5 Tips For Career Moms Struggling To Spend More Time With Kids

News & Views | Bené Viera | 11/19/2013 | 01:45 PM EST

Five tips for career moms navigating work and family life.

Moms with careers are constantly navigating the balance of time spent between work and family life. The holidays are especially a busy time with holiday preparations.

According to Pew Research Center roughly 56% of working moms are stressed about juggling work and family life. Another 40% of working mothers say they always feel rushed while 53% of all working parents say it’s difficult to balance work and childcare responsibilities. Twenty-three percent of mothers say they aren’t spending enough time with their children.

Ambitious women know they can have it all, but not without sacrifice. The 65-hour work weeks don’t magically halt once a working mom has children. Other than more spa days, here are some helpful tips on making sure career driven women still find the time to spend with her children.

1. Wake up an hour early/stay up an hour later

Depending on if you and your kids are morning people or night owls will determine which method works for you. By waking up an hour early you have extra time to get ready--reducing the feeling of being in a rush--and it also allows for an hour more of time to talk and spend time with your children before their day starts. Sacrificing that extra hour of sleep at night can mean finding out your daughter has a new crush. It’s worth it.

2. Have more dinners at home

It’s super hard. Sometimes after a day of meetings, responding to emails and handling crises, you don’t get to your real work until after 6PM. You decide to stay in the office for one hour and it turns into three. By the time you get home it’s 10PM and your kids have eaten dinner and may be in bed. Dinner with family is important, memorable times. It allows you to decompress from the day’s work and just be mommy.

3. Attending your kids extracurricular activities

Bills have to get paid. Working moms don’t always have the leisure or authority to leave work early for their kid’s dance recital or soccer game. But making an effort to be there shows your kids that you care. There are countless interviews or movies where we’ve heard an adult reflecting on their parents never going to one of their games (à la Love and Basketball). They never quite forget the sting of not seeing their mom when looking into the audience.

4. Family time on the weekend

Unplug. One day of the weekend should solely be dedicated to family time. As the children get older they’ll have their own lives. And if they’re teenagers there will be a time where they rather do anything than be seen with their parents. Plan activities, at-home movie nights, game night or anything that won’t send you into a sleep coma and won’t bore the kids to tears.

5. Keep work at work

There’s few things worse than seeing a child fighting for the mother’s attention. In her own world, the mother continues talking on the phone or shopping without ever answering the child. Kids want to be listened to. They need moments of their parents undivided attention. Constantly being on your iPhone at home to check work emails makes it nearly impossible to give kids the attention they require. It’s important to be fully present when you are with your kids. Plus, you don’t want to miss something important your kid is trying to tell you, or miss significant changes in behavior patterns because you were always checking work emails.

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