Juggling family, career, and personal life can feel like a three-ring circus for many midlife moms, but fear not. In this blog post, I’m sharing tips for the elusive art of finding balance in your life (and what to do when you’re absolutely drowning).
Midlife is that magical time where we find ourselves gracefully straddling the line between youthful exuberance and well-earned wisdom. I have personally found it to be a great time of rediscovery and positive change.
But let’s be real—it’s also a time when the juggling act becomes a bit trickier, with family, career, and personal life all vying for our attention.
Let’s explore the art of finding balance during this exciting chapter of our lives, and work on mastering the midlife juggle.
There is a lot of great advice in this post, so be sure to pin and save for later!
- The Importance of Finding Balance in Your Life
- Understanding the Challenges of Midlife
- Prioritizing Self-Care and Well-being
- Nurturing Relationships and Family Life
- Advancing in Career and Professional Growth
- Managing Time and Priorities
- What to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed
- Adjusting Expectations
- Final Thoughts
The Importance of Finding Balance in Your Life
Midlife is a stage where physical, emotional, and mental well-being take center stage. When we neglect one area of our lives while focusing excessively on another, we risk compromising our overall well-being. Burnout and chronic health conditions are serious risks at this stage of the game.
Our relationships with family and friends are vital sources of support and happiness. Finding balance allows us to invest time and energy in nurturing these connections. We want to keep these relationships intact amidst the demands of work and other responsibilities.
By embracing balance, we can also inspire our children to create a well-rounded life for themselves.
Understanding the Challenges of Midlife
Midlife moms are the ultimate multi-taskers.
Oh, the joys of family life! From raising kids to supporting aging parents, midlife often finds us smack dab in the middle of family responsibilities. We become expert schedulers, shuttling kids to school, extracurricular activities, and playdates while ensuring we’re there for those important family moments. Plus, let’s not forget the never-ending to-do list of household chores and errands. It’s a whirlwind of love, chaos, and laundry, all rolled into one.
Then there’s work- a place where we spend a good chunk of our waking hours. We may find ourselves striving for promotions, taking on more responsibilities, or even contemplating career changes. Balancing the demands of our jobs, meeting deadlines, attending meetings, and staying on top of the ever-changing work landscape can sometimes feel like a tightrope act.
Amidst the family and career buzz, let’s not forget the importance of our personal lives. Midlife is a time when we yearn for self-care, personal growth, and moments of pure bliss. But finding time for ourselves can feel next to impossible.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve felt the struggle of succeeding in one aspect of your life and yet totally failing in another. Why can’t it all be good, all the time?!
While the challenges of midlife may seem overwhelming at times, it’s essential to acknowledge and address them head-on. Ignoring only leads to further imbalance.
Instead, let’s find ways to overcome these hurdles to achieve the much-coveted balance we seek.
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Prioritizing Self-Care and Well-being
Self-care provides that precious opportunity to hit the pause button, take a deep breath, and refuel our energy tanks. Sometimes it feels selfish. Other times it feels like just another thing to try and squeeze into the schedule. Regardless of how it feels to us, it’s crucial for our well-being.
You’ve probably heard others compare self-care to the safety announcement they make on planes about putting on your oxygen mask before assisting others. It’s a cliche, but a great analogy. Self-care is your oxygen mask in the midlife chaos.
By prioritizing your own well-being, you’re better equipped to take care of those around you
Self-care practices for midlife moms
Self-care is all about honoring your own unique needs. Whatever you need may not be the same thing your midlife mom friend needs.
Honor the things you need and dance to the beat of your own drum.
If you need a little inspiration, here are some self-care ideas you can consider:
- Mom’s Time-Out: Give yourself permission to take a “mom’s time-out” whenever you need it. Find a quiet corner of your home, grab a cup of tea or coffee, and just breathe. Use this time to disconnect from the chaos, recharge, and collect your thoughts.
- Girls’ Night (or Day) Out: Gather your fellow mom friends and plan a girls’ night out (or day out) filled with laughter, good food, and meaningful conversations. Whether it’s a fancy dinner, a movie night, or a fun outing, spending quality time with friends who understand the joys and challenges of midlife motherhood is a wonderful form of self-care.
- Nurturing Hobbies and Interests: Rediscover or pursue hobbies and interests that bring you pure delight. Whether it’s painting, gardening, writing, dancing, or any other passion, dedicating time to your creative outlets can be a source of immense joy and personal fulfillment.
- Mini Meditations: Try practicing mindfulness and meditation by spending a few minutes connecting with your thoughts and breath. Do it all at once, or in snippets throughout the day. The Headspace app is the easiest way to get started.
