BALANCING WORK AND MOTHERHOOD: THE SUBTLE ART OF DELEGATION
“I am tired”
“I am exhausted”
“I don’t have time for myself”
“I can’t make it because I have so much to do”
As a working mom, how many times have you said these words to yourself?
For you, time is your most precious commodity and resource. And 24 hours each day just does not seem enough anymore. Being a mother and having a successful career are both time-consuming activities.
You want to be the best at both tasks but when you are at work, you feel guilty that you are not being your best at home. You tell yourself …. “No one can shop, clean or cook for my family as well as I can.” At work, you are constantly plagued with mommy guilt. And at home, you miss being at work. You look at other successful career women who seem to have it all together and ask yourself, “Shouldn’t I be able to figure this out on my own?” “Why can’t I get it all done?” “Why can’t I be like the Proverbs 31 woman? The truth is that no one has got it all figured out.
The art of delegation is a survival kit for all moms especially working moms. Ask yourself today, “ What’s so wrong with outsourcing?”.
It is a norm today for both parents to hold down jobs so that they can share the financial burden in the home. For a mother, she has to find a delicate balance between the home and her work.
No one can do it all on her own. You are not a Super Woman. I mean, Batman has got Robin, Sherlock Holmes has John Watson and even Wonder Woman has Etta Candy!
So why do you think you have to do everything all by yourself? Even with a very helpful spouse, it is difficult to do it all without breaking down as we only have 24 hours each day. Actually 20 hours if you live in Lagos, as you may spend at least 4 hours each day in traffic commuting to work!
So today, instead of struggling to balance everything, take a step back to reassess your situation – what tasks can you delegate to someone else? How about outsourcing the time-consuming chores that take you away from doing the things that you love? Learn to ask for help wherever you can. Instead of exhausting yourself with the extra stress of household tasks, utilize the services and support of people that are fully equipped to help. Hire a handyman service to finish quick repairs at home, get a laundryman to take care of laundry, reduce trips to the market by hiring someone do that for you, I know it can sound very “diva-like” but it is actually just being resourceful and understanding the value of time.
There are many underlying reasons why working mothers struggle with delegating and outsourcing time-consuming tasks – the fear of being judged by society or being seen as a mother that is not ‘hands on’. The truth is that delegation and outsourcing are necessary survival tools to becoming a successful working mom. The alternative is to try to do everything but that would lead to being stretched too thinly, negatively affecting your health. You may break down and find out that by trying to do everything, you end up not spending enough time for what matters most—your FAMILY.
The reality is: you are not new to outsourcing. Whether you realize it or not, you already delegate tasks on a regular basis. As a working mother, we effectively assign the care and education of our children to others when they go to school or spend time in child care and we balance errands and chores with our spouses. By further maximizing our support network, we make our life a lot easier. If the business world outsources to be more efficient, working mothers can (and should) do the same!
Someone can do it better, faster than me? Great, let them do it! I can make more efficient use of the time that I save, and hopefully even cover the outsourcing expenses at the same time – or I gift myself the time with my family or partner.
The message to today’s working mom is this: do what you can and then get help with the rest.