I am a working wife and mother. This is how I combine 26 flights in 2 years, job, children, blog, husband and the MSc.
- Leverage technology: This is key. One of the items I cannot do without as a working mum is home internet. This way, I can leave work early even if I still have work to do because I know I can connect from home later at night (when spouse and kids are done with my services J) This way, blogging can be also done at night at home. MSC? Check! Done online. Another way to leverage technology is to install cctv at home or your business office for monitoring. Download educational videos for your children to help with academics and more.
- QUALITY TIME Tricks: Since I am mostly at work from Monday to Friday, I create QUALITY moments with family especially during the weekends. To manage socialization, I do light outings and do more of phone calls, BB chats, Facebook, WhatsApp. Another trick is to combine your schedule with socialization. One of my friends hooked up with me after 6 years at the salon. We spent quality time during our salon hours so we achieved both bonding and salon! Last trick is to integrate your family into your offsites. When I did a workshop in ogun state last year, I went with my family. It was vacation time for them in the nice hotel whilst I worked. In some cases, they join me on official trips too (I bear the cost not the company) but it is ok because it gives me time to be with them still when I close from work versus total absence.
- When there are conflicts, I choose family. I know people say this a lot but it is very difficult to do it. One way to make this work is to plan ahead. When I have really important family functions, children’s’ presentation at school, I plan to attend and block time in my calendar way ahead. If I need to take a vacation for it, I do. One tip for working mums- don’t be a burden on your company- manage your complexities as much as possible especially if your manager isn’t the empathetic one. Don’t ask for day off randomly. Instead, plan as much as you can and be professional. Of course there are moments that are out of control: e.g when a child is ill. In these cases, choose family ALWAYS. A job can be replaced, a child cannot.
- Health is wealth: One of my 2016 resolutions is to recover some sleep, consume less sugary drinks and exercise. It is important you don’t burn out because at the end of the day, nothing you do is worth your life. You also need to find activities that re-fuel you. I love dancing.
- Hold your team accountable: As a female leader at work, there is the tendency to be ‘softer’ than the male leaders, to be empathetic and allow some people get sloppy. Whilst you will be famous for being nice, you and your family will eventually suffer for it because you will end up working extra to cover for your teams’ inefficiencies. This is a huge mistake. Rather, ensure you have the right team members, invest quality time in their coaching, training, rewards but make sure they are clear on their job scope and hold them accountable.
Did you miss the 1st episode on this topic? Please read here–> episode 1 on working mum