Sanity-saving Strategies for combining working and parenting
With Massage Therapist, Naturopath, Student and Mother, Cristina Galvez…
Mothering and working…
Any woman I talk to who does both these things will say – it’s pretty tough.
Add on top of that your responsibility if you’re in a caring role professionally (statistically, women do gather in these kinds of roles), which is to show up with grounded energy, FULLY there for your patients or clients.
Finally, infuse all this with the strong desire to do it healthily – making sure you are caring for yourself, fulfilling your professional commitments, and showing up with presence and attentiveness for your kids.
Massage therapist & Naturopath, Chinese Medicine Student and Mum, Cristina Galvez has spent a long time learning, practicing and refining this juggling act.
She has been kind enough to share some of her hard won and beautifully integrated lessons with us:
- For balance and mental health the first priority is always…SLEEP. Cris keeps a steady bed-time boundary with her children (despite their frequent protestations). Both mum and kids get a decent sleep and mum has energy and kids are not grumpy. This is the foundation to set up for EVERYTHING else. Without this, the rest is impossible.
- Prioritise finding a way to take time out for yourself, especially for your own exercise – Cristina runs three times a week. Exercise is an important mood booster as well as being good for your body. And remember – this relies on fulfilling number 1 of course!
- Avoid making good parenting tips into rigid rules. For example, getting four colours of fresh veggies balanced in every meal is an awesome guideline but if you try to do this ALL the time you will get worn out. Loosen the reins on perfectionism here. Sometimes you might give them baked veg or let someone else take the reigns on the food production (Cris’ husband does this and as a traditional meat and potatoes kind-a-guy, that’s what they get :))
- Find ways to get as efficient as possible. Cris’ TOP HANDY TIP is to use an air fryer. Everything gets cooked without fat in 15 minutes! She’s totally a fan.
- Give yourself time to transition between roles. If you’ve been mum all morning and you show up at work, plan to get there a little earlier than needed and have a ritual that gets you into mode – for Cris, it’s setting up the room, checking the cushions and towels, making a hot drink and setting into the room. It’s frequently about the transitions, giving yourself just that little bit more space to transition means you avoid and eliminate the stress of not feeling like you’re really there.
- Go easy on yourself. It’s okay to feel like you can’t handle it, you don’t have to pretend and hold it all together all of the time. Learn to let yourself be vulnerable and let people know what’s really going on. That vulnerability gives you the courage to open your heart, allows things to change and makes it easier for you to get help or support. Chances are your kids will know you are doing your best and thankfully many upsets can be soothed with a cuddle.