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14 Working Mom Tips for Balancing Baby and Business

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Most working moms will tell you that motherhood has made them stronger, more efficient and better at their job. But that doesn’t mean the #momboss life is easy! Balancing baby and business can be strategically, emotionally and sometimes even physically challenging. According to a recent Pew study, 60% of mothers say it is difficult to maintain a balance between the demands of their career and the demands of raising a family.

And yet, children raised by moms who worked outside of the home have been found to be more successful in their own careers. Which means your working mom status not only benefits you, but your kids too.

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In case you need a little extra inspiration, we mined some of the most experienced #mombosses at WeWork, a supportive community for entrepreneurs -- many of whom also happen to be mothers (including Well Rounded’s working mom team!) Here’s 14 of their best hacks, tricks and shortcuts you can apply to your own working mom juggle.

1. Prioritize. I decide each night what the two most important work items are for the next day. That way, even when the unpredictability of family life derails the work agenda, I’ve had a productive day by making sure to meet my two goals. -- Sofia Dickens, founder of EQTainment

2. Try to be fully present in whatever you’re working on. When I'm in a meeting, then I am 100% focused on the topic at hand, and when I am home, I try to be 100% engaged in that. This approach has helped me balance personal and work around the clock, while still being efficient at the task at hand. -- Karly Giaramita, VP, Strategic Events at WeWork

3. Preparation goes a long way. Every night I lay out my outfit for the next day (including accessories and shoes – which take the longest) and pre-pack my child’s lunch. I'm up, showered, and dressed before my son. Having these things ready allows me to breeze into work on time and focused. -- Cynthia Nimmo, Chief Executive Officer, Women's Funding Network

4. Don’t obsessively check your email. I don’t check email until the morning. As Timothy Ferris so poignantly put it, email is someone else’s to-do list, not your own. -- Sofia Dickens, founder of EQTainment

5. Talk to your family about your work. I've made an effort to share with my daughter how passionate I am about my work. I want her to see work as an exciting and challenging adventure and that she, too, can create her own firm, if she wants, that focuses on a topic that's important to her. -- Nina Dibner, Executive Director, PowerTools, LLC

6. Seperate home life from office life, at least in front of your kids. When my daughter was six she asked me to play "family", where she played me and I pretended to be her daughter. She promptly sat down at the dining room table, opened my laptop and said, "Oh, hi honey. No, I can't play with you now. I'm working and it's very important. Let's play later." That moment spurred me to stop working at home and move my "world headquarters" to a WeWork office. While it's still tempting to take care of work when I'm at home, I've trained myself to separate home from the office. It feels great. -- Nina Dibner, Executive Director, PowerTools, LLC

7. Stop multitasking. Multitasking is a myth, and for me has resulted in a scattered feeling and poorer quality results. Instead, I "single task." I set my timer for 45 minutes and work on a single project, avoiding my emails. Also, I'm a big believer in checklists. I use Trello and an old fashion notebook to keep track of my tasks for the day. This helps me keep my priorities in mind and I love writing those checks in the box when I've accomplished a task. -- Nina Dibner, Executive Director, PowerTools, LLC

8. Pick your networking commitments carefully. I am pretty social and like networking and connecting people regardless of my mom status. But, it is harder to network, especially at evening events when you want to get home to snuggle with your babies. I pick my events carefully and try and make a few memorable connections at an event instead of lots of ones that I can't remember a week later. I don't say yes to everything. I will often replace an in person meeting with a phone call, unless it is an important first meeting. -- Jill Bigelow, founder of Mama Strut

9. Encourage and partake in workplace flexibility. Being the CEO means I’m in charge of creating the work structure I think is most effective, and supports the highest degree of productivity. For us, this includes offering two work-from-home days/week, and late starts or early departures to allow for easier childcare pickup. -- Cynthia Nimmo, Chief Executive Officer, Women's Funding Network

10. Talk to other moms in your workplace. I'm fortunate that WeWork has such a great network of working moms among both employees and members. Everyone is so supportive and friendly, always willing to have coffee and chat. I've found that taking advantage of every opportunity to sit and talk with other moms has helped me in every step of the way. Being around others who walked in similar shoes is comforting. -- Karly Giaramita, VP, Strategic Events at WeWork

11. Create lists! It's easy to get pulled or sidetracked with projects that pop up, so keeping a list helps to remind me of what's important. -- Karly Giaramita, VP, Strategic Events at WeWork

