After attending a birthday party for one of my daughter’s friends, I had a chance to chat with a lot of the mom’s there about general “mom issues”: balancing work, working mothers’ guilt, finding free time for oneself, couples’ time. Good times!

But it wasn’t until I got home later and my husband mentioned being struck by how challenging it seemed to be especially for moms to find time to pursue goals or even just focus on oneself that I really stopped and thought about things. How do some moms find a work life balance that works for them?

There are a few things that my family and I have found that work (and probably other areas where we can improve) for us and me:

  1. Schedule individual time for mom (and dad): sounds weird, but we didn’t figure this out until recently. It has really helped to know I have some time booked aside for resetting the stress level. Don’t get me wrong. I love my family. That doesn’t mean I don’t need a little alone time.
  2. Limit work contact outside of work: This is not an easy task for many people, myself included. My job doesn’t follow normal 9to5 hours – i start at 6:30am and routinely go past 5pm. That being said, I try to set boundaries on my time at home. The key has been communicating with my boss to let him know when I absolutely need to shut down work and also communicating with the family to know about critical deadlines. Still a challenge, but also helps to have an understanding husband.
  3. Find a workout buddy. Used to have one and wish I could find one, but it’s a hard sell at 4:30/5:00am for many folks. I guess using this blog as my de facto buddy helps a bit. Comes down to some extra accountability – I should be good with just being accountable to me but let’s be real…it’s just too damn easy some days to hit snooze!
  4. Plan your workout ahead of time. I’m a bit of a free spirit in some ways. I HATE schedules. Feels too restrictive. But unfortunately I’ve learned that without a plan in place my workouts can suck. Too easy to just come up with something on the fly, which ends up being a sloppy plan that’s not useful to help me reach my goals.

Any other suggestions out there?

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