Practical tips for incorporating self-care into a busy midlife routine
- Treat self-care as a non-negotiable appointment with yourself. Block off dedicated time in your schedule, whether it’s 15 minutes or an hour, and stick to it. Treat it as you would any other important commitment and prioritize it accordingly.
- Recognize that self-care doesn’t always have to be time-consuming. Identify quick activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as listening to uplifting music, taking a short walk, doing a mindfulness exercise, or engaging in deep breathing.
- Consider adjusting your sleep routine to carve out extra time for self-care. Waking up earlier or going to bed a bit later can provide precious moments of solitude and self-care.
- Don’t hesitate to delegate and share responsibilities with your partner, family members, or trusted support network. By sharing the load, you create more time for yourself.
- Look for opportunities to combine self-care with your existing daily activities. For example, listen to a podcast or uplifting audiobook while commuting or doing household chores.
- Learn to set boundaries and say “no” to commitments that don’t align with your well-being or values. Understand that it’s okay to prioritize yourself and your self-care needs.
- Bring mindfulness to your self-care routine by being fully present in the activities you engage in. Whether it’s taking a bath, enjoying a meal, or spending time with loved ones, immerse yourself in the experience and savor each moment.
- Embrace flexibility and adaptability when it comes to self-care. Life can be unpredictable, and plans may change. Instead of becoming discouraged, find alternative ways to incorporate self-care into your routine.
Nurturing Relationships and Family Life
In the whirlwind of midlife, it’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of daily life and lose sight of the importance of nurturing our relationships with loved ones. However, maintaining strong connections with those who matter most is vital for our well-being and overall sense of fulfillment. Here’s why:
- Emotional Support: Our loved ones are our pillars of strength, providing us with comfort, understanding, and a safe space to express ourselves. Strong connections with family, friends, and partners offer a support system that can help us navigate the challenges of midlife.
- Shared Joy and Celebrations: Life’s joys are best when shared with loved ones. Sharing laughter, creating memories, and celebrating each other’s successes amplifies the joy and adds meaning to our lives.
- Unconditional Love and Acceptance: Having those connections reminds us that we are valued for who we are, flaws and all. It’s a reminder that we don’t have to face midlife alone, and that our loved ones accept us wholeheartedly.
- Joyful Connections: The connections we have with loved ones bring joy and meaningful conversations. Engaging in genuine conversations and connecting on a deeper level nourishes our souls.
One of the GIGANTIC reasons I decided to leave my full-time job just before I turned 40, was because I realized all of my mental energy was going to my career, whether I wanted it to or not. Meanwhile, time with my children was flying right past me.
I knew I didn’t want my children to look back and remember me as a tired and stressed mom. I’m attempting to now design a life that includes a part-time career, pursuit of personal interests, and the ability to care for them the best I can.
Strategies for balancing family responsibilities with personal and career goals
Clarify your priorities by identifying what truly matters to you. Reflect on your personal and career goals and determine the core values that guide your decision-making. This clarity will help you allocate your time, energy, and resources accordingly.
A vision board is a fun and creative way to visualize your goals and priorities.
Communicate and Collaborate
Effective communication is key to maintaining a healthy balance. Engage in open and honest conversations with your family, partner, and colleagues about your responsibilities, commitments, and aspirations.
The Fair Play deck of cards is a great way to start those conversations and make sure responsibilities are evenly distributed.
Set boundaries to create a clear separation between your family time, personal time, and work obligations. Define specific periods for family activities, personal hobbies, and focused work.
Remember, you need to set aside time for self-care!
If you don’t set boundaries, and you find yourself saying “yes” to everything, you will find yourself extremely burned out.
Repeat after me: “IT’S OK TO SAY NO!”
Maximize Efficiency and Time Management
Embrace productivity tools, prioritize tasks, and focus on high-impact activities that align with your goals. Streamlining and optimizing your time management allows you to make the most of your available time, creating space for all facets of your live.
One of my favorite management tools is Google Keep. It syncs up my lists to all other Google Suite apps to keep me on the ball. I can also share lists with my husband, so we’re always on the same page. Don’t sleep on Google Keep!
Advancing in Career and Professional Growth
While it may feel daunting to pursue professional growth during this stage of life, it’s important to remember that there are unique advantages and experiences that can propel you forward.
It’s also really important that we are bringing in as much income as possible to continue working on building wealth and ensuring financial freedom through retirement.
If you can negotiate a salary increase, go for it! You might be concerned about age bias, but midlife professionals often have a wealth of experience and expertise in their field. Highlighting your achievements, industry-specific knowledge, and problem-solving abilities can set you apart from younger competitors.
