“It always seems impossible until it is done.” ~ Nelson Mandela
Becoming a mum doesn’t mean the dreams you had before your children were born need to be put aside. They are just paused for a while. Yes, it will be harder now; you have little people that depend on you and demand much of your time.
Before children, you didn’t have anyone to think about but yourself. You could be selfish and spend your time doing what you wanted.
When you had time and few responsibilities it was easy to set goals, monitor how they were going and make adjustments where necessary to ensure you achieved them.
But how do you manage these big goals and dreams when suddenly you don’t have an abundance of time to chase them?
You can continue to chase these big goals and dreams but need to remember:
1. You can do anything but not everything
In the past you didn’t need to prioritise – you could go after everything. You most certainly can do anything but having less time means you need to focus on what you want most.
2. You have to let some things go
Committing time to chasing your dreams when you are a mum means that you need to let some things go, whether this means limiting nights out with the girls, limiting the amount of TV you watch or letting go of the housework to allow you to spend that time working towards your goal.
You will miss out on some things but in order to bring your dreams to life you need to make sacrifices.
4. Take it slower
With less time to focus on your big goals and dreams, you need to accept that things will happen more slowly than they would have in the past.
You can still chase your dreams with the same passion and determination you always have done, but knowing and coming to terms with not having as much time to dedicate to this will help you keep the big picture in mind.
5. Build a support network around you
Having a network around you including family, friends and other women in the same position as you, can really help in a number of ways.
You can ask family or friends to help out with the children for a number of hours a week so you can dedicate a solid amount of time to your goals
Create or join a support group with other mums to gain support and networks
6. Let go of the guilt
Being a full-time working mother can lead to feelings of guilt and stress because of divided attention between work and family. This is totally normal; you just need to find the right balance between profession and parenthood.
Keep in mind the positives that benefit your family:
You work to better the lives of your children by being able to provide for them,
You work to be a great role model for your children who believe that they can become whomever they want to be,
You work to empower yourself and be your best “you”
7. Find quality childcare
Knowing your children are well cared for will make the process so much easier.
Ask your friends for references of nannies, babysitters and daycare centers. Create a list of criteria that are important and then schedule time to interview qualified childcare providers or to tour local daycares.
A good childcare provider should have extensive experience, excellent references, and a record to prove it. A good daycare facility should have flexible hours, a low teacher-to-student ratio, outdoor space, up-to-date licenses, and employees who have had their backgrounds checked. It’s also important to check the centre’s sickness and safety polices.
8. Get the family organized
Figure out your family's priorities. A calendar can include dates when bills are due, a chore chart for the kids, a list of school and family events, extracurricular activities, birthdays, a weekly meal plan and more.
9. Stay connected
Stay connected with your children even when you're not together. If you're going to miss or be late for an older child's event, give them something special in the morning like a good-luck charm or a personal note. Look into options for filming the event so you can watch it later and not miss a moment. During your breaks at work, call your child if possible; hearing they are doing just fine can help you get through a rough day, and your children will be comforted to know you're near. If this is not possible, make a little video message to show to them later. Everyone loves to know they have been thought about during the day.
10. Family time
Making time for your kids is crucial, both during the week and at the weekends, to nurture your family dynamic and allow everyone to bond. If you're pressed for time, have a family breakfast or a family night with board games or movies.
Now get out there and DO IT – Chase your dreams. There is nothing stopping you!
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