It’s never easy being a mom trying to juggle a full-time job with a family life. Read on for tips on how you can stay close with your children and still reach an ideal work-life balance.

1. Find Quality Childcare

Create a list of criteria that are important and then schedule time to interview qualified childcare providers or to tour local daycare. A good childcare provider should have extensive experience, excellent references, and a record to prove it. A good daycare facility should have flexible hours, a low teacher-to-student ratio, outdoor space, up-to-date licenses, and employees who have had their backgrounds checked.

Schedule a trial session to check out the childcare or daycare facility and see how your child reacts to the environment and teachers or minders respectively.

2. Make the Mornings Easier

Start the day on the right foot by getting organized the night before. Have the kids’ school uniform, school bags and water bottles laid out the night before. Decide what to make for breakfast and have your work bag and their school bags placed by the door, so you can grab them and lock up on your way out.

Discuss the next day’s to-do list or any changes over meal times the night before. This will eliminate unnecessary stress during the morning rush.

3. Create and Organize a Family Calendar

Figure out your family’s priorities. A calendar can include dates when bills are due, a chore chart for the kids, a list of school and family events, extracurricular activities, birthdays, and more. Use Google calendars, which can be easily shared and synced on smartphones. Color-code your calendar according to each family members’ favorite colors so you can always be on top of scheduling challenges.

4.Communicate with Your Employer

Build a good relationship with your employer so that you can ask for flexible work arrangements. Research whether other employees have flexible arrangements and use this information to your advantage. Every employer is different, so it is a good idea to talk to your colleagues first to test the waters on how open your employer is to flexible work arrangements.

A good working relationship with your boss will also ensure you an easier transition when you need to ask for maternity leave or childcare leave to care for your young ones without comprising your work performance.

5. Stay Connected with Your Kids During the Day

Leave the guilty feelings behind by staying connected with your children even when you are not together. Use your technology to your advantage. Check in with your kids during your lunch break by face-timing with them and their child minders. Leave them personal notes in their lunch boxes or pencil cases to let them know you are thinking of them. And for older kids with mobile phones, you can record yourself talking or singing on a video or reading along to your child’s favorite book.

If you’re going to miss or be late to an older child’s event, give her something special in the morning, like a good-luck charm.  Look into options for filming the event so you can watch it later and not miss a moment.

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