The following article is featured and authored by Annabelle Harris... creator of Elders Center. To learn more about retirement resources available to you, click the link.
Maintaining a full-time job while also raising a family is tough. As a busy mom, you want to do it all. However, you might feel overwhelmed on occasion—and understandably so. The key to success is striking the right balance and knowing when to ask for help. There are many tips, tricks, and tools to make life easier for you. The below guide from Just Yari provides some resources you can use to successfully balance your career and your family life.
Trust technology to keep your work and home life organized
Keeping track of your work and home life can be tough. Technology is the answer. Start with apps. Todoist is great for making to-do lists, for example, while Evernote can help you take notes in meetings or schedule lunch dates. Smart assistants are another handy tool to have at work or home. You can use this hands-free technology to turn on music, check the weather, purchase products, and more.
Besides tech, enlist the family to help clean up and clean out your home so that you have a more organized and optimized space. A lack of clutter, and the ability to find things in a rush will add an element to calm on an otherwise chaotic morning.
Set up a comprehensive support network
You don't need to do it all yourself. Create a network of support professionals to help you in your private and professional life. For example, at work, you might hire an assistant to help with mundane tasks. At home, you might benefit from the assistance of babysitters, pet sitters, dog walkers, and more. You can find the people you need via online databases like Care.com. For help with household tasks like yardwork or repairs, try Thumbtack.
Minimize time-wasters and distractions
In addition to getting organized, technology can also help you stay focused. This can be especially handy for work, ensuring you don't procrastinate and minimizing wasted hours. Popular productivity tools include the collaboration app Asana and project management technology Trello. Additionally, make sure your workspace is conducive to productivity. Remove clutter, which can impede concentration, and other distractions.
Invest in a comfortable wardrobe that can pivot from work to home
Whether you're with your family or on the job, you want to be comfortable. Investing in some essential pieces that can transition from work to home is a must. Invest in move-with-you undergarments and breezy outfits to ensure your comfort without sacrificing style. In the summer, think linen pants and cotton tunics or soft tees. For the winter, ponte leggings and cozy sweaters are great options.
Get your kids and partner to help at home
Chores like cooking and cleaning shouldn't fall on your shoulders alone. Get your partner and kids to help when possible. Bright Horizons provides tips for getting little ones involved in chores, such as setting clear expectations and choosing age-appropriate tasks. Chore calendars and reward systems are a great way to get children excited and motivated about helping. Make sure to provide feedback and validation.
Learn to let go of the "mom guilt"
"Mom guilt" is a very real problem and can leave you like you're "failing" at work and at home. It's important to invest in self care and protect your own mental health so you can avoid these damaging feelings. Let go of working-mom guilt by being kind to yourself, forgiving yourself, and revisiting your values. It's also helpful to avoid comparing yourself to others, like super moms you might follow on social media. Of course, when you are focusing on giving time to your children, have a plan so you can be fully present with them. Create experiences to enjoy together, be available for bedtime routines and incorporate together time with family chores like cooking dinner.
Balancing your career and your family isn't always easy. Sometimes, you might feel like you're getting pulled in all directions. Don't let the stress get to you. Be kind to yourself and seek help when needed. The above guide provides some pointers.
I believe at some point in every individual’s life, there was a time in which we have had a great creative spurt. In which ideas were formulated and were brought to life through play, games, etc. While this was a momentary phase for some of us, there are those who’s brain are chemically engineered to stay in that particular phase of thinking. I take great pride in knowing that I am raising 2 individuals who share this type of thinking. While these girls are governed by the right side of their brain, in which the creative nature takes over in every aspect of their lives, I am governed by the left side of the brain, which values structure, order, facts, and laws.
This article is meant to explore both sides of thinking, and then construct a bridge to which both may co-exist in harmony.
Right Brain Dominate Case Studies
Case Study #1:
History: My oldest daughter is 15 with a high artistic ability. My fondest memory with her is when she was about 3 years old. She and I were finger painting. I remember watching her concentrate hard on where her fingers were being placed, and on the image, she wanted to create. The pride on her face when she completed her painting stayed with me.
