best for your life. It's not anyone's business to make judgments on your life choices. There are many successful female business owners, and a large number of these women have children. You do not have to give up your life as a mother to have a business or vice versa. You may be a go-getter or an entrepreneur, and that's a wonderful quality. Follow your passion and do what works for you. Maybe, you own your own business. It could be that you work in corporate america in a nine-to-five job. Perhaps you work as a freelance writer or artist.
There are so many different opportunities to fulfill your life purpose as a woman and a mother. You don't have to be "just" a mother, or "just" a career woman; those things can coincide, and you can live with balance. You don't have to do it all. It's easier said than done, but it's important not to let other people's ideas about the person that you "should" be get to you. There are ways that you can make a life of balance work for you as a busy mom and professional. One of the first things to think about is what you want to do with your life so that you can establish your priorities as an individual outside of your family life.
Finding Your Purpose
If you haven't decided whether or not you want to have children yet, that's okay. If it's a priority for you to have children, honor that decision. There are many ways that you can become a parent, whether that's having children biologically or adopting a child; both of those are viable options for starting a family, and remember that there are an abundance of different kinds of families in the world. Some people have a partner, some people are single parents, and some kids are raised by their grandparents; these are only some of the ways that a family can look, and family has varying definitions. If you're a woman who wants to have children, you can do this, and you can have a career.
Making It Happen
Before you try balancing your job and family, it's essential to define what you want to do with your life. It's okay to not know the answer to that question. Think about it, the average person changes careers many times in their life. If you don't know "what you want to be when you grow up" it's not a big deal. You can figure that out with time and patience. Start by identifying your goals. Get out a piece of paper and a pen and write down what you want. What are your goals in life? Write down a list of five things that you want to accomplish in your career life. Look at that list and prioritize the first one. What's the most important thing to you? Say that you want to become a high-powered executive at a company.
This doesn't happen overnight, and it'll take steps to achieve this. Break it down into smaller steps; write down three things that'll help you get to that place in a company and start with the skill set that you have. That could mean working as an assistant for someone first and learning a trade or being an associate and moving up in your company over time. It just depends on what your goal is in terms of what you'd like to achieve. Where are you starting, what's the end goal, and what's in between that? How will you get to where you're going? There are steps involved, and a plan of action is one thing that will get you going.
What Is A Plan Of Action?
A plan of action is when you write down the steps that you need to take to get to your goal. You know what your objectives are, and now it's time to figure out how to get to where you're going. It's a matter of defining those goals, and then creating the steps to get to your destination. It's okay to be nervous when you start defining the things you want to do, but don't let that stop you! Feel your emotions, and keep going. You will achieve your goals if you stay focused and on track. Let's say that you'd like to own your own business, for example, the first thing that you need to do is determine the following:
- What is my business? Once you decide what you want to do, the next thing is -
- What are the things that I need to get my business going? Write down the things that you need to get it going (money, people to collaborate with, and so on).
- What do I need to fulfill those needs? In a notebook, write down what you need to get your business to where it needs to be.
Remember that there are short term goals and long term goals. The short term goals are things that you can accomplish right now. So, in this example, you'd research businesses that are similar to the one that you want to start. Start by understanding what they do and how they do it. The long-term goal is to start that business, but there are steps along the way, and you'll get to where you're going if you stay on track.
Managing Your Life And Career Goals With Your Family Goals
When it comes to integrating your family life with your career, It's about balance. Naturally, you're going to want to spend time with your children. When you have a family, that's your first priority; your kids are what comes first regardless of what else is going on. You need to make sure that your kid's needs are met and that yours are as well; that everyone is provided for in terms of basic functions such as food, shelter, and love.
You know that you love your children; you also need to love yourself or be working towards that goal. Make sure that you're in good standing with yourself so that you love yourself and are working towards being well if you aren't already. Prioritize your kids' needs to be sure they are met both fiscally and emotionally providing the support they need in all areas. It doesn't hurt to have help along the way in the form of mental health care. Your mental health matters as a mother and career woman, and one of the things that you can do is pursue therapy.
Online Therapy Helps Career Women
There are so many things to think about when you're a busy mom. You're worried about providing emotional support for your children, and helping them grow. You also want to make sure their basic needs are provided for, and that can be stressful. You don't have to do this alone! Talking to a therapist is a great way to talk through your problems. Online therapy is a flexible place where you can get help as a busy career woman and mother. Sometimes, it's hard to get to a therapist's office in person with all that you have to juggle, and that's why online therapy is a great place to discuss your concerns about your career, family matters, and your life. Search the network of caring therapists at BetterHelp and find somebody who understands the struggles of being a career woman and can assist you along the way.