There’s absolutely no end to the number of books, websites, blogs and articles you can find on work-life balance for working moms. Google the search terms “Tips and Advice for Working Moms” and you’ll discover more than 31 million results for websites and articles devoted to this important topic.
But, what about work-life balance for working moms over 50? Not so much. While searching “Moms over 50” yields more than 7 million results, most of these relate to Internet dating, porn and worse. Yet, there are more moms over the age of 50 leading busy lives both at work and a home than ever before.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the birth rate among women ages 35 to 44 has more than doubled in recent years. What’s happening? Women report that they delay becoming parents until they finished school or their careers were firmly established. Or, they simply weren’t ready at a younger age to take on the demands of marriage and parenthood.
This means that a growing number of women today gave birth to their children in their 30s and beyond. Many of us work outside the home, struggling like other parents to keep things going while making ends meet. We’ve got wisdom on our side but little energy or time. Financial downturns are difficult on all families, but so are teenage crushes, failing grades, tired kids, health issues, and more.
Parenting is an important role for all of us, but trying to juggle both home and work once you’ve received your AARP card can be challenging. Many of us have elderly or sick parents who need our time and attention as well as kids going in ten different directions each day. Time is limited and the pressures are many as Super Mom gives way to “super tired” even before the homework is done for the evening.
Working Moms over 50
There may be some things to ease the pressure and bring greater balance and perspective to the work and home for moms over 50. Check out these Surefire Tips and Advice for Busy Working Moms Over 50. Sure to make a difference.
Know your limitations. Keep an eye on how much you have going both at work and home. Keep your work and home load in check and know when it’s time to place limitations on how much more you can take on each day, week or month.
Learn to say “yes.” Put your pride aside. Accept help and assistance when it’s offered. Be sure to reciprocate by helping out or doing your share next time.
Learn to say “no.” Your energy level isn’t what it was at 20. Learn to say “no” and mean it.
Be flexible with your expectations. There are sure to be times when you need 100% of the home covered while your working on a time-consuming, work-related project. At other times, your partner will need you to cover the home front for awhile.
Share the responsibilities. Equality may frame your work life, but don’t look for 50/50 at home. It’s never an even split with your partner or, even, with your kids.
Take pride in your work. Whether you’re pushing a broom or pushing paper for a living, enjoy what you do and take pride in your efforts. Accept acknowledgment and recognition. You’ve earned it.
Take time to share and mentor. Life after 50 means that you’ve acquired a measure of wisdom that might help others. Take some time to mentor the next generation. Share what you know with others, at work and at home.
Look for resources. Life after 50 can be a juggling act. Make a plan. Find the resources you need to get the job done both at home and at work.
Make time for yourself. A day off or spa weekend is a pipe dream for most Moms over 50. But, 15 minutes in the morning can make a difference. Read the paper. Take the dog for a walk. Enjoy your peaceful, quiet moments.
Keep your sense of humor. Life is hard. Don’t make it harder. Learn to laugh and enjoy your life. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Find the joy. Even in struggle, there’s joy. Find it and hold onto it.
Find your spiritual center. Life without purpose is meaningless. Don’t let a busy life rob your soul. Find and keep your spirituality. Join a church, synagogue, mosque or other faith-based organization. Allow your spiritual side to grow and blossom with age and experience.
Manage your schedule at work and home. Develop a schedule that facilitates a home life and career. Manage your leave bank carefully to allow for family emergencies. Communicate with your supervisor about family medical issues. Seek accommodation when needed.
WORK-LIFE BALANCE RESOURCES
Families and Work Institute
National Center for Health Statistics
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Equal Stress? Five surprising ways that attitudes toward parenting, careers and work-life balance have changed among modern couples. By Dina Fine Maron for Newsweek (March 26, 2009)