(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)
Trying to make your career work alongside being a parent is hard. Being a mother comes with a side order of guilt. We feel guilty if we are working and contributing to the family because that takes us away from time with our children. We feel guilty if we don’t work at all, believing that we aren’t putting enough into our home and our bank balances. Guilt is the ingredient of motherhood that often traps tired mothers into a decision about their career that they do not want to make.
When you’ve had a baby, you get two choices, but they aren’t really choices as they depend on your income. You can choose to stay at home and be a parent, or you can go back to work.
There’s a secret third option, in that you can choose to retrain and find a career that suits you better around your children and family. Whether you have decided to stay at home, retrain or go back to your job, you have taken on double the responsibility: you’re a parent and you are an employee.
Trying to find a balance between your career and your newfound responsibility as a mother is tough. It’s not going to be easy to retrain, either, because even if you find a job with flexible shifts like nursing, it’s a long road and not all about Greys Anatomy pants and McDreamy!
You have to try and find the balance between the challenges of shift work and the responsibility of the children at home. It’s important not to compare yourself to other moms out there. It may look like everyone has their act together, but it’s more likely that they don’t, and comparing yourself is only going to make you feel bad about the way that you balance things.
To find more of a balance between home life and work life, you have to treat your home life as important as your career. Family events shouldn’t be flexible because work events wouldn’t be. There is no guilt toward your job because family comes first. Your job may pay the bills at home, but that doesn’t mean you have to live and breathe it. Don’t be too hard on yourself if your schedule changes, but make it clear to your employer that you must be balanced at work. If you choose to retrain into another profession, find out whether your new career path offers flexible working hours or fixed shifts. Your family will rely on you to be there for them and yet you may still need your job for independence. If your job isn’t going to feed into your success, then a change is necessary.
Balancing motherhood and a career isn’t easy, but it can be done with perseverance and patience. It’s a struggle that happens to more than just moms, too, as it’s a human thing to struggle with finding a life balance with work. Give yourself a break – you are human and you matter, too.