Many mothers, newly married wives or single living women face the challenge to find the right balance in their work and home life and this balancing concept may be different for each individual, yet it is necessary to take into consideration, in order to perform better in both places on the long run, away from perfectionism and self-blame.
To help you reconcile between your work, your home and life tasks, we present to you below 12 tips that will help you to cope:
1. Set Your Priorities
Determining what’s the most important to you and organizing your thoughts, will help you focus on your work and home life. With all the tasks and demands that you are responsible for, it is very difficult to do all the things for everyone. Since the day is 24 hours only, then you need to consider your values and set priorities accordingly; but always take into consideration your rest, your husband’s rights, your children’s care, and your home tasks.
2. Plan Things and Make a Schedule
Planning for your week (on a paper), will let you organize your thoughts and focus on every task by itself. Adjust your time for everything after your working hours to make time for almost everything you want to do. You can make a schedule to fix dates and save them to not miss on any event, occasion, or even an outing with friends. And most importantly, make sure to have sacred family time, whether it is a mealtime to share your day's events, or a movie night to have fun together.
You may create a to-do list for your tasks, and prioritize them as follows:
- Urgent and important
- Important but not urgent
- Urgent but not important
- Neither urgent nor important
Women are masters in multitasking! I don’t think it is a skill that they need to gain, yet they have it instinctively in their personalities. Doing various things together will save you time, yet on the other hand, it might take a little more effort to finish the tasks. No matter what it takes, always enjoy what you are doing and do it with love. It will reflect positively on you and your family.
You can iron the clothes while assisting your children in their homework, finish the clothes folding while watching tv; or even bake the food in the oven, while finishing the laundry and the dishes, in the same time as talking on the phone with a friend or a relative.
4. Separate Between your Work and Home Life
For many people, this step might be difficult, but you have to train yourself on it. While you are at work, you need to forget about your home tasks and the difficulties your child is facing at school. Keep your sole focus on your job. Yet at the same time, try to negotiate for flexible working hours with your boss, because this will relieve major stress on the household and will be more helpful for your family.
Just like you need to focus on the job while on your working hours, you have to cut all thoughts related to work when you are at home. Do not transmit the stress you have at work to your home, and do not get extra work with you! You also need to keep in touch with friends who are not your work colleagues and always plan things together, to break the routine and enjoy their company.
5. Wake Up Earlier
So as our prophet (ﷺ) said, there will be a blessing in the time and the actions performed in the early time in the morning. So, consider waking up for Fajr prayer, and finish some tasks you have at home, during this blessed time.
6. Organize your Cooking
For the woman who loves to cook or *has to cook*, you will love this tip and appreciate it!
Choose your weekly menu with your household and agree on the dishes you want to have for this week. Set a few hours on a specific day per week (perhaps on weekends), to prepare all the semi-cooked ingredients that could be placed in the freezer, to use them later on the week. For example, chop all vegetables and put them in closed bowls (tupperwear), prepare the meat and chicken in portions for each dish and squeeze extra lemons. When you get to prepare the daily dish, you will have everything ready and you just add ingredients together in the pot. The food will take a few minutes only to be ready!
*You can choose a day to order food and avoid the hassle of cooking in your home kitchen.*
7. Keep the Kids Active
Always have activities for the kids to keep them busy while you have some home tasks to do, or even to get some free time for yourself. Try to have at least one outside activity for the children and do things together as a family whether at home or outside; like having a bike ride, reading a story, or making craft activity.
8. Make a Schedule for the Little Ones
To better organize your time, you need to adjust your children’s time. Set a time for the kids’ lunch, on which they eat every day. Then specify the hours for finishing the homework and making an educational activity. And finally, set a strict time to go to bed early, so you can have time for other things, or even for yourself!
9. Use Alarms and Reminders 🔉🔔
We all pass through this, so you are not alone!
Due to the major responsibilities and the load that you face, you may forget the piano lessons of your kids, their spelling competition, or even miss a doctor’s appointment. To avoid that, you are recommended to use phone alarms and reminders, to keep you aware and updated on the next tasks that you need to complete.
10. Ask for Help
It is Fine to get some Help! Even if you do not have a maid that can help you with your home tasks, you can still have some help from others. Seek help from your sister or even your husband! Take turns walking the kids to school, driving them to their extracurricular activities, babysitting and even doing the housework.
You can also assign easy tasks for your children to help you with, and in this way, they gain self-confidence and learn to be responsible (This can help or make things worse sometimes).
11. Make Room for Couple Time
It's easy for two individuals living in the same house to drift apart in the bustle of work/home life. Spending time engaging with your partner is just as vital as spending time connecting with your children. Set aside some time for each other every night before you go to bed and on weekends, make sure to make ‘couple plans' without the kids, even if it is taking a walk for half an hour together.
12. Make Time for your own Rest
No matter how strong and capable you are, you cannot stay 24 hours spinning to get all the tasks done. You need to consider your body’s right and its needs and make your Self-time a priority.
Firstly, give yourself some break after you finish your work, so you can recharge and get the energy to continue the day at home with your spouse and children.
Secondly, get enough sleep. Although this might seem as an illusionary thing, try to make it happen. It will keep you more focused and will boost your energy throughout the day.
Thirdly, push yourself into your gym class, watch your favorite series or have a relaxing spa hour.
Do not underestimate your powers, yet do not forget yourself!
You deserve to be pampered and loved, so give yourself some space and make time for your comfort.
Work over your health and emotional well-being is not worth doing, and work over your children and house priority is not a necessity.
Try to spend the majority of time with your children because they need you as a mother, and remember that the moment that passes, will never come back, so do not miss on the important events in their life; starting from hearing them say their first word, to graduating from college.
By the way, it is Okay to have some work undone or to postpone unnecessary things until you become able to finish them. A working housewife is a hero, and other’s opinion is not important if they are judging your performance. You are the one who knows what to do best. But if you take care of yourself, you will be able to take care of others! So, start to change the structure of your life to what suits you and your family better.
💐May Allah grant you the well-being and energy to stay active in this life and reward you Jannah for all your hard work. 💐