Top survival hacks for working mums
TV star Gorgi Coghlan is on a mission to help women master the art of juggling career and family.
The Project co-host is running a workshop to encourage other working mums to follow her lead and stop being so hard on themselves and others.
Coghlan's strategy for finding the balance between work and home life is simple.
Firstly, she has learned to say "No" to jobs which don't bring her joy. She surrounds herself with supportive female friends. And she also enjoys a cup of tea in complete silence every morning while her husband and daughter, Molly-Rose, are still in bed asleep.
"So many of us are juggling motherhood and careers and trying to keep so many balls in the air," she said.
"There's a lot of guilt involved in that. But many of the women in my tribe say that if they were at home seven days a week then they wouldn't feel satisfied. They want to have a career.
"We need to be kinder on ourselves and each other."
Coghlan believes working mums are among the most harshly criticised groups in society. As a result, she said, many women feel guilt and stress striving to meet impossible standards.
Coghlan, who runs a boutique hotel in Ballarat as well as co-hosting The Project three nights a week, admits to feeling anxiety at trying to stay on top of everything until she found a unique way to cope.
"I get up an hour before the rest of the house, I make myself a cup of tea and I sit in a chair that I have had specially-upholstered just for me," she says.
"I don't touch my phone or any technology for that hour. I just sit in the quiet."
She has also had to learn to stop being such a people-pleaser.
"I have had to learn to say: "No" because any minute that I spend on something that I am not passionate about is a minute I am not with my family," she says.
"I know it's not as simple as that for everyone."
The Art of Juggling workshop, which will be held over lunch on June 1 at Coghlan's hotel restaurant, is the brain child of the star and her long-time friend PR guru Lina Cabai.
They were inspired to hold the event after hearing from many other women about how they were struggling with the pressures of their busy lifestyles.
"Gorgi and I have been friends for 12 years and shared the highs and lows and everything in between that I like to call ordered chaos," Cabai, a mother-of-two, said.
"I maintain that as women we can have it all just not always at the same time. I am grateful to have a group of women around me who support me without judgment. It's important to know that you are not alone and that it's OK to be vulnerable."
TOP TEN SURVIVAL HACKS FOR WORKING MUMS
1. A cup of calm for 30mins. Try and do this daily before your family wake up or at night when everyone's in bed. This can include a cuppa with a book or meditation to help you relax and unwind. It's amazing how stillness and a positive reflection can set the tone for your day.
2. Keep a judge-free tribe close. Surround yourself with friends and family that listen, lift you and love you. Navigating your way through parenting is hard enough, so choose wisely who you spend your time with.
3. Learn to say no. Make calendar notes your best friend and don't be afraid to set your own
boundaries before committing to every kids' birthday, training or social event.
4. Befriend yourself. List all the things you would love to do for a girlfriend who's burning out. Now tweak that list for you and tick one activity off each month. Learn to be kind to yourself.
5. De-friend digital. We all love to capture our kids' moments and milestones. Try capture that
moment in person and less on screen. Turning off notifications and setting time restraints on social media can also do wonders for decreasing weekly screen time.
6. Date nights. Lock in a date with your partner or your children where you can look forward to some one-on-one time. This doesn't have to be grandiose. It's a chance to reconnect and enjoy each other's company.
7. Value your professional self. Give yourself the gift of time and map out your career and family dreams. Understand your value and have a discussion with your employer to help them understand the changes needed to support your working family.
8. It's OK to leave work early. While employers expect flexibility, you can request the same in return. Research shows working mums are some of the workplace's most productive employees in Australia.
9. Comparison is the death of joy (says Mark Twain!). Stop comparing your life to others on
Instagram, Facebook and how other people choose to parent. Dance to the beat of your own drum and do what's right for you and your family.
10. Downtime equals me time. Book in something to look forward to so everything doesn't seem so overwhelming and never ending. It can be a picnic, sharing a meal with your family (or not!) or simply a day to yourself.