By Corie Hengst
Being a mom is a job in itself. And working on top of it — whether from home or in an office — adds an extra layer of chaos. There's also the fact that millennial moms have grown up with 24/7 technology, which, yes, allows for work flexibility — but it can be hard to resist responding to messages at all hours of the day and night, and therefore even more difficult to find a balance.
But, it's millennial moms who are primed to figure it out.
"Today there are more flexible work options and professional part-time opportunities than in the past, which Millennial women may want to take advantage of as a way to stay in the workforce," says Emily Seamone of Women, Work, and Life, a career counselor and work-life specialist.
We spoke with five millennial moms who shared their secrets to balancing the best of both worlds, work life and family life. Here’s what they had to say:
1. Always, always, always make time for yourself
"I'd say that the No. 1 thing I've learned to succeed as a working mom in today's world is to always do something for myself. In addition to my family and my work, I'm passionate about giving back to my community and I spend at least one night a week at a volunteer opportunity. It keeps me balanced, thankful about the life I have, and eager to work harder to create a lasting change." —Eulynn, 32
2. Embrace to-do lists — even for the fun stuff
"The most important skill I have developed to keep my life running smoothly is efficient time management. I return business calls while waiting in the carpool pickup line and check emails at the gym. Most importantly, I keep a detailed to-do list (using the app Wunderlist) to minimize downtime. Instead of finding myself with free time and wondering what I should be doing, I pop onto my to-do list and pick something that fits the slot of time I have available." —Courtney, 30
3. Compartmentalizing? Forget about it
"I've learned to embrace that I am a multifaceted individual — I adore my daughter and I absolutely love being a businesswoman. When my child has a play at school, I am very comfortable canceling even the most important business meeting and stating the real reason why. When my daughter sighs that other mothers volunteer at school and questions why I work so much, I give her a guilt-free answer explaining why professional success is fulfilling and important to me. Bottom line — drop the guilt, own both, ignore others, and create your own definition of 'balance.'" —Marina, 33
4. Pursue your own goals and lead by example
"My son grew up watching me work long after the working hours were over, and he is growing up with a foundation of knowing the importance of education and hard work. Being selfish with my education afforded me opportunities to get a better job, and to ultimately give my son a better life. While your children may be young and deserve your attention, it’s worth taking time to pursue your own goals in education. Soon your kids will want to be doing ‘homework’ with you; this is a valuable foundation for your children to see the importance of education through you." —Mandi, 23
5. Your best is *always* good enough
"The one thing I’ve learned is that I must keep my perfectionism at bay. Perfectionism never served me, but once I became a mother I really had to decide to let go of this shield and accept that my best is always good enough. Allowing myself to be an imperfect mother, wife, and wardrobe creator [my business] has made me better at all three of these roles." —Meagan, 29
Photo Credit: Hinterhaus Productions / Getty Images