Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

How Busy Mums Can Navigate Their Jobs and Families to Success

Combining a career and being a mum is super rewarding. But it’s also exhausting, a next-level circus juggling act, and can sometimes seem downright impossible.

We’re going to be honest with you: there’s no rule book here. Being a mum and going to your job is difficult enough, we’re not going to pretend there’s a prescribed answer. That’s a little insulting.

But there are ways to try and find some balance to help you navigate your job and family life. It won’t always be easy, but these strategies will make things just that little bit easier.

Optimise Your Home Office

Optimising your home office may be the last thing on your mind when you’re a busy mum.

  • Buy decent headphones. It’s tough to work in a noisy environment. Whether it’s street noise, your kids shouting in the background as they climb all over your partner, or anything else, it’s distracting. Get yourself some noise-isolating headphones for full concentration.
  • Optimise printing through Wi-Fi. Instead of using the old-school cable, set up your home office to print wireless. It’ll make things far more convenient (and less messy). You can even set this up for both from your iPhone or Android.
  • Have a separate space. Don’t mix family and work. If you can, set up a separate space where you can work. No spare room? Separate a corner of a room with a divider.
  • Invest in your office chair. Your dining chair is not equal to a proper office chair. Save your back so you can carry the kids, and buy a chair with real back support and plenty of modification options.
  • Clear the clutter. We know, we know. Asking a mum to get rid of the clutter is a tough sell. But it does work, so try and create an office environment that is clean, serene, and free from reminders that mummy life is hectic.

Be Honest with Your Employer

You need to be honest with your employer (and your colleagues!). Having kids is a big deal, and most companies are well aware of the challenges that come with it. Advocate for what you need to have a healthy work/life balance.

Don’t be afraid to ask for accommodations when necessary. Plan ahead, take time off should you need it, and maintain those lines of communication. The last thing you want to do is burn out.

For example, ask for a work-from-home (WFH) day if that would make things easier for you. It’s not uncommon these days: according to the University of Sydney Business School, NSW and Victoria-based workers work from home 1.5 days per week. You won’t be alone in negotiating a schedule that fits both your work duties and home life.

Remember to Exercise

Healthy body, healthy mind. It’s a cheesy saying, but it really does work. And even if you’re an ultra-busy mum, there are ways to make it work:

  • Exercise at the office. Take the stairs, not the elevator. Need to speak to a colleague? Walk over to their desk instead of picking up that phone. Go for a walk during your lunch break, instead of browsing social media. Small changes.
  • Exercise with your kids. Take them for walks. Play tag. Buy a jogging buggy. Do squats as you watch them play in the park.
  • Set the time aside. Even if it’s just 30 minutes per week, it’ll make a difference. Try to add exercise to your schedule as a priority, not an afterthought.

Supermum? There’s No Such Thing

Our final piece of advice is to finally end those ambitions of joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Supermum. It’s not going to happen. There’s no such thing.

It’s an unhealthy myth that can have some serious consequences. It’s a recipe for some serious overwhelm, with mums trying to keep the illusion going for the benefit of friends, family, and employers. Feelings of guilt, regret, and even shame are not uncommon.

Just remember: your child does not want or need you to be super. They just want you to be there for them. Don’t try and do everything at once. Ask for help when you need it. Love your kids. Do the best you can. It’s enough.