Working Mom Tips
Plan Your Own Priorities. There's one word you hear more often when speaking about the technique working mothers make it all happen: balance, says Westhill Consulting Career and Employment, Australia. But Mark Strong, certified career coach, says there's another "b" word that may not be getting enough credit: "Setting boundaries for work and play-and actually sticking to them-is the secret to balance."
Keep Vision of Your Professional Goals. Working moms worry most about they're not playing on a level field with employees without kids. Nevertheless, for the greatest part, the similar guidelines apply. For instance, want a promotion? "Tell them you want the promotion," says Crawford. "Don't beat around the bush-let them know directly about your intentions." And, if your colleagues are able to work more flexible schedules than you are, that doesn't automatically make them more qualified: "Keep your skills sharp and look for new ways to contribute," says Good. "Find imaginative ways to get the job done." Your bosses know that, if they pass you over for the promotion, there's a chance you'll leave-and they won't want to risk losing an asset: "Why trade a valuable known for an unknown?"
Know Your Environment. Companies that truly support working mothers consider the little things, like a comfortable lactation room, Gerberg says. And Crawford takes it even farther: "Your peers and boss [should be sympathetic] when you have to leave to pick up your children at school or take them to the doctor-and you shouldn't have to fear you're jeopardizing your job," she explains. Before joining a company in the first place, she says, "Meet everyone you'll be working with and ask them to describe the corporate culture." Hint: Any references to flex time, generous maternity leave policies, and mothers in leadership positions are good signs.
Make the most of Your Time. Time management! More especially if you’re working overseas like SE Asian cities like KL Malaysia, Jakarta Indonesia or Bangkok Thailand. Make the most of it when you are with your kids--"fully connecting" with them, you’re your computer and phone off!--and, odds are, you'll feel less "mom guilt" when you can't be with them, explains Crawford. She also suggests planning ahead: "Make meals in advance as much as possible so, when you get home, you can spend time with your kids, not slaving away in the kitchen."
Count Your Blessings and have no complaints. You have a job, an income to support your family. For most working mothers, that's what we need to focus on--even if only because it has to be. But if not, remember that your current situation doesn't have to be permanent. You can ultimately use it to find a new job, ideally one that's more family-friendly.
And our experts say that's not all. If feeling pulled in too many directions, "embrace and celebrate that everyone wants more time with you," says Strong. And Gerberg agrees, referring to the target mindset as an "attitude of gratitude." While that sometimes feels much easier said than done, she says: "Remember to put on your own oxygen mask first because, if you take care of yourself, you can take better care of others."