To Work or Not to Work?: 6 Dilemmas and Solutions

Work Issue: You Feel Crunched for Time


Unfortunately, there is no magic formula that coordinates your work schedule, household tasks, and family responsibilities. In the beginning, it may seem like nothing and nobody is getting the proper amount of attention. And just when you think you have it all together, your baby needs to go to the doctor or your babysitter is sick.

The Solution: Don't beat yourself up. Being a working mother is a new job in itself; it takes time to adjust and work out the kinks. Asking for your partner's help, creating a master family calendar so you're all on the same page, and preparing your manager for the fact that you'll occasionally have a child-care crisis can help smooth the transition.

Perhaps most important, Craddock suggests developing a skill she calls "learning to live in the moment." You've got to get your mind off your kids when you're at work and unplug from work at home, she advises. This kind of focus allows you to make the most of whatever task you're doing. She suggests setting strict boundaries -- such as not taking work home and limiting personal calls at the office -- so you're not shortchanging work or family.

You're probably all too familiar with the term "quality time," but to make your new life work, you need to take this concept to heart. Any time you spend cuddling or reading a book to your child is vital for cementing the parent-child bond. Having these precious moments at least once a day can help you reconnect to the joys of motherhood.

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