In the News

Tips for women juggling parenthood and career

QIMR Berghofer’s Marketing Manager Julia Little has two children under five and has recently returned to full-time work hours. Read her tips on how she juggles the balance of work, home and life!

  • Make sure you have a good female GP who you know well, with whom you feel comfortable having an honest conversation with about your mental health as well as physical. If you are looking to become pregnant, make sure she knows your plans for how to manage the change in your life, relationships, health and work. If you do not have a good GP, ask friends or family to recommend someone. A strong relationship with my GP post-natal was such a comfort and immensely valuable.
  • Join a local mothers’ group. I have made many lifelong friends from my mothers group, and you can have the freedom to be honest and talk about struggles you may not be comfortable discussing with close friends, partners and family.
  • Be gentle with yourself and forgive yourself when you slip up.
  • Don’t put off your own medical appointments – take a day off and get them all done if you have to. You’ll be surprised how much the mental stress can take its toll on physical health.
  • Be prepared to be flexible and change your routine / household roles and talk to your partner about an approach for doing so.
  • If a viable option, hire a cleaner or some other household help, even if just for cleaning bathrooms an hour or two a fortnight.
  • Let the house get messy – it is not the stage of life for a spotless house.
  • Meditation apps – it is hard to remember to do but if you can make listening one a routine before bed, do so. There are so many great ones available for free.
  • Read books, articles and essay by other working women or mothers for perspective (if you ever have time to). It will help you feel like you’re ‘not alone’ in your juggling act.
  • A solid routine is important but don’t let the clock rule your life all the time. Take the 5 minute detour to try a new coffee place on the way to work once in a while, or take the 5 minutes before making dinner to watch a cartoon with the kids. 
  • Buy a clothes dryer and an indoor clothes drying rack and try and do a load of washing every night or so. Chip away at it so you aren’t overwhelmed with laundry come the weekend.
  • Ask for help, and always say ‘yes’ when it is offered! There is no such thing as a ‘Supermum’.

Julia is a panelist at QIMR Berghofer’s 2021 International Women’s Day Forum: ‘Motherhood and Career: Mission Possible’.

click here to view the Forum