12. Share the parenting load with other moms, even the ones that aren’t working. The media fuels the myth about working moms vs. stay-at-home moms, and it’s disparaging. Find a way to take turns even if you aren’t around during school days. I drive kids to my son’s soccer games on the weekends; drop off snacks (early) on special school days; and take vacation days to drive to field trips when I can. -- Cynthia Nimmo, Chief Executive Officer, Women's Funding Network

13. Pick one thing a week you can habitually do for your kids, and stick to it. I set aside Tuesday afternoons and pick up my daughter from school. Having that quality time with her has been amazing for our relationship and I'm more than happy to make up the time after she goes to bed. -- Nina Dibner, Executive Director, PowerTools, LLC

14. Accept that you don't always need to get it all done. Cross the hardest things off your list first. Do them now, not tomorrow! Be a good delegator and have trusted team members and consultants that can relieve some of your work. I don’t get it all done, I make lists and prioritize so I can both grow my business and still participate in some leisure and family activities. -- Jill Bigelow, founder of Mama Strut

Photo courtesy of Fashion Mamas.

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As a former beauty editor, I pride myself in housing the best skincare products in my bathroom. Walk in and you're sure to be greeted with purifying masks, micellar water, retinol ceramide capsules and Vitamin C serums. What can I say? Old habits die hard. But when I had my son, I was hesitant to use products on him. I wanted to keep his baby-soft skin for as long as possible, without tainting it with harsh chemicals.

Eventually, I acquiesced and began using leading brands on his sensitive skin. I immediately regretted it. His skin became dry and itchy and regardless of what I used on him, it never seemed to get better. I found myself asking, "Why don't beauty brands care about baby skin as much as they care about adult skin?"

When I had my daughter in May, I knew I had to take a different approach for her skin. Instead of using popular brands that are loaded with petroleum and parabens, I opted for cleaner products. These days I'm all about skincare that contains super-fruits (like pomegranate sterols, which are brimming with antioxidants) and sulfate-free cleansers that contain glycolipids that won't over-dry her skin. And, so far, Pipette gets it right.

What's in it

At first glance, the collection of shampoo, wipes, balm, oil and lotion looks like your typical baby line—I swear cute colors and a clean look gets me everytime—but there's one major difference: All products are environmentally friendly and cruelty-free, with ingredients derived from plants or nontoxic synthetic sources. Also, at the core of Pipette's formula is squalane, which is basically a powerhouse moisturizing ingredient that babies make in utero that helps protect their skin for the first few hours after birth. And, thanks to research, we know that squalane isn't an irritant, and is best for those with sensitive skin. Finally, a brand really considered my baby's dry skin.

Off the bat, I was most interested in the baby balm because let's be honest, can you ever have too much protection down there? After applying, I noticed it quickly absorbed into her delicate skin. No rash. No irritation. No annoyed baby. Mama was happy. It's also worth noting there wasn't any white residue left on her bottom that usually requires several wipes to remove.


Why it's different

I love that Pipette doesn't smell like an artificial baby—you, know that powdery, musky note that never actually smells like a newborn. It's fragrance free, which means I can continue to smell my daughter's natural scent that's seriously out of this world. I also enjoy that the products are lightweight, making her skin (and my fingers) feel super smooth and soft even hours after application.

The bottom line

Caring for a baby's sensitive skin isn't easy. There's so much to think about, but Pipette makes it easier for mamas who don't want to compromise on safety or sustainability. I'm obsessed, and I plan to start using the entire collection on my toddler as well. What can I say, old habits indeed die hard.

This article was sponsored by Pipette. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Military families give up so much for their country, particularly when they have small children at home. Those of us who have never witnessed this kind of sacrifice first-hand could use a reminder of it once in a while, which is just one of the reasons we're so happy to see the beautiful photoshoot Mary Chevalier arranged for her husband's return home from Afghanistan.

The photoshoot was extra special because while James Chevalier was serving a nine-month deployment, Mary gave birth to their second son, Caspian.

Getting ready to meet Dad

"During the laboring and birthing process of Caspian, I was surrounded by family, but that did not fill the void of not having my husband by my side," Mary told InsideEdition.com. "He was able to video chat during the labor and birth, but for both of us, it was not enough."

While James had yet to meet Caspian, their 3-year-old son, Gage, missed his dad a whole lot, so this homecoming was going to be a big deal for him too. That's why Mary arranged for her wedding photographer, Brittany Watson, to be with them for their reunion in Atlanta.

Gage was so happy to see his Dad 

"[He] had no idea he was going to be getting to see his daddy that day," Watson wrote on Facebook. "The family met at the Southeastern Railway Museum for Gage to go on a special train ride... little did he know, he'd be doing it with daddy!"

