BY MOMWISE OGECHI UCHEATU
Have you ever had a work deadline, a family function, a doctor’s appointment for your child coupled with a list of unending chores at home all happening at the same time? That sounds like the typical schedule of a 21st-century mom!
The question that resonates in our minds when we are going through the motions is highly correlated with “the balancing act”. How do we balance it all so that we do not feel overwhelmed? How do we prevent burnout?
The issue of the work-life balance has been a hot topic in many corporate and social settings. According to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, the unrelenting pace and volume of work has made it more challenging to set and keep boundaries, and “nearly half, or 46% of the Human Resource leaders surveyed, reported that employee burnout accounts for 20-50% of their companies’ annual employee turnover.” The overwhelming rate of employee turnover is an indicator of the pressure that work can have on one’s personal life.
I personally faced this challenge recently at my job where I had to juggle between home chores and an extremely tight work deadline. There were days that I had work for 12 hours straight yet I still had other commitments due that same week. I felt overwhelmed and at a point, I wanted to quit my job. However, I decided to take a step back, prioritize my activities and trust God to strengthen me through the journey.
Therefore as mothers, we need to be intentional about prioritizing our time so that we do not burn out. Here are a few tips that can help with the “balancing act”:
- Make a “To Do” List: It is always helpful to write down all your tasks in a prioritized order. This allows you to determine the tasks that require urgent attention and defer other tasks to a later time during the week.
- Set Timelines: Another helpful tip is related to timelines. Setting timelines allows you to focus on a specific set of goals and to complete them thoroughly before moving on to the next set of priorities.
- Learn to Say “No” Sometimes: There are so many social functions and events that will occur in your lifetime. However, there are some weeks that you might have to turn down some social functions in order to complete a pressing priority. In those times and seasons, learn to focus on the end goal and this will help you get through the task quickly so that things can go back to normal.
- Team up with your Spouse/Family Members: There is a popular adage which states that “it takes a village to raise a child.” Therefore, it is also helpful to team up with your spouse and other close family members who can assist with chores, or help run certain errands around the house. This will lighten the burden and give you some time to rest and recharge.
- Make time to recharge: Mothers often tend to take care of everyone else except themselves. Although it is important for you to cater to others, it is equally important to set aside some time for yourself. It could be a spa day with your girlfriends or even a weekend that you set aside just to take a nap during the day.
Finally, let’s remember that our health is our wealth. The bible says in Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”