Tips from a working mom

I get asked a lot about this — how do you manage to have a “big job” and a family?

First, I want to be very clear — I am not a poster child for balance or sanity or success.

Just like you, I have days where I feel like I have it under control and days where I feel it is all falling apart.

What I do have that might be unique, is a general belief, that this is normal.

People never tell you the truth of their lives.  The piles of laundry they have not done, the second grade science project they messed up, the school assembly they arrived at the wrong date/time/location.  Rarely do you hear those stories that show someone being a horrible mom.

I’m no different, I’m not going to tell you those stories either.

What I will tell you, is my belief that the most important trick is cut yourself a break.  Your kids think you are a terrible parent when you expect them to eat carrots, or require them to brush their teeth before bed.

Being to blame is part of the job description.

Get over it, and quit blaming the fact that you work, as the reason you got it wrong.  I promise, if you were a stay at home mom, you would do stuff wrong too.  It’s called being human.

The next big piece of advice I could suggest is to get help.

Now, here I am very fortunate, I have more options than most to help me.  What I notice in about this topic, is that many people do not get help due to  guilt.

I find guilt not helpful so I tend to skip it.  Seriously.

I can say with confidence, that the biggest factor for my career success is how much help I get at home.  I’m not kidding — I get help for a surprising number of things including, grocery shopping, laundry, cooking, house cleaning, yard work, social scheduling, kids sports, Brownies, etc.

If there is someone who can do it as well (or most times better) than I can, I give the job away.  I haven’t purchased a birthday gift for a kids party in over three years.  I see the inside of a grocery store about twice a year.

I’m a complete domestic failure.

I keep the jobs that I love or feel are critical (to me).  For me, this is often things like bedtime story reading, parent-teacher conferences and a subset of performances/activities (where I always am sure to get photo proof of my attendance, as I have near litigators for offspring).

To net this all out, I think the trick to being a great and successful working mom, is to do less and feel good about it.

What are your tricks?