Balancing work, pregnancy and home life can be challenging and stressful. And that doesn’t change after the baby arrives. Just ask a mom. Studies show that the majority of mothers and expectant mothers who work outside the home find themselves in a constant time crunch, with too much to do and too little time to do them.
Whether you work for a company or for yourself, at an office or at home, alone or managing staff, consider your options early on. If you communicate your goals clearly early in your pregnancy, your team is more likely to work with you to find an ideal solution.
Practical strategies for balancing work and family, like forcing yourself to take some downtime when you’ve been multitasking all day, are critical. Here are some helpful tips when you’re trying to balance your work life with the rest of your life.
It helps immensely to have a job that you love. If your current job or career path doesn’t seem to be a good fit, there’s no time like now to plan your transition. And as you list the criteria for your “dream job,” be sure that “family-friendly” tops the list. You’ll want to work for a company that considers its employees and their families to be one of its greatest assets.
Set reasonable working hours and stick to them. Make time for yourself and your family. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for turning off your phone or walking away from your computer for a while. Everyone has the right to a personal life, regardless of how much they get paid or which rung they’re clinging to on the corporate ladder.
Keep your sense of humor. It’s the ultimate weapon against the craziness surrounding you, and it will keep you sane. Have a support team in place, whether family members, friends, or coworkers, to cheer you on when you’re having a horrible day. And don’t be afraid to throw in the towel and ask family members to pitch in with household tasks at home.
Learn to cut corners on things that don’t matter — or give yourself permission to delegate them. Do enough housework to keep yourself from going crazy, but don’t overdo it. If you can, hire someone else to do your cleaning so you’ll have more time for the things that really matter — like spending time with family members and friends, or investing in your business.
And remember, no matter how great your boss, your co-workers or your family may be, it’s your job to take care of yourself. This is one job you simply can’t delegate. For an expectant mom, juggling all the moving parts in your life can be an enormous challenge, but balance is key.
Ronald L. Wright, MD
Attending Physician, OB/GYN
Originally from Muskegon, Michigan, Dr. Wright received his BA from Tulane University, then went on to graduate from the University of Louisville Medical School. From there, Dr. Wright completed his OB/GYN residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. From general and high-risk obstetrics to incontinence and infertility including laparoscopy, Dr. Wright provides complete care to women of all ages. He and his wife Jennifer have two children. Dr. Wright is a council member of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, volunteers at A Woman’s Choice Resource Center and is a member of Southeast Christian Church.