Huffpost Parents
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Ashley Ryan Headshot

13 Proven Ways to Balance Work and Family with Ease and Grace

Posted: Updated:
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

If you're a mom that not only has fabulous children but also a thriving career, you may be referred to as the mom that has it all.

Having a beautiful family and successful career, you most likely know that having it all can also mean doing it all.

Here are 13 proven ways to make things happen with ease, grace and inner peace.

Use a Calendar

I know this sounds obvious, but be sure to use a calendar for all appointments. This will help you cut down on missed appointments and will make sure you're at all of your families important events.

Otherwise, things are swimming around in your head and may get missed, or worse, you get stressed. Don't do that, put it on paper.

Schedules Don't Suck

Schedules don't have to suck. Make a schedule and adjust accordingly. Map out play time, work time, family time and fitness time. If you don't carve out these areas, it just won't happen -- be sure to map out a schedule.

Readjust When Necessary

Be prepared to change your plans and readjust.

Let's face it, some things will work, some things won't. Be prepared to create a schedule and then readjust accordingly.

Don't Mix Business with Pleasure
Do you suffer from the 'just one more email' syndrome?

It looks like this: Spending time with the kids and at the same time clicking away on your iPhone or running back to the computer to send just one more email.

All this does is creates stress, not to mention total distraction. Children need our good attention, and a half hour of full attention is much better than a day of distraction.

That's why I suggest creating a strict home/work schedule and stick by it. Whether you work from home or not, there are personal hours when you're with your child, where there are absolutely no phone calls, emails, texts and Facebook (ahem ;).

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate

For those of you that work from home or are entrepreneurial mommies, consider an assistant to help with the menial tasks so you can spend time on the important details (money-making tasks).

If you have clients who are total tyrants (you know who you are), get an assistant to share some of the load, so you don't have to be on all the time.

This day in age there are working mommies all over the world that will support you for a very reasonable fee. Think Elance and get out there and find some support!!

For those of us... errrr, I mean you, that have problems letting go of the control and thinking we can do it best and better, just let it go (notice I'm saying this to myself).

Work From Home

Another supportive opportunity to spend more time with your kids is to see if its' possible to work from home on occasion. Many companies allow a one day a week work- from-home day. There's no harm in asking; you can cut down on commuting time and provide you with more time for your kids.

Get Enough Rest

I find when I don't get enough rest I'm totally cranky and don't function well. It's important to make sure you get enough sleep. Everything else can wait.

Housekeeping!

If you can afford it, hire a housekeeper. Even once a week or once every two weeks makes a huge difference. It will provide you with some extra time to be with your kids.

Do Delivery

This is something I find super-helpful.... having a grocery delivery service. I order an organic food box to my door every week. It saves time and money, and I also get meat delivered once a month. Almost all cities have services like these, just Google 'organic vegetable box.'

Just Say No...

So many of us women are natural people-pleasers, wanting to do everything for everyone. And the reality is, we can't.

Look at what's important to you and stick to that, and say no to everything else.

And don't forget, you have permission to say no.

Are your clients asking for unreasonable things? Is your boss? Learning boundaries at work is super important. Just because someone pays you doesn't mean you should do anything for them. Learn to set boundaries at work, i.e.; you don't accept calls after 5 p.m., you don't work on weekends. When someone pushes past your boundaries and you feel uncomfortable, you can say no.

Get Your Priorities Straight

For me, my priority is my kids, my spouse, then work. Is my house clean? Not usually. Does everything at work get done? Ha!

But I know my priorities and I'm happy with them, so that's what matters.

Leverage the Kids

Everyone in the family can contribute.

Children love to be a part of things. Get them to help chop the veggies, set the table and be a part of packing lunches. My son helps me make breakfast in the morning. You don't have to force them or guilt trip them if they don't' want to, but strongly encourage them to help. There's something they'll be interested in doing.

He's The Man

And last, but certainly not least... give more responsibility to your spouse! Ask him to take the kids, tell him you need a hand. It's the 21st century, after all.

Remember, ladies: Busy moms can have it all, try out some of these tips for a happier, more balanced life.

I'd love to hear some of your work/life balance tips...