Career moms and ladies - how do you do it?

Howdy all - I've been mulling over this post for a little while and I think I have what I wanted to ask straight now. I have a huge inter-country transition coming up in 5 weeks after working in Asia for 2 years. 3 weeks after the move, I return to my full-on, high intensity 'dream job'. I say dream job because I worked so so hard to get it permanently and I'm so grateful to have taken a 2 year sabattical to travel and work overseas. My job here is nothing compared to home - much easier.

My home work are already starting to cc me in on emails - problems basically to be aware of. They don't expect a reply and of course I don't yet but I can feel it starting! I do love my job but it takes so much out of me.

I've used this time away to work on my self and I have lost about 9-10kg and I am so pleased. I eat better than I ever have and feel great physically. I work out a lot and this will not be sustainable in my new/old position (I swim at lunchtimes here and won't be able to at home again). I have done some reflection on myself of course and I've got a few ideas to incorporate to my new/old work.

I just don't want to fall into a slump with work stress and undo all this great work I have done. I want to continue with it. I guess I just wanted to contact some other hard-working moms who have careers and kids and also manage their own fitness and health.

The other side of the coin is how to cope with work itself and the emotional toll, how to deal with the sniping and backstabbing and drama that inevitably goes on (I don't mean to sound too dramatic, and I think it's just the intensity of the place that makes people they way they come across).

I have to be on my toes and on the ball 100% of the time and not slack off - I need to remember that I'm working for myself and my personal brand - even though I work for a bigger entity. How to stay focused. I've done all this before and need to step back up again after this break!

What do you do to achieve this ladies?


  • laur357
    laur357 Posts: 896 Member
    You have to take all of the great planning, organizing, time-management, and delegating skills you've developed at work and incorporate them into your personal life. Chores for kids, shared cooking responsibilities, make sure your partner (if one is in the picture) knows your schedule and plan ways you can help each other out with housework/cooking/errands. Spend money on the things that truly make your life easier - housekeeper a few times a month? A robotic vacuum cleaner? Grocery delivery or meal kits? Evaluate where you're going to need the most help.

    Schedule time - literally put in on your calendar - to meal plan and possibly prep meals or ingredients so you don't give in to take out/or convenience foods that you weren't planning on mid-week when everything is crazy. Think now about how you're going to keep the focus on the habits you developed. You gotta keep up with your personal care habits if you want to have the energy to give to your career.

    In terms of interpersonal relationships with co-workers, see if your company has a work-life balance program. They often have coaches and counselors free of charge you can call to help keep you zen when everyone else is gossiping or at each other's necks. Stress management techniques and exercise can also keep you level. Maybe start your day with 10-15 minutes of yoga to keep yourself centered on health goals? Schedule a few time slots throughout the week for more intense exercise since you're used to swimming.
  • Pastaprincess1978
    Pastaprincess1978 Posts: 371 Member
    Thanks @laur357 Some great tips - I'm also worried about the step up to my new/old position. How to get back in the groove there with the intensity and thoroughness I'll need.
  • Neckita
    Neckita Posts: 32 Member
    This has been a balencing act for me. My career is so very demanding and draining, that I make it a point to disconnect from work the minute I leave. I do not look at my work phone, as the emails and voicemails will still be there tomorrow. I try to sleep 6-7 hours a night, but I have made it a priority to get up and workout. It was tough at first but I love the 4am wakeup and workout now! It gives me energy and the push for my day. I eat every few hours throughout the day and make breakfast a priority. Meal prep is huge for me and I use a stupid amount of tupperware! I am a homeowner, wife, stepmom, with a fulltime career and a returning to college student. It is exhausting with going back to school but I know that "With God All things are Possible" and I am determined to stay healthy, active and connected to my goals. You have got this!!!
  • Pastaprincess1978
    Pastaprincess1978 Posts: 371 Member
    Thanks @Neckita. What time do you find you go to bed to get enough sleep? I will be meal prepping too!
  • Neckita
    Neckita Posts: 32 Member
    I go to bed by 9pm. It was tough at first to change my internal clock but "early to bed, early to rise seems" to really help me! :)
  • wallflower_17
    wallflower_17 Posts: 15 Member
    Similar to what was mentioned above, I just have to make many trade-off decisions to make it happen. I've learned to accept that paying for a housekeeper and some convenience foods is absolutely necessary. I've also had to accept that during the week, I'll only have 20-30 minute windows to work out, so I make those intense to make the short duration worthwhile and save longer workouts for the weekends.

    Congratulations on the move and dream job!
  • Chunkahlunkah
    Chunkahlunkah Posts: 373 Member
    edited May 2018
    The other side of the coin is how to cope with work itself and the emotional toll, how to deal with the sniping and backstabbing and drama that inevitably goes on (I don't mean to sound too dramatic, and I think it's just the intensity of the place that makes people they way they come across).

