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This article was written by Tania Bhattacharya on behalf of Sherley Altidor.
“Oh, so you are a working mom? Who takes care of your kids then? How do you manage?”
If you are a working mom, I can safely assume that you are too familiar with those words. However, if you are into a profession like me that does not have a 9 to 5 routine, things become a bit trickier than usual.
But luckily, I do manage and manage pretty well.
Here is my story.
Let’s Go Back to 2013
That was a year when I got my job as a flight attendant. While I was excited because I finally got to do what I wanted, I was also scared. “What will happen to my kids? Will I ever be home for my family? Will I be there when they needed me?” I thought that I would be living out of a suitcase and Kalief would be a single dad at least 60% of the time. My schedule and my family’s schedule were getting ready to have a drastic change. I remember thinking God please have a plan for me! How will this work for my family?
How I Thought Things Would Turn Out
I imagined myself away from home for long stretches. Picking up kids from school, accompanying them to after-school activities—these are very important things for me and I thought I would never be around to do all these. Kids grow up very fast and I never wanted to look back with regret.
How Things Actually Turned Out
To everyone’s (and my) surprise, I do spend a lot of time with my family. I appreciate every moment that I can be home with them because at one point I didn’t have this much flexibility. I make it a point to be involved, as much as I can. I love my job but my family comes first. If I truly wanted to, I can be gone for days at a time working back-to-back. When I have the option of being home with my kids or being at 35,000 feet, being home with my kids come first.
Is It All Rosy?
No, it isn’t. My flexibility does come with some ups and downs. I work every weekend 90% of the time. I don’t always get to take part in every family function. Most of my friends and family work Monday through Friday and are off on the weekends, which is why most functions take place on weekends. However, if a function is planned at least a month before I do my schedule, I can always take that time off.
What I Learned from My Career Shift
My job has been an eye-opener for me. I have learned a lot of things. Most importantly, I have learned to prioritize and to balance everything.
My Super-Simple 10 Tips for You
Following are 10 simple tips to help you keep your sanity as a working mommy. These are the rules that I follow and try to carry out every month.
You come first—Always make sure you are taking care of yourself. Your family will be nothing without you.
Me time— Make time for yourself. Get your nails done, sign up for massage sessions, go shopping, do something to pamper yourself. You are worth it!
Plan ahead— Plan your meals for the week, activities, kids clothes, etc.
Ask for help—Do not be afraid to ask. As mommies, we assume we can do it all. Ladies, support is important; reach out and do not feel guilty doing so.
Accommodate— Any realistic changes that you can make will help. Changing your schedule, if possible, is a start.
Keep it simple— You do not have to plan things that are really expensive or take a lot of your time or effort. Even simple things like a game night or having dinner together can go a long way.
Organize activities— Know what you are going to do ahead of time so that you can use your time wisely.
Communicate— Talk to your family and find out what they would like to do. As simple as this may sound, we often forget doing it. You must talk to each other and know what is going on.
Date night— So important. Adult time shouldn’t be neglected. It is necessary. Make time for your partner.
Girls’ Night— There are certain things you have to talk to your girls about to relieve the stress of the week or day.