10 Mindset Shifts & Actions for Working Moms to Find Balance

Work-life balance for moms may not always be an even distribution of career and motherhood, but you can still enjoy the best of both worlds.

Published February 23, 2024
Mother working from home while holding baby

Finding balance as a working mom, whether in or out of the home, is something of a unicorn. Though it often feels like an impossible balancing act, there are some things we can do to make the process easier on ourselves.

There's no time for mom guilt when we're so busy working hard and momming even harder. This is how you can balance work with being a present mom and stop stressing over how to manage it all perfectly. 

Let Go of Societal Expectations

Much of the stress and guilt that comes with being a working mom (or just a human in general) is from the unrealistic expectations set by society. Instead of leaning into those expectations and trying to meet them, let them go.

You don't have to be all the things society says you should. You just need to show up every day in whatever imperfect form you can. Perfection isn't possible in anything, and that can be a freeing thought in the midst of striving for unrealistic goals. The only expectations you need to meet are your own, and you get to set them and change them as you see fit. 

Related: Real-Life Hacks for Being a Happier Mom

Add Family Time to the Schedule

Mom, Dad, and Newborn

Spending quality time as a family is one of the more challenging sides of being a present mom when you're also killing it at work. You might use a schedule or calendar to manage work deadlines and meetings. So, use that same method for managing your family time.

Schedule the days or hours you want to spend investing in and enjoying time as a family. This makes it easier to see your week as a big picture and let go of guilt when working because you know that special time together is coming up. 

Helpful Hack

As a busy working mom, one of my favorite hacks is choosing one Saturday per month, where I say no to everything outside of my home, even fun things with friends. This means I have one entire weekend every month to focus on family time and rest.

Connect With Other Moms

Sometimes, feeling less alone can make the whole experience easier. When you connect with other moms, you can see how your own struggles with balancing work and parenthood aren't rare at all. In fact, you might see that no mom is spared the stress of striking that balance.

If you're struggling to make mom friends, here are a few things you might try:

  • Befriend a coworker who's also a mom.
  • Join a local mom's group.
  • Connect with other moms on social media.
  • Find women within your church or neighborhood in a similar season of life.
  • Connect with the parents of your child's classmates. 
Need to Know

Connecting with other moms also offers your children new friendships and could create an opportunity to exchange childcare responsibilities. 

Rest Well

Sleep may not be your most frequent friend in the early motherhood years (or if you're working overtime to reach a specific goal), but good rest is essential for your overall health. When you can, prioritize resting well. This might mean taking time off every few months or swapping weekend mornings with your spouse so you can sleep in sometimes. When you're well-rested, it's much easier to manage all the things you have to do as a mom and a businesswoman.

Set Healthy Boundaries at Work

Boundaries aren't always the most fun thing to think about or set. But they can be so beneficial for your stress levels and peace of mind. 

You may need to set boundaries with coworkers, management, clients, or even yourself. This can be something as simple as communicating that you can't cover unexpected shifts during this season or that you will not be answering client emails after a certain time of day. Small boundaries that ease your stress levels and give you space to be present at home are the same boundaries that help you return to work refreshed and ready to tackle another day. 

Set Expectations at Home

Just as you set boundaries at work, it's also important to set expectations at home. As with the expectations you set for yourself, those are entirely up to you.

Sit down with your partner and figure out what schedule, goals, and realistic expectations are possible for your family. Then, lay them all out for the whole family to see what each day will look like. When expectations are set based on what you can actually accomplish in a day, no one feels caught off guard by a dinner of takeout or an early morning.

Think of Life In Seasons

It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the demanding toddler years or the stressful teen years. If work is busier than usual because of a smaller team or a company transition, it's normal to feel overworked. 

What these two things have in common — stress at work and home — is that they both exist in seasons. The toddler years and the shorthanded days at work won't last forever. That major project you're working extra hours for will come to an end. The kids will need less help with homework as time goes on. Remind yourself that life comes in seasons, and just because this season is hard doesn't mean it will last forever. 

Decide What You Won't Compromise On

Much of balancing work life and mom life involves compromise. Sometimes, you skip sleep, and sometimes, you skip a lunch break. But it's up to you to decide what things you refuse to compromise on. 

Once you decide the areas of your family and work life that you won't compromise on, you can set the appropriate boundaries and focus your energy on those uncompromising areas of life. This helps relieve the stress caused by some of the smaller things you don't mind compromising on. 

Fast Fact

Compromises will look different for everyone. One mom may choose to use screen time for her children so she can be productive while working from home, while another mom might choose to work later so screen time is less frequent. Only you get to decide what's right for you, and these areas of compromise can change with time.

Swap Multitasking for Being Present

Working moms have to multitask from time to time. You might often find us making dinner while taking a client call. But there are moments, whether you're giving a presentation or watching a dance recital, where you can be fully present. 

For the moments you're able to, soak in everything you can. Maybe it's breathing in the sweet smell of your baby's hair as they drift off to sleep. Maybe it's thinking back over a successful workday on the drive home. When multitasking isn't necessary, being present will offer you joy in the moment and help you reap the benefits of motherhood and a career. 

Related: How to Live In the Moment and Be Present

Don't Let the Bad Days Get You Down

Bad days in motherhood and at work are going to happen. The key is remembering that one bad day does not define you as a mom, employee, or business owner. 

When you lose your cool with the kids or run late for soccer practice, remember that you're still a good mom who loves her kids. When you forget a deadline or head into a meeting late, focus on the work wins you've had recently. Bad days happen to everyone, and they are nothing more than bad days. 

You're the Best Mom for the Job

From your desk to your child's bedside, you're the woman for the job. You may not be the same woman you were before becoming a mom, but the dedication required in motherhood only spills over into making you even better at your job now. It's not always easy, and every day looks different, but you're crushing this working mom gig, even when it feels like you aren't. 

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10 Mindset Shifts & Actions for Working Moms to Find Balance