Embrace the mindset of lifelong learning and continuous development. Seek out training programs, workshops, certifications, or even higher education opportunities that can enhance your skills and knowledge.
Staying curious and open to learning not only expands your expertise but also demonstrates your commitment to personal and professional growth.
Considering a Midlife Career Change
If you find yourself burned out by your career and there doesn’t seem to be any room for growth, it might be time to consider a change.
Finding balance might mean letting go of the hopes you had for your current job and seeking new opportunities.
Maybe it’s time to to explore entrepreneurial ventures! Your years of experience, industry insights, and network can be the perfect foundation for starting your own business or pursuing freelance work.
Managing Time and Priorities
Balancing family, career, and personal life requires effective time management techniques to optimize your time and ensure that each area receives the attention it deserves.
Plan and Organize
Develop a system for planning and organizing your time. Utilize calendars, planners, or digital tools to schedule and track your activities, appointments, and deadlines.
I mentioned Google Keep earlier and I really do stand by it! Making digital lists, sharing them with others, and syncing them to your calendars and email is a very efficient way to keep everything in one place.
Delegate and Outsource
Don’t hesitate to delegate tasks and responsibilities to others. Share household chores with your family members or consider outsourcing certain tasks like cleaning or grocery shopping.
Delegating frees up time and energy for other important areas of your life, allowing you to maintain a better balance.
Create routines that streamline your daily activities. Establish consistent schedules for waking up, meal times, work hours, family time, and self-care.
Routines provide structure and make it easier to manage your time effectively while ensuring that you allocate sufficient time to each aspect of your life.
Routines also make parenting a whole heck of a lot easier. If your kids are learning new routines, make sure you include visuals or written lists for them to follow, until it becomes habit.
Practice Time Blocking
Use time blocking techniques to dedicate specific blocks of time to different activities. Set aside uninterrupted periods for focused work, family time, and personal activities. This helps create boundaries and prevents one area from encroaching on another.
Respect the allocated time for each activity, and avoid multitasking, as it can reduce efficiency and focus.
Consolidate and Batch Tasks
Look for opportunities to consolidate similar tasks and batch them together.
For example, group household errands into a single trip, respond to emails at designated times rather than throughout the day, or schedule meetings back-to-back to create blocks of uninterrupted work time.
Batching tasks reduces transitions and improves efficiency.
Regularly Evaluate and Adjust
Regularly assess your time management strategies to determine their effectiveness. Reflect on what’s working well and what needs adjustment. Make necessary tweaks to your routines, schedules, and strategies to ensure they align with your evolving priorities and help you maintain balance.
Whatever you do, don’t get stuck in your ways!
What to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed
There may come a time when you’ve given it your best shot, and you’re still overwhelmed. Sometimes life just comes at us too fast!
Don’t hesitate to seek support. Asking for help can be one of the hardest and bravest things a mom can do.
Remind yourself you’re doing the best you can! This midlife thing is really dang hard.
When going through a rough patch (and seeking help), sometimes you just need a gentler approach to keeping up with everything.
This book has helped me through some rough patches until I worked my way out of it. The author, KC Davis, reminds us that a messy house is not a moral failing. She focuses on self-compassion and practical approaches. I highly recommend if you find yourself “drowning.”
There have been many times during motherhood I’ve had to take a step back and adjust my expectations. The way I define success is unique to me and my personal values and shouldn’t be tied to whatever my neighbors are doing.
This has meant cutting back on the number of after-school activities my children are involved in and finding way to have fun as a family without breaking the bank.
It’s meant switching careers and pursuing self-employment.
Make sure you aren’t being unrealistic with your goals. We weren’t mean to “do it all” and if we try, we might miss out on some of the most amazing parts of being a midlife mom.
Finding balance in your life is a dynamic and ever-evolving journey. Balancing family, career, and personal life requires conscious effort and the willingness to adjust expectations.
Remember, it’s okay to prioritize yourself and make choices that align with your values and aspirations.
Embrace the challenges, celebrate the opportunities, and navigate the intricate dance of midlife responsibilities with grace, resilience, and a commitment to finding your unique balance.
You might also be interested in some other posts I’ve written about being a midlife mom:
- Being a Mom Is Hard (23 Honest Truth)
- Self-Care for Working Moms: 12 Easy Ideas to Try
- 10 Reasons Headspace Is One of the Best Apps for Moms
- How to Invest in Yourself as a Woman in Early Midlife
- Midlife Mom Guide to Rediscovering Yourself
- Midlife Career Change: Advice for Success
Over to you- how are you finding balance in your life? Do any of these tips work really well for you? What would you add? Let me know in the comments!