Remotely working mothers. Work-life balance tips tried and tested by Oakywood
Combining a professional career with raising children without sacrificing either of them is an easy task – easy like performing a salto mortale or executing a clean quadruple axel. Remaining equally engaged in each of life’s spheres is a monstrous task. To celebrate Mother’s Day, we decided to look at this issue from the perspective of working mothers in our own team: how they deal with everyday life, how they navigate their realities, and what role do new technologies play in their endeavours.
Remote work vs. everyday life
Armchair life coaches and agony aunts alike will tell you that ‘it all comes down to organization’. This theory has ling been disproven by working mothers everywhere - but in every myth there is a grain of truth. Effective organization might not resolve all your daily problems but it sure makes life easier and prevents many problems from arising.
How do our Oakymoms organize their lives to care for their families, their work, and themselves? Let’s find out.
What helps me maintain balance and work well? Planning my day and taking into account time for work, children’s transport, their meals, and a moment to breathe. Remote work gives you more freedom in planning out your time – having clearly defined priorities and a list of tasks is very important. I make meal plans, often for the whole week, and make sure they are quick and easy to execute. I also encourage my children to be independent and, for example, use public transport when I have a meeting or a pressing errand and can’t pick them up. I sometimes coordinate with other moms – we each take turns dropping kids off at school or picking them up.
Setting clear boundaries between my work and private life is equally as important. In times when I’m particularly busy and need some quiet, I communicate this to my children or even suggest specific hours in which they can contact me, tell me about their day, or ask me for help.B2B Relations Representative
We are very lucky to have daycares, nurseries, and schools that give us some time to focus. When a child is sick – especially a younger child – you can forget about getting any of your work done. I believe moms should learn to ‘forgive’ themselves during these times and stop trying to do everything all at once – this is a tendency we women have, but I know first hand how quickly this attitude can backfire. My golden nugget of advice here is: be good to yourself. Be honest about your needs, talk to your child, and be open to compromise: Mommy’s going to work for an hour and then we’ll play, ok?
Parenthood gives us some much needed perspective on life and on work. A child is a wonderful, natural being which allows us to discover a healthy approach to life. In these trying times when danger looms around each corner, problems multiply, we get overworked and burned out… a simple look from your child can make all the difference.Social Media Specialist
When it comes to organization, drawing a clear line between your family and professional lives is imperative: once you’re done with work, you need to switch off and put away everything related to it, making it a ritual of sorts.
For the sake of your peace of mind, it might be wise to take a step back at the very beginning of your work journey. Us working moms have a tendency to chase the ‘superwoman’ archetype in all aspects of life, which – let’s be honest – is impossible! Recognize your strengths and your weaknesses so that you can organize your day in the most seamless way.Customer Service Specialist (FR)
I would like to add that it truly takes a village. Nowadays we often live far away from our families where we don’t have tight-knit, supportive communities. This is why getting involved, even in an online community, or seeking professional help is always a good idea.Social Media Specialist
New technologies for busy parents
These days when newborns come into this world with seemingly innate ability to use a smartphone, coming across new technologies is almost inevitable. This is why, every overworked parent should use them for their benefit: both in organizing their careers and raising their children. At the same time, Marta Drabik-Pietrucha emphasizes the importance of ensuring your children’s safety: ‘If you happen to use them, make sure the apps are educational and the games are age-appropriate – I wouldn’t recommend big entertainment platforms like YouTube because there are many violent themes hidden in well-known but edited cartoons’.
While looking for useful and supportive content for parents (especially for moms), check out podcasts such as Good Inside with Dr Becky or Strong as a Working Mom. Podcasts are a great solution for busy multitaskers as they can be listened to while performing other activities – a sort of 2-in-1 deal ☺
If you wish to streamline your efficiency and organize your everyday work, it could be beneficial to consider getting some technological back up. Here are some tools and apps to make ticking off your to-do lists easier:
- Asana – this is a tool we use at Oakywood everyday ☺ Asana is a fantastic app to use both individually and in team-work setting, especially while working remotely: it allows you to create projects, assign specific tasks, people, and dates. You can also set your priorities, establish goals, and communicate with your team members via the comments section under each task.
- Trello – an alternative for Asana. A tool to help you easily and fluently manage teams working on various projects. It lets you organize tasks using simple boards, lists, and tabs.
- Google Calendar – a Google calendar lets you not only plan your day, week, or month hour by hour, it also allows you to organize online meetings and events. What’s more, a Google calendar connects to other apps and syncs with another person’s calendar, for example your partner’s.
- Toggl – a popular time tracker, a tool allowing you to see how long you spend on each task. It helps in monitoring your progress and improves work organization with your team, clients, or individually.
- Productive – an app to help you shape and monitor good habits. Here you can set goals and manage your journey towards them step by step.
- Forest – an app to increase your productivity and help you concentrate on tasks. This tool introduces a fun game element to your sessions – set a timer for however long you want to spend on a task and plant a virtual tree: if you complete it within the assigned time, the tree will grow; if you lose concentration and shift your focus onto something else, the tree will wither.
We hope that within our tips, insights, and recommendations, you find something to help you productively combine parenthood with your work life, but most of all – reach and maintain balance.