Dear Dr. Karol,
How do you balance your desire to make your own money as a professional or to have a great career, because you want to be independent (even if you don’t admit to yourself), and your family requirements, including potentially a husband that wants you to stay at home?
I think there is no right or wrong answer to this question. It all depends on your view of what is OK and what is not. I think we, mothers, know that once we become mothers life is never the same again! So how do you balance your needs and your family needs? I think the answer is already in the question. Balance! You have to find the balance that works for you. Here are some tips that you may want to do to achieve balance in your life.
- Prioritize things and people. Know that you can’t attend to everybody and everything 100 percent.
- Involve your husband and/or your family to help more with the children. It is really good for children to have quality time with their father and extended family members.
- Try to do some of your work at home after the children asleep. (Yes try to have a regular sleeping schedule for them, so they can go to bed early!!)
- Work towards inner peace and let go of your guilt regarding the fact that you decided or had to work.
- Give children chores to do at home. Make it a fun activity. For instance my 3.5 year-old son really enjoys helping me to wash vegetables and to cook. I kill 2 birds with one stone with this activity. The truth is he is mostly watching me do the work, but at least he feels that we are playing together as he doesn’t like to play by himself very much.
- Don’t be embarrassed to make some of your phone calls while you are with your children. If my day is packed, I return my clients’ calls, particularly when I am outdoors as children are better entertained in a playground and therefore less needy of my constant attention.
Karol Nechushtan, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist with the focus on family therapy. Dr. Nechushtan lives in Los Angeles greater area and has two young children. She has her own private practice and is also available for phone consultations. You can visit her at: www.doctorkarol.com.