    Please don't take this seriously if I'm way off base, but are you sure that is the right place for you? By that, is the culture just not a good fit for who you are? I personally haven't found intense places to necessarily breed drama and backstabbing. I've found that behavior more correlated with the quality of the people than the intensity/challenge of the work. The most rigorous and challenging work I've done has actually had the best people (i.e, emotionally mature and good-natured). Maybe that job has too many crappy people and you're not at their level?

    Just a thought and, again, I could be waaaay off. Life is so much better though doing work you love with good people. :) It can make the whole balance much easier.

  • Pastaprincess1978
    Pastaprincess1978 Posts: 371 Member
    thanks for the comments :) It's okay, I did sound really negative about it in that post. Of course it's not all like that and I shouldn't be such a whinger! You have actually pointed out my attitude and I need to be mindful of that - thankyou.

    A number of personalities have left since I've been away and I intend to go in with good vibes only. Rather like my weight loss journey there will be ups and downs :) lol Self-awarness will go a long way as will a grateful attitude :)
  • quiksylver296
    quiksylver296 Posts: 28,443 Member
    edited May 2018
    I pay someone to clean my house. ;) Seriously, such a stress-reliever.

    I go to bed very early. 8:00 p.m. Before going to bed, I pack my breakfast and lunch for the next day, lay out my gym clothes and work clothes. I'm up at 3:45 a.m. and heading to the gym for my workout. I shower at the gym and head straight from the gym to work.

    Dinners are simple and I use my crock pot a lot.

    My work culture is actually awesome and the actual stress at work is minimal, although the field I work in is usually high-stress.

    My kid is a teenager now. That makes a huge difference for me. He's pretty self-sufficient, including getting himself up and off to school in the morning. Hubby works rotating shifts, 12 hours, so we see each other when we see each other.

  • Pastaprincess1978
    Pastaprincess1978 Posts: 371 Member
    Thanks @quiksylver296 - I am hoping that now my kids are a little older I may be able to do the gym 2 mornings a week - I'd 'only' have to get up at 5.30 though rather than 3.45 so that helps!
  • KMom0501
    KMom0501 Posts: 5 Member
    I'm trying to figure this out myself. I have a high stress, demanding job in the financial sector and I'm going through a divorce. Thinking about how to transition and what new habits and routines I will need to establish in order to make it work. I don't have any answers but would love to be a friend and accountability partner!
  • Pastaprincess1978
    Pastaprincess1978 Posts: 371 Member
    Thanks @KMom0501 I wish I knew the secret - no I wish there WAS a secret lol!
  • funjen1972
    funjen1972 Posts: 949 Member
    A cardio workout right after work releases all the stress ahhhhhhh

    Some options to optimize time are pay someone to mow your lawn, clean your house and run errands. Use a drop off laundry service.

    Set boundaries for work so you can dedicate time for yourself. Typically, I don't stay in the office past 4:30pm, but I frequently go in at 5 or 6am to address issues. I check emails in the evening, but don't respond until morning. If someone really needs me, they will call...I only respond if they leave a voicemail or follow up with a text. A hang-up means it's not that important.
  • 777Gemma888
    777Gemma888 Posts: 9,578 Member
    funjen1972 wrote: »
    A cardio workout right after work releases all the stress ahhhhhhh

    Some options to optimize time are pay someone to mow your lawn, clean your house and run errands. Use a drop off laundry service.

    Agree funjen. An all out run in the AM or PM cleanses me. Takes me to zero where everything is right with the world. And hiring help - God send. Strange, that we need to be reminded that you needn't do everything for yourself or your family.

    OP - Before we'd started as career women, our mum told us that there is no shame in hiring help. Delegate. Keep and treat them like family. Ensure they're always comfortable and well compensated. Loyalty is your trump card. It makes your priorities, their priorities. You turn them into your first line of defense, no matter what.

    Time table everything, even eating, sleeping, bathing, applying makeup, sex, playtime with your children, working out - all of it. If there is allotted time per your scheduling, it's easier to be flexible. Don't forget to allow some "me" time.

    Write things down. I keep a hard copy rolodex too. Refuse to be caught in a situation where the battery dies and an important contact is stuck in the phone's memory. Tech is good, only that tech can and does play up following some b.s update where you lose important reminders/notes/contacts for a few hours. It'll show up when you no longer need it.
  • busyPK
    busyPK Posts: 3,788 Member
    I agree with a lot of what these others moms have said. You have to plan your day/week and set boundaries for work. Even in a stressful and demanding job, there needs to still be an end time where you leave it behind for the day and focus on yourself, children, family and house. I'm a single mom to 3 kids and what has helped me is to cook 3 dinners a week with enough leftovers for the in between days. Eat quick takeout 1-2 times a week (mostly for the kids and I eat leftovers), workout before the kids get up or right after work and kids go to the kid daycare at the gym and clean on the weekends and just tidy up during the week. I also agree with another poster that asking for help/hiring help is nothing to be ashamed of! It takes a village as they say. :smile: