Self-Care Ideas for Working Moms

self-care ideas for working momsSelf-care has become a big buzzword in the last couple of years, but since we haven’t devoted a post to it, today we thought we’d talk about self-care ideas for working moms. The internet often defines self-care for moms as a giant glass of wine — but let’s go beyond that.self care ideas for working mothers You’ve probably heard the advice “put on your own oxygen mask first” many times, but it’s a good reminder (figuratively and literally!). It doesn’t matter what self-care looks like to you, just that you recognize that you deserve it — and that it’s essential to your well-being as a working mom. When you compare yourself to other moms you know, how does your self-care seem different? (Does it feel non-existent?) What does self-care mean to you?

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How To Make The Most Of Face Time At The Office

how to make the most of face time at the office - tips for working momsSomething that seems common to a lot of working parents is that face time with coworkers may be more limited, either because you’ve got stricter hours (and miss the happy hour drinks) or you’ve negotiated reduced work hours or another flexible working arrangement. When this happens you’ve got to make the most of the face time you DO have at the office to make, keep and strengthen personal relationships, keep your ear to the ground, and stay visible with your colleagues. So, readers — how do YOU make the most of face time at the office? If you work from home sometimes (or often), work reduced hours, or just have a strict “daycare pickup curfew,” do you think being visible is a problem? Do you think being really responsive on email later at night or via voicemail helps with the issue? What do you think are best practices for staying visible at the office? (How do you balance the need to be efficient and get your work done in the time you have — while also being visible and taking advantage of face time at the office?)

Here are a few suggestions of our suggestions on how to make the most of face time at the office when you’re actually there:

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How Do You Define Yourself After Having Kids? Hierarchy of Self and Other Fun Thoughts

how do you define yourself after having kidsSo here’s a question that may sound odd: How do you define yourself after having kids? Are you a mother first, or a wife, or a lawyer [insert your job here], or a woman? Where does wife/daughter/friend play into the mix? What is your hierarchy of self? Do you have a strict one that you refer to when, say, decisions need to get made — or is it something that kind of fluctuates? Is your hierarchy of self at odds with anything, such as a) your partner’s or boss’s view of what comes first, or b) oh, reality? If you’ve made internal adjustments to your self-definition, why/how did you make those adjustments?

For me, for example,how do working moms define themselves after kids I think I myself am pretty far down the list. I would say I’m a mother first, a blogger/business owner second, then probably wife/daughter/sister, then friend, then lastly a woman. As certain people might say, Sad!

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Snow Days… and Working Parents

snow days and working parentsHere’s something we haven’t discussed: snow days… and working parents. In the midst of this week’s “bombcyclone” winter storm (hmm, how does that compare to “Snowmageddon” or “Snowpocalypse“?), we thought we’d share some tips on how to deal with a snow day as a working parent. All along the East Coast today, flights are being canceled, power outages are striking, and … schools are closing. Sure, it can be nice to spend a surprise day with your kids, but more often than not for working parents, that 5:00 a.m. school notification prompts more of a “Damn!” than a “Yay!” What about that important meeting or presentation or project (or all of the above) that was on your schedule? What about those errands you were going to run on your lunch break, gloriously sans kids?

Perhaps your nanny or other backup childcare strategy can make it to your house despite the snow, or maybe a grandparent can help out — or your partner can take one for the team. But when your nanny’s stuck at home because the plow company is nowhere to be found, or your mother-in-law doesn’t want to drive in a blizzard, or it was your spouse’s turn last time and now you’re up … what do you do?

Here are a few ways to (try to) be more productive when your kids are home unexpectedly — and to generally cope with a snow day as a working mom:

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How to Manage Up With Regard to Family Commitments

how to manage up with regard to family commitmentsHere’s a suggestion for a topic we got from folks who took the survey a while back: how can working moms “manage up” with regard to family commitments? Along similar lines, “how to explain your new life choices to an employer who is used to you working long hours”? I can’t wait to hear what you guys say — what’s YOUR best advice on managing up once you become a working mom, ladies?

(Pictured: Hall & Oates women’s tshirt (I Can’t Go for That- No Can Do), available at Etsy through Exit343design’s shop.) (Affiliate link.)

Just to throw in my $.02 of tips, I think a lot of it comes back to general advice on how to manage up:

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Advice on Work-Life Balance — To Your Pre-Mom Self

Advice on Work-Life Balance from Working Moms to Their Pre-Mom Selves

2018 Update: We still love all the advice on work-life balance in this post — but you may also want to check out our more recent discussion on The Mommy Effect study and whether working moms underestimated the trials and tribulations of working motherhood. 

Over at Corporette, we recently rounded up some of the top advice readers have shared over the years for women wondering about getting pregnant — the planner’s guide to TTC, if you will. But moms, here’s the question for YOU today: What would you tell your younger, pre-kid self if you could? Is there any other major advice you’d impart to someone who wanted to get pregnant? Would you make any serious changes in your life, either on the family side or the career side, if you could? What’s your best advice on work-life balance, as a working mom, to your pre-mom self? 

I keep seeing stories like this one and this one where working moms talk about how they were total jerks to their parent coworkers before they had kids, and NOW they get it — why a 4:45 meeting is a bad idea, why you’re not lazy or antisocial if you don’t want to come out for drinks after work, why occasionally your family is more important. On the flip side, I’ve seen many comments from younger readers who are annoyed at all the work/life balance advice at conferences — they don’t think it’s helpful, they don’t think it’ll apply to them, they don’t understand why we constantly complain about it. I also see articles like this one and this one about how women are annoyed when they’re asked about work-life balance as moms. I understand their point if we’re talking about a situation in which there are, say, five parents on a panel and the men are all asked about their backgrounds and work while the only person asked about work/life balance is the mom — BUT, as someone who struggles with work/life balance, I wish it were talked about MORE, among all parents.

SO: What would you tell your pre-mom self about work/life balance, if you could? What do you wish you had known before you decided to get pregnant? In general, what’s your best advice for work-life balance from a working mom perspective?

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