Traits/ Creative Thinking: It became exceeding clear to me that she was to continue in the phase of creativity as she grew. As she formed critical thinking skills, I saw that her mind worked in a form of imagery. To be more specific, she had to picture things in order for it to make sense. She continues, to this day, to draw inspiration from surrounding circumstances, and translate them in forms of drawing, painting, etc.
Traits/Personality: As a young lady, her way of thinking became more concrete. While very loving and caring, she became very passive. She was able to shift quickly to accommodate, and is exteriorly very passive. There are very subtle acts of rebellion, however, this may be due to the phase in life in which she is currently at. 🙂 We’ll see how it goes....
Case Study #2:
History: My middle child is 13 with the ability to create. With this child everything and anything is possible. I realized the child was highly creative at a very early age, while she was processing words. Creative thinking in a child as early as 4-5 years of age was, to me, truly impressive.
Traits/Creative Thinking: This child is exceptional at word imagery. Her talent lies in the construct of character development in short stories, as well as plot formulation. Inspired by characters from both classic and modern stories, she continues to experiment in writing.
Traits/Personality: While the first child is very passive, this one has a lot of passionate ambition to draw on. Very outspoken and unbothered by opinions, she has a bit of a rebellious streak. When all things are considered, however, she is one that will continue to strive for her personal best and brings this out of those who are closest to her.
Similar yet Different-Right Brain dominate
Similarities: Both girls share similar traits while differing at the same time. I’m not sure if that makes sense but we will run with it for the time being.
One similar trait I myself have observed is the desire to create from scratch. While the first child creates images, the other creates stories. Their power lies in the creative process itself. To turn a canvas into a work of art, or to turn words to create imaginative stories an impressive thing to watch.
Most often, both girls share the sensitivity to judgement regarding their given talent. This is where the rebellious streak comes into play. Criticism is not taken lightly as there is much emotion attached to their work. After all, they spent hours creating this baby from scratch, so for you to knock it down brings out a defensive response right away.
Disorganized thinking is another similarity that both girls share. This is evident in their lives: room is chaotic, they opt to wear simple clothing, they may seem forgetful at times, etc. This is not necessary a bad thing, it just means that their minds are always flooded with ideas and do not take the time to worry about smaller details.
Differences: While we explored similarities, I should take the time to mention differences. In observation, the differences in both these girls are how they go about creating. Their minds are a product of a 2-parent household- one that is highly creative (Dad), and one that is highly govern by logic and reason (Mom).
Their personality differences are present too. While one remains outspoken, the other is more reserved to her own thoughts. While one is artistic in nature, the other forms word art and caters more to the public. One is passive, the other stubborn.
One night I had an idea to combine both talents and have them come up with children’s illustrated books. When the idea was presented, both girls had already thought of it, however, they could not find common ground when it came to pictures that would fit the story told (see what I mean with the criticism?).
The Logical Parent- Left Brain Dominate
Traits/Creative thinking: Creative thinking was a very hard thing for me to grasp and essentially master. While this comes easy to those who are already prone to abstract thought, the idea of going out of a structural element is difficult for me. I do my best work when there are structures, laws, rules, etc. The analysis of facts and details work best for me, whereas the girls would feel too confined in these methods.
Traits/Personality: So how does a left brain dominate usually present in their personality? To be honest, most would say rigid, obsessed with organizational constructs, dominated by practical theory. The process of creating is regimented to a plan and then executed with precision. Most would say that being this detail oriented could be seen as a setback. Detail analysis may boarder obsessive. This may in fact bleed into personal relationships, and may be disruptive if remained unchecked.
Here are some things that have worked for me and hopefully will work for you.
Yaritza Ellison has been an nurse since 2010. She has been essential to the healing process of many and seeks to continue to do so. Her passion for mental health and self help literature has lead her to launch justyari.org, where she aspires to coach young ladies navigating through work-life balance.