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So when was the last time you saw a working mom with a perfectly clean house, flawless skin and makeup and always smiling, obedient kids? Chances are in a TV commercial. But life beyond the idiot box is so very different. Ask any working mom and she can vouch for how hard it is to score a perfect ten when it comes to being an awesome mom and a great employee. But that is also the point where most ‘complications’ begin, that is, when we try to be ‘perfect’. Because being perfect was never necessary, being happy was. And once we understand and work according to this simple principle, the thing might not seem so difficult after all!

Like anything else, striking a balance between professional and family life needs a solid plan. Unfortunately, there cannot be a common one-size-fits-all ‘strategy’ that can work for each working mom because all of our lives are different. However, there are certain tried and tested principles that many moms follow. The key is to understand your unique ‘need’ and adapt these ‘rules’ and even ‘invent’ a few where necessary. And that also means not comparing your situation to anyone else’s. It is easy and at times even tempting to feel how someone else is happier or a better mom. But, the point is, we don’t really know. We only ‘know’ what is going on in our lives and so it makes sense to direct all our efforts to make it better.

It is very important to have a strong support system in place. This might mean choosing the right childcare, dividing the household chores with your partner, and outsourcing some of the works if that is affordable. There is no reason you would have to cook the dinner, help your kids with the homework, do the laundry, and run to the grocery stores all by yourself. Discuss with your partner and see how best you can divide all of those. It might even be a good idea to chalk out a budget. Try to figure out if that allows you to get outside help when it comes to cleaning, walking the dog, and the likes. Sometimes we are too proud to ask, but that might not be the right attitude. On the contrary, grab all the help that you can get. Life is much simpler that way.

One aspect of trying to strike that balance might involve re-assessing your priorities. What is more important for you? What do you want to do when it comes to your professional and personal spheres? Does it really matter if you bake cookies for your kids or get them from the store? Understanding what it is you want will help you know how best to use those twenty-four hours. Give it your best shot. Take some short-cuts. And yes, try to be organized. Say cheers to a happy self and a happy family.

Mommyhood comes with a lot of responsibilities and hard-work and as we all know, without any manual. Taking care of the kids is a full-time job in itself and when someone has yet another job things are bound to get tougher. So it is only natural for us to fail sometimes, to feel miserable and even question if we are being a good mom. But everything should work out fine as long as we stop trying to be the best and just strive at being happy. It might take a while to understand what works for you and yes, there might not be any foolproof plan. But through trial and error you will learn. So go ahead and enjoy all those moments and do whatever you think will make you and your family flash a thousand watt smile.