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OK, real estate mamas, this topic is one that resonates near and dear to my heart. I remember clear as day wrestling with a significant case of “mom guilt” when my marriage ended. 

I was faced with shifting my ideals from what I thought would be my idyllic stay-at-home-mama life to becoming a career-focused super-mom who could pay the bills and somehow not ruin my kids’ lives along the way. (Yes, I know, a very dramatic and untrue inner monologue, but it was one I wrestled with nonetheless.) 

I’m going to share with all of you the strategies I’ve learned along the way that have helped me combat the inevitable mom guilt and have allowed me to shift those insecurities into #Momspiration instead.

First and foremost let’s face it: For the most part, times are different now. In previous generations, it was more common for moms to stay home with their children after giving birth, while the other parent focused on their careers. 

And don’t even get me started about divorce. Depending on your culture or faith, divorce was (and in many places still is) considered taboo, whereby if you succumb, you’re doomed to be permanently branded with a “scarlet letter.” 

However, in today’s world, there’s not only a significant shift in the traditional gender roles of parenting, but we’ve also learned that children who are a by-product of divorce are just as capable to become happy and healthy adults as children who come from a traditionally modeled home. It all comes down to the planning, prioritizing and effort that you put into your family, self-care and career formula. 

In fact, some studies suggest that the younger generations of new parents are more likely to support gender equality in the workplace and in family roles and therefore prioritize finding careers that offer work-life balance and flexible schedules — such as the role of a real estate agent. 

I’m not going to sugarcoat matters. Juggling responsibilities with children while beginning your career journey can be challenging, but there are several strategies that can help:

Create a schedule

Every Sunday, sit down and establish a consistent weekly schedule for yourself and your family to help you stay organized and manage your time effectively. Sit down with your partner (or yourself) and make a list of the daily tasks and commitments for the upcoming week and prioritize them based on their importance.

Plan ahead

Prepare your kiddos and yourself for the upcoming day the night before, and pack lunches, lay out clothes, and organize any necessary supplies before you go to sleep. This will ensure that you get a decent night’s sleep while saving you time and reducing your stress levels in the morning.

Remain flexible

Recognize that unexpected things will come up, and there are times you will simply have to be prepared to adjust your schedule accordingly. Having a flexible mindset as well as reliable backup resources will help you to adapt and can help you manage unexpected challenges.

Communicate with your clients

Be open, honest and vulnerable with your clients, and let them know you’re a dedicated mama while reassuring them that you’ve got workflows and strategies in place to make sure clients and kiddos are prioritized and kept happy. 

Research your daycare options

If you’re not able to have a family member stay home with the kids while you’re out in the field, do your due diligence and make sure you have reliable childcare in place. This may mean hiring a nanny or enrolling your child in a daycare or after-school program. You might also consider sharing the responsibilities with other Realtor parents to reduce costs and provide additional support.

Additionally, whomever you end up leveraging for childcare, whether it’s your partner, a family member or a nanny, it’s essential to train them to keep you informed about your child’s milestones and progress, especially because there will be times that you’re simply not going to be able to be physically present. 

Basically, create an SOP for them and make it a non-negotiable; it’s simply a part of the job that they’re accepting: 

  • Daily updates such as text messages or photos keep you informed about your child’s day-to-day activities, including any milestones or achievements.
  • Have your provider create a milestone journal or scrapbook with photos and notes about your child’s achievements. This can be a great way to document their progress and also a way for your kiddo to not have any empty pages in that baby book.
  • Make sure your provider knows that you expect them to be on the lookout for significant milestones, such as your child’s first steps or first words, and you want them to do everything they can to capture it on video and then share it with you in the moment. This can lessen the FOMO and guilt quite a bit.

Self-care matters

Although being a cape-wearing supermom/kick-arse Realtor are obviously your #goals, don’t forget that it’s also important to prioritize your own well-being, both physically and mentally. Make time in your schedule for your own self-care rituals to help you recharge and stay focused on your responsibilities. 

This might mean a 20-minute walk around the block while taking a client call and soaking in an Epsom salt bath after the kids are tucked in and asleep.

By implementing these strategies, you can definitely help lessen that “mom guilt” and effectively manage the responsibilities of work and parenting, creating a balance that works for you and your family. 

At the end of the day, the key is to remain flexible, maintain open communication and remember that no matter what you decide to do, there’s no such thing as a perfect parent or a perfect child, and as long as we’re doing what’s best for our family, we truly are doing the best that we can. 

So be kind to yourselves, mamas, and remember: Moms who stay home with the kids all day also have their own version of “mom guilt” where they fantasize about what it’s like to put on clean clothes, talk to grownups and eat adult food. 

Author Stacey Soleil is the Head of Community and Industry Relations for www.followupboss.com as well as Inman contributing writer, national speaker, RRC Adjunct Instructor and WomanUP! Wavemaker.

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