I ask: Can a man have a successful career and be a full time dad? Of course! Then so can a mum!

That may sound like a quick answer without much though, but getting down to the real deal we all know building a career and being a full time mum is one of the toughest things to do. It is even worse if you are a single mum or you have a husband whose job makes it look like he does not live in the same town with you. Here is one mums account:
“During weekdays when I work I only see my kids for 2 hours a day 3 hours total if you want to include getting them ready for school and day-care in the mornings, and after work I am just cooking, feeding them and putting them to bed, then on weekends I am so busy with chores and shopping and trying to get rest due to exhaustion, that I rarely do activities with them and I feel awful about it. I sometimes miss their doctors appointments or parent/teacher meetings and other school stuff because I am so busy and needed at work that I can hardly get time off for family stuff and my boss doesn’t tolerate taking time off for family duties when there is work to do, I go to work when I am sick and send my kids to school sick, I am very overwhelmed but doing what I gotta do.”

Oh yea! A mum is gotta do what a mum is gotta do right?

So if you are wondering if it indeed possible to build a successful career and be a full time mum, the answer is YES. But, you have to become an expert at juggling both. Here are some tips to help you succeed:

First you must redefine what success means to you at this time, a lot must have changed since your bundle of joy came into the picture. Be very realistic about your expectations and you will find that the whole process will begin to look doable.
Make a list of everything you feel you must accomplish then prioritize them. For example, at the top of the list may be your wish to pick up your child at the day-care by 6pm everyday, or your wish to become a manager at your firm in five years. Your list will help you keep track of what is absolutely necessary in your life and what you can learn to live without.
Accept that you can’t do everything and live with that truth without feeling guilty. For instance, you won’t be able to attend all of your child’s school events if you also want to spend about 50 – 60 hours a week at the office as it is expected of you something has got to give.
Face the tasks before you head-on, whether at home or at work. Most mothers who work often feel they have to because ‘we just need the money’, but if you adopt a more positive attitude to work where you work because you want to work and you desire personal satisfaction from working you will likely succeed.

Draw strength from people who have gone before you; your mother, your mentor, your boss, a senior colleague etc. A lot of people have shared stories of how their mums worked so hard to make their lives so much better. You want your children to be as proud of you as you are proud of your mum. And you also want them to know firsthand the benefits of having a mother who earns her own money and has her own achievements, so you better get on with your work.

A supportive spouse who is also an involved parent is essential to balancing work and family successfully, and it is the best gift any career woman can get! Seek help and support so you are not stressed out, particularly if you are the main source of financial support for your family.

You could consider a few more things here and there to make the journey a lot smoother – flexibility, a sense of humour, and lots of prayers. Out-source of some of your chores, adopt online shopping and delivery services, keep a well stocked freezer and pantry and other useful gadgets. It takes a lot effort and planning to keep it all coordinated.

If you find that managing your career and your toddlers is rather too challenging whereby your work, health and family suffer so much, you may chosen to get off the fast track temporarily until when your kids are a bit independent. But take time to think through to be sure that is what you really want to do. Other options you could consider are a less demanding job and starting a business, they may not be any easier but will give you the flexibility you need.

Motherhood in itself is a CAREER! Just like life’s other challenges, juggling work and family is a PUSH-AND-PULL affair! And here we are doing it and excelling in it. I salute all working mums!

Love & respect always.

image: businessnewsdaily

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