How to juggle motherhood with your career and wellbeing

Juggling motherhood with a career can often feel like you’re carefully balancing two full-time jobs. That’s before you’ve kept in touch with friends, spent time with your family, walked the dog, ate something edible and, perhaps, even remembered to sleep! 

With all this going on, it can feel like an uphill struggle with your wellbeing put to the bottom of the to-do list and any career aspirations falling by the wayside. We catch up with Sophie Tyrrell, one half of the blogging-and-healthy-snack-making Squirrel Sisters. She explains her top tips for juggling motherhood with a career.

Embrace your new skills

If you’ve had a bit of time off after having a baby, it can often feel as though you’re playing catch up with your peers. But, as Sophie explains, believing in yourself is the first step to finding success in your career and wellbeing.

“Being a mother is hard and full on and you learn some incredible skills very quickly, so take confidence from that,” she says. “Motherhood often makes people apologise or feel less worthy, but in actual fact it makes you more efficient and productive!

“Plus, if you’re giving up time with your child (or sacrificing your rest when they’re asleep!), you clearly have a lot of passion and drive about what you’re doing, so feel that confidence.”

Plan ahead

Feeling as though you’re rushing around is incredibly stressful, but it may also mean you miss out on valuable family time. While it takes a bit of effort, planning can make you more productive and work wonders for your mental health and relationships.

“Plan so you can clearly see when you’ll be able to sit down and do some work or the things that are important to you,” says Sophie. “It’s worth it because it means that when you’re working you can focus. Planning this time means you’re better able to enjoy time with your child as you won’t be constantly checking your phone or laptop.”

Creating an (achievable) list of everything you need to do in a can be a good place to start. Putting this into a spreadsheet of your week will help you allocate your time and see your week more clearly. It can also help you learn how to prioritise (see below).

From here, you can break your days down into manageable chunks – you may even want to get ahead and plan your whole month.

Learn to prioritise

We’re all guilty of trying to do it all, but learning to prioritise can help things to run a little smoother.

“Having children is full on and unfortunately something has to give,” says Sophie. “You can’t do as you would have before children.

“Write down everything you want to do and achieve and work out what’s most important, for example seeing your best friend every week or exercising. How can you schedule this in? Can you combine things? For example, could you go for a run with your friend?

“It doesn’t need to be the same every week, and you can reprioritise regularly but by doing this it just helps you to get what you are going to do straight in your head, otherwise it can be very overwhelming.”

Enjoy a moment’s peace

Having a quiet moment to yourself is essential to your mental wellbeing. Whether you meditate, go for a run or just spend time watching the clouds go by, it’s important to make sure that you’re not constantly ‘doing’.

“We all need something that gives us space to be inspired and process events of the day,” says Sophie. “Even if it’s taking your time in the shower where you can have time to think, or sing your heart out to songs!

“Some days it’s nearly impossible to find this time, so don’t let it stress you. Just go and make a cup of tea and take a few deep breaths.”

Fuel yourself well

It’s easy to live off toast and take aways when you’re busy, but eating well can make a huge different to your wellbeing. As a result, you’ll feel better and be more productive at work and as a mum.

“Sometimes it takes a bit of planning, but make sure each of your meals include some fruit and vegetables and are balanced with food groups.” says Sophie. “It’s also important to make sure that you’re well hydrated (with water or herbal teas, as tempting as wine is).

“Give your body what it needs to feel good from the inside out. You’ll need this when your energy levels are down.”

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Fake it ’til you make it

If in doubt, taking a bit of time to spruce yourself up can work wonders.

“Brush your hair, put on some lipstick, and go and get yourself a coffee,” says Sophie. “You’ll feel so much better. Working from home means you can live in your ‘comfies’ which is sometimes heaven, but it can lead you to feeling a bit lacklustre about things.

“Sometimes, looking like you have yourself together and getting out the house can really help you feel like you actually are on top of things.”

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Find out more about the Squirrel Sisters at squirrelsisters.com and follow them on Twitter at @squirrelsisters