Mother knows best
Combining leadership duties at work with parenting responsibilities at home is no easy feat, and there’s no magic formula that guarantees success and satisfaction in both areas. With effort, however, strides can be made.
In honor of Mother’s Day, we asked working moms for their best tips on achieving a work-life balance. Here’s what they had to say:
• “Treat your kids like your clients. Figure out a schedule that works for your family and then stick to it.
“Just like you wouldn’t cancel a client meeting because your child wanted to meet with you, don’t cancel time with your kids because a client wants to meet with you. … I even tell people ‘I have these really demanding clients and I have to meet with them every day at 3 p.m.’”
— Kristen Rampe, owner, Kristen Rampe Consulting
• “My husband and I set aside time on Sunday morning to talk about logistics for the upcoming week.
“That way we have the week planned out and aren’t spending Sunday night, the last of our weekend time together, talking about the impending workweek.”
— Lynn Perkins, CEO & founder, UrbanSitter
• “Take a few minutes at the beginning or end of each day to make a short list of ‘must do’ items for work—the things that are crucial to success on that particular day. In an ideal ‘work’ world, you’ll accomplish much more than what’s on that list.
“But for the times when ‘life’ pops up and your workday goes out the window, you still have your list.
“When you find yourself with a spare pocket of 20 minutes or so throughout the day, you can fill it with one of your must-do items.”
— Denise Stern, president & CEO, Let Mommy Sleep
• “Be where your feet are. For me, work-life balance is all about being completely present in the moment. When I’m in the office, I focus on being as productive as possible.
“I work as hard as I can and make the most of valuable face time with my employees. That way, when I go home, I can give 100% of my attention to my daughters.”
— Caitlin Gould, co-founder & head of strategy, Yashi
• “Mom things will come up—doctor’s appointments to be made, registration for dance or soccer, a recital. These should appear on your to-do list at work, too.
“In fact, your home and work to-do lists should be interchangeable.
“Keeping them on the same priority list helps plan for work, and family life, more effectively.”
— Michelle Brammer, marketing & PR manager, eZanga.com
• “I’ve realized that sometimes I have to hand over the reins to loved ones who would love to help and want to be there for me and my kids—instead of having to be in control and in charge of everything myself.”
— Lisa Batra, founder & CEO, My Kid’s Threads
• “Dedicate a couple of hours each day to your kids WITHOUT your smartphone. For me, those hours are between when I come home from work and bedtime.
“This works best if I just don’t take my phone out of my purse when I come in the door, so I don’t see its blinking light and hear every notification buzz.
“If you set this up initially and get all your team members on board right away, you CAN be unavailable from 5-8 (or whenever this works best for you).”
— Wendy Kirwan, manager of online marketing, Kars4Kids
• “If it can be delivered, get it delivered! Everything from groceries and light bulbs to diapers and dinner can be delivered to your door. Running errands is a huge waste of time and energy, and in our modern world there’s just no need.
“Amazon Prime is almost as good as having a personal assistant!”
— Ashley Kubiszyn, marketing & communications director, TicketCity