The happier the mother, the happier the child... But how do you achieve this?
Customising your schedule is the way forward... when possible. Life is expensive. If you have any choice and flexibility in whether you return to employment, give yourself permission to consider your emotional needs as well as financial needs.
Assess your personality style and your background and know your limits. Limits include how many demands you can multitask and how much stress and stimulation you can emotionally and cognitively handle. Ask yourself:
• How much sense of achievement do you receive and need at this time (which may or may not utilise your skills, training and work experience)?
• How much time-out & control do you need in your life to be a well-rounded mother?
When you respect these limits, it's likely you will feel refreshed. You will feel patient. You will feel balanced. It will reduce burnout and maintain your sense of identity. And it's not hard to understand how that might benefit your kids. Quality versus quantity. More enthusiasm and energy to share around. They get the best you. The best role model possible.
When possible, trial and regularly review schedule combinations. Reviews should focus on everyone's level of well-being and should acknowledge your child's need for secure attachment. Ideally, adapt to reflect changing needs such as developmental phases.
Your 'village' may include family members, friends and neighbours for natural support but may also include well-trained, loving daycare teachers too. Your handpicked parenting team will mean your kids get the best attention and support.
Whichever combo you choose, be careful not to compare with others. You are the best judge of your family's needs. Some may be happiest with working part-time or full-time and others may be most satisfied staying at home full-time. The decision-making process can be complicated. Uncertainty and anxiety may creep in. Some may even be relieved to be forced into one situation so there is less guilt involved with choosing.
At the end of the day, your love and dedication will be unchanged. Especially if you are in tune with the collective needs of your family. That is balance.
If you need help finding your balance, book in a session with me so we can nut it out together.