For many newly weds, nothing compares to that beautiful feeling of marital bliss; it is just the two of you lovebirds living in an apartment. You come home and strip your clothes off and just walk around touching, laughing and playing. Even cleaning the house does not seem like a chore because you do it together, which is so much fun. You get back from work with ideas on how you want to advance in your careers and you both just sit there with a bottle of wine and discuss each other future plans, how you both can conquer the world and live your dreams not even bothering about dinner because you can always order takeout.

In my opinion, that’s the real honeymoon and that was how it was with myself and my better half, Peter.

The first five months was like falling in love all over again, until the sixth month when I started finding it difficult to get out of bed. Even when I did, I was moody. Yes I was pregnant and not long after, the baby came.
Before I knew it, my baby was three years old and I was pregnant again. All the plans I had about my career goals and advancement were suddenly halted, because I had to concentrate on my kids. Nonetheless, I craved the personal satisfaction that comes with career advancement. I still wanted to achieve much more for my career and at the same time wanted to spend all the possible time with my kids.

How do I get the best from my career and still create quality time for my children? How do I create this balance between work life and family life?

Being a full-time working mother can lead to feelings of guilt for not spending enough time with your children and stress because of the divided attention between work and family.

The key is to

Set Your Priorities and Plan Properly
With so many demands on your time, you may have to think about your values and set some priorities based on those values. Work weeks are when most of us tend to be busiest. By preparing for Monday to Friday over the weekend, you can ease the stress of the week ahead and also make your morning easier by getting organized the night before.

Keep a family calendar posted on the fridge as an easy reminder of your schedules.

Make meals during the weekend and put them in the refrigerator or freezer. After work, food related stress is often more about deciding what to make for dinner than in actually making it.

Avoid Distractions and Time Wasters
Be disciplined. Limit unnecessary distractions, especially things you do when the kids are sleeping.

Try to avoid multitasking, especially when spending time with your children. Limit the number of outside activities you participate in; do things together as a family, instead.

At your workplace, try to avoid wasting time. Focus on your tasks at work and talk to co-workers during breaks or lunchtime.

Look to your values and set your priorities. Consider what you can manage now and what you may be able to do at a future stage in your life. Learn to say “no” and let go of the guilt.

Create Time for Family Activities
Spending quality time with your kids is crucial, both during the week and also over the weekend. This is to nurture your family dynamics, and allow everyone to bond.  It can be as simple as having a family breakfast or going to see the movies.

When you do have family outings, do not bring up work-related matters or answer and check your phone. Focus on your kids’ interests,  such as friends, classes, and hobbies. Ask for the activities they are interested in and try to meet their needs. In the end, it does not really matter what you do, as long as you do it together.

Be Available for Special Moments
There will be special moments in your children’s lives that may happen before the close of work, such as a football game, a school concert, a speech etc; have a plan in place as to how they can deal with your absence at work, or get the job done in another way or time.

Connected with Your Children
Always stay connected to your kids, whether physically present or not. Mums with young kids can record themselves talking or singing to one of their kids’ favorite songs or record their voices reading along to a children’s book.

If you are going to miss or be late to an older child’s event, give them something special in the morning, like a good-luck charm or a personal note.

Call your children during your breaks at work; hearing their voices can help you get through a rough day.

Talk to Your Children About Your Work
It is helpful to let your kids know that your work is important to you. Learn to talk to them about what you do at work and take them with you to your workplace.

Children are more likely to be responsive to your work demands when you share that part of your life with them. This will also make them open up to you about their life.

Create Time for Your Partner
Just as it is important to spend time interacting with your children, it is equally important to spend time interacting with your partner. Set aside time for one another. nurture your relationship with your partner, who will often be the number one person by your side.

Have date nights and movie nights. Even when you are not able to go out, you can have an indoor date night by cooking an elegant meal together.Sit with a glass of wine and talk about anything, but work or your kids.

Create Time for Yourself
Prioritize creating time for yourself. You cannot be an effective spouse or parent if you are cranky. So take time to care for yourself; it is something you should do no matter how tired you are. For example, you can go to the spa, soak yourself in bubble baths, go for a massage amongst others. This will help you to feel effective and relaxed.

To find out more about how a simple change in your daily routine can increase your relationship with your kids and make a big difference click here to download my free e-Book on 5 simple steps on how to change your daily routine and stay connected with your kids every day.

It is important to enjoy the time you have with your children. We understand that this is not always easy to do but the smallest changes can make the world of difference. Spending time with your children can help your family relationships become stronger and develop tighter bonds.

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