In 1965, the average working mother spent just nine hours per week in the workplace, while their little ones attended daycare or stayed home with a babysitter for an average of 10 hours a week.
And with today’s working mothers spending more time at work — the average mother spends 25 hours per week in the office — their kids are, of course, also spending more time (14 hours per week) at daycare or with caretakers.
More time in the office, combined with more time taking care of the kids, no doubt makes life harder than ever for working moms to balance. Knowing this, here are three ways you can improve your work-life balance and better stay in-tune with your kids.
1. Make Family Night a Priority
Perhaps the most important thing any working parent can do is to make family night a priority. Between bringing work home some evenings and toting your kids to soccer practice, it can be easy to fall out of touch with one another. When you do have free time, it might be tempting for everyone to go their separate ways.
However, making it a priority at least once a week to spend quality time together will allow everyone to regroup. You’ll be able to catch up on what’s going on in your children’s lives and your children will be reminded that you care about them and want to spend time together. Don’t worry about planning anything extravagant. Simple ideas, like cooking a meal together or playing board games, will provide for a relaxed evening that everyone can enjoy.
2. Give Each Child Your Ear
While hanging out together as a family is important, if you have more than one child, you should also set aside time to spend with them individually. In the excitement, fun and chatter of a family night spent playing games or watching a movie together, you probably won’t get a chance to hear about the little details of each child’s day.
Indeed, spending quality time with each child means not only learning about how they’re doing in school and who they’re hanging out with, but also demonstrates to your children that they’re loved and viewed as a priority in your life. Which friends are they sitting with at lunch? What kinds of projects have they been working on at school?
Taking the time to ask these and other questions is not only a chance for you to tune in to your children, but will also help to remind them that no matter how busy mom is, she’s never too busy for her kids.
3. Let Your Kids Be a Part of Your Success
As you commit to a career, you’re also learning new skills and reinforcing the talents you already possess. Today, throughout most workplaces, employees regularly practice the art of multitasking and demonstrate determination and perseverance, even when things get difficult to juggle. But take a step back and think about everything you’re accomplishing. Aren’t these the qualities and traits you want to instill in your children, too?
Letting your kids see you in action is a great way to help them develop their own skills and interests. For example, you might want to get involved with multi-level marketing by starting a business with Amway. As such, you’ll have an easy way to teach your kids about business, while also feeling empowered to create a better work-life balance for yourself.
In particular, your younger kids might enjoy learning and talking about which types of products or services they would sell if they opened their own business. Meantime, your older children may want to get more hands-on by helping you sort inventory or even give their opinion on creating different marketing campaigns.
Now, you might get some flak from family and friends about your involvement with MLM. And you might even ask yourself, “Is Amway a pyramid scheme?” Don’t fret. Just know that Amway gives its independent business owners a chance to take control of their own success by selling high-quality products directly to consumers.
Balancing Work and Family Life
Learning how to balance work and family life isn’t something that comes easily, and there’s certainly no one-size-fits-all approach that works for any busy parent. Indeed, every family is unique, and no one knows better than a mom what her family needs most. Of course, while you’re busy finding that balance, don’t forget the importance of self-care; after all, if you aren’t happy and healthy, you won’t be able to devote your best self to your kids and your work.