When I launched my website, a lot of my friends asked me, “How can you still balance work and family as a working mom?”. “How do you manage it?”. That prompt me to sit down and think about how I manage it. Yeah, what are the secrets to balance family and career as a working mom in a foreign country?
I think, being a mom is hard, yes, being a working mom is harder, but imagine being a working mom in a foreign county. Call me an ex-pat working mom. It could be exhausting.
As a working mom in a foreign country for nine years already, I can say that I have gone through a lot of challenging situations. I am surviving it so far. I have three beautiful children, and they are growing to a very loving and responsible children.
I talked to myself self, “I may be doing something good in balancing family and career.” So, I want to share it with you.
Working mom should learn that what happens at work, stays at work
This statement is more effortless said than done because it is tough not to be affected by the stress and pressure of work. Separating life and career is a challenge, but this is very important for a working mom to learn.
Try to leave the unfinished works, the stress, the pressure at work as you open the door of your house. If you need to do some work, make sure to wake up earlier before the kids and or after they go to bed so that they will feel your presence in the whole day. Balancing work and life starts with leaving your job after working hours and be with your family for the remaining time of the day.
A career woman, and a mother, I can be both because I learned how to balance family and career.Rhai Ignacio
As a first time mom, I tried to master working at home, carrying my baby, cooking, and washing clothes at the same time. When I got pregnant with my 2nd child, I was doing my master’s degree. On my 3rd delivery, I finished my master’s degree and got two promotions within a year interval.
How did I do that? Power of multi-tasking. Not everyone can do multi-tasking successfully, and it can be exhausting. It’s like a dance; you need to learn to follow the rhythm so that everything will run smoothly or else, you can stumble.
Avoid multi-tasking to the point of exhaustion
However, keep in mind to avoid multitasking to the point of exhaustion. Group activities that you can realistically accomplish/ At the same time, I give kids activities to finish just like painting, drawing, or tracing. I can run the laundry while I am preparing the food for dinner. While cooking, I give activities for kids to finish.
As a working mom, I feel like I have very little time to spend with the kids and with the household chores. Sticking with the routine will let you accomplish tasks and maximize the time with the family.
Plan well the mealtime, shower time, cleaning time, and all others that are part of your list. Friday is my day off, and I make sure that Thursday Night and Fridays are for the family. I juggle everything else on other days.
Meal Planning for a working mom
I think that cooking takes a lot of time, and you should have a strategy to maximize the time but not compromising your family’s health. I cook at least five meals every Saturday to make sure that there is available food whatever happens at the beginning of the week. Meal planning for a working mom saves time and budget.
Prepare freezer meals
I love doing freezer meals. I keep foods that can be refrigerated. Since I have my plan, I know when to thaw food before I go to the office and come back home to reheat it.
Learn weekly prep planning, and this will change your life as a working mom.
Make use of technology
I always say this; technology should be the working mom’s best friend. There are times that everything is just upside down, and you can’t even go to the grocery store, no problem, use delivery services. Do you need to cook while cleaning? Then use an instant pot to save time. One of the best decisions I had was to but a dishwasher and automatic washing machine. These two kept me from being insane.
Online shop delivery
If you are living in Qatar, I recommend using Carrefour online store. As low as 150 rials, you can avail free delivery service the next day. How convenient could it be, right?
Another exciting in the feature of Carrefour application is that all sale items are also available online.
I order heavy items such as rice, laundry soaps, conditioner, oil, and all other heavy items. Imagine, we are in 3rd floor and we do not have elevators.
Download your application now.
We have in our home what we call “mommy duty” and daddy duty” I know as a mother what I need to complete, and my husband knows the things he will help me in a day. I ask help if things do get tougher.
Delegating some tasks to children is also essential. At the moment, I don’t clean up their toys anymore; my children put them in the right place after playing. I can also ask my 7-year old son to vacuum the kid’s room. The children need to understand the value of helping each other at home as early as possible.
Schedule a “me time”
We can work all day, clean all day, and it will be unending until we end it. One essential thing to balance family and career of a working mom is to make sure that you can do what you enjoy doing. If you feel tired, rest. If you feel like just watching your favorite tv shows, go ahead. If I feel like singing videoke, I sing at the top of my lungs until I get tired.
No one will get hurt if you leave some dishes in the kitchen, or keep the clothes hanged for the next two days.
“Listen to your body mommy, and pamper it if it needs to be pampered”
Go out with your friends
There should be a time for yourself and a time spent with other people. Being with other people, hearing different stories, and sharing yours is excellent therapy. Leaving the house for a while energizes you as a mother, especially if the day-spent is with the friends that you trust. Having the right circle of friends is very helpful for OFW’s like us. This will be your support group, another foundation that will push you.
Do not feel guilty for going out, you deserve it
Do not ever feel guilty about leaving your children for a while. To balance family and career, we need to see other perspectives, others’ company.
Related post that you can read
Positivity is the Key
There will be no enough time, the chores, and the jobs will add stress and can cause exhaustion. But “positivity is the key.” Set in your mind that all things happen for a reason and that you can solve things in a calm and strategic manner.
I use to share this all the time “Master breathing exercise”. If you feel that you are about to explode, stop and breath until you feel somehow that you are already in control. In my 8 years of being a mother, “positivity” is my best friend. I don’t want to dwell on negative emotions.
If you have any negative emotions, express it. Talk about it and resolve it. Don’t avoid conflict.
“Being a happy mommy is a choice and a process” If you want to be a happy mommy, find ways that will make you achieve it. Stress is around the corner, but the choice is yours.Rhai Ignacio
Being a working mom in a foreign country
Being a working mom is hard, especially if you are in a foreign country. I have to admit that it’s not easy to find people that you can trust. And if you find one, nurture the friendship and keep the loyalty.
Being a working mom is hard because you want to give the best to your family, but you also want to be the best in what you do.
Being a working mom is hard because you want to make sure that your children will grow as good individuals. At the same time, you want to make sure that you don’t lose yourself in motherhood.
Being a working mom is hard, but it is the most rewarding thing I can think about. Doing the things that I like to do, and enjoying being a mom is a gift. Not all people can have it. I cherish it, and I am thankful that I am a working mom.
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