Watson did a beautiful job capturing the high emotions of every single family member, from Gage's surprise, to the delight on baby Caspian's face. It's no wonder her Facebook post went viral last week.

"Caspian is natural, a very happy baby, but both James and I felt like Caspian knew who his father was almost immediately," Mary told Inside Edition. "He was easily comforted by me husband right off the bat and seemed to have an instant connection. It was very emotional."

The moment this dad had been waiting for 

If we're sobbing just looking at the photos, we can't even imagine what it was like in real life.

"We are all so blessed and take so much for granted," Watson wrote. "I cannot contain the joy I feel in my heart when I look at these images, and I hope you feel it too!"


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During both of my pregnancies, I was under the care of an amazing midwife. Every time I went to her office for check-ups, I was mesmerized by the wall of photos participating in what may be the most painfully magical moment of a woman's life: giving birth. But there was a painting that always drew my attention: a woman dressed in orange, holding her newborn baby with a face that could be described as clueless. The line above the canvas read, "Now what?"

I felt like the woman in the painting as I kissed my mother goodbye when my daughter was born. She came from my native Colombia to stay with us for three months. When she left, I realized that my husband had been working as usual during those first 90 days of our new life. My baby was born on a Friday and on Monday he was back at the office. (No parental leave policy for him.)

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Now what? I thought. The quote "It takes a village to raise a child" suddenly started to hit home, literally.

After a few years in Miami, I had some friends, but it truly didn't feel like I had a village. Some were not mothers yet, most of them worked full-time and others didn't live close by. My nomad life left my best friends spread out in different places in the world. I found myself signing up for "mommy and me" classes in search of new mothers, immigrants like me, alone like me.

It seemed like a utopian dream to think about when my grandmothers became mothers. Both of them had 6 and 10 children and they were able to stay sane (or maybe not? I don't know). But at least they had family around—people cooking, offering help. There was a sense of community.

My mother and father grew up in "the village." Big families with so many children that the older siblings ended up taking care of the little ones; aunts were like second mothers and neighbors became family.

When I was about to give birth to my second baby, my sister had just had her baby girl back in Colombia. Once, she called me crying because her maternity leave was almost over. My parents live close to her, so that was a bonus. Hiring a nanny back there is more affordable. But even seeing the positive aspects of it, I wished I could have been there for her, to be each other's village.

The younger me didn't realize that when I took a plane to leave my country in search of new experiences 19 years ago, I was giving up the chance to have my loved ones close by when I became a mother. And when I say close by, I mean as in no planes involved.

It hasn't been easy, but after two kids and plenty of mommy and me classes and random conversations that became true connections, I can say I have a mini-village, a small collection of solitudes coming together to lean on each other. But for some reason, it doesn't truly feel like one of those described in the old books where women gathered to knit while breastfeeding and all the children become like siblings.

Life gets in the way, and everyone gets sucked into their own worlds. In the absence of a true village, we feel the pressure to be and do everything that once was done by a group of people. We often lose perspective of priorities because we are taking care of everything at the same time. Starting to feel sick causes anxiety and even fear because it means so many things need to happen in order for mom—especially if single—to lay down and recover while the children are taken care of. And when the children get sick, that could mean losing money for a working mother or father, because the truth is that most corporations are not designed to nurture families.

In the absence of that model of a village I long for, we tend to rely on social media to have a sense of community and feel supported. We may feel that since we are capable of doing so much—working and stay at home moms equally—perhaps we don't need help. Or quite the opposite: mom guilt kicks in and feelings of not being enough torment our night sleep. Depression and anxiety can enter the picture and just thinking about the amount of energy and time that takes to create true connections, we may often curl up in our little cocoon with our children and partners—if they are present—when they come home.

Now what? was my thought this week while driving back and forth to the pediatrician with my sick son. I can't get the virus, I have to be strong, my daughter can't get ill, my husband needs to be healthy for his work trip next week, we all need to be well for my son's fifth birthday. And so, it goes on. I texted one of my mom friends just to rant. She rants back because her son is also sick. She sent me a heart and an "I'm here if you need to talk."

I am grateful to have talked to her at that random postpartum circle when I first became a mother. She's a Latina immigrant like me and feels exactly like me. I will do it more, get out of my comfort zone and have—sometimes—awkward conversations so I can keep growing my own little village.

It may not look like the one I'd imagined, but still may allow me to be vulnerable even through a text message.

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Halloween is around the corner, but if you are like me you are still trying to figure out what to dress your family (especially the little ones), so here are some cute ideas inspired by famous characters. There's something for everyone—from cartoon lovers to ideas for the entire family!

Here are some adorable character costumes for your family:

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