From Aleteia’s sister site, For Her:
How do working mothers of really big families do it? How to they manage the demands of a career, and say, 10 kids?
To find out, we talked to Juliette Kulda, an award-winning realtor (ranked the #5 Keller Williams individual agent in 2015) in Half Moon Bay, California. Kulda is wife to Derek and mom to their 10 children, ages 1 to 22. Kulda has not only found guilt-free ways to integrate motherhood and her career, but she’s discovered that her career and motherhood are better together. Here are some of her tips for making it all work.
Manage Stress By Accepting That Chaos Is Inevitable
There’s no way around it: any attempt to balance work and family life will be challenging (as is everything involving motherhood!). But simply accepting that life is chaotic—and not wasting energy fighting that—can give you some peace of mind.
“At first, I intended to work at the office only two days a week and work from home on the other days,” Kulda said in an email. “As you could imagine, it was not easy being on-call to meet clients’ immediate needs while still running a busy household. There is no such thing as a ‘part time’ real estate agent.” Working mothers know that this phase is the “rush hour of life,” and sometimes just accepting that as one of things that we cannot change can be freeing. Kulda and her husband manage their stress and seek guidance through prayer.
Know Your Non-Negotiables
Kulda likes what Gary Keller says in his book The One Thing about work-family balance. “Nothing ever achieves absolute balance. Nothing. No matter how imperceptible it might be, what appears to be a state of balance is something entirely different—an act of balancing,” Keller writes.
Kulda applies Keller’s assertion that “extraordinary results require focused attention and time” to her work and family life. Kulda works hard at the office, but she also has “non-negotiables” that keep her focused as a wife and mother. She and her husband have prioritized “sit-down family dinners each evening, Sunday morning church as a family, and summer vacations at the lake” in their family life. Knowing they can count on these rituals to keep them strong and unified.
“There is a plaque that hangs in the lobby of my office that states the Keller Williams company’s [vision of]: “Shared beliefs and shared success,” Kulda says. “Under ‘Values’ it states: ‘God, family, and then business.’ I loved being an at-home mom, and I think it is the most fulfilling and dignified work a woman can do. Yet the world is changing. Most mothers need to work, which is okay! Just always be sure to keep the end in mind and connect with your children every day.” Knowing that family dinner is sacred can provide a comforting framework for you and your kids.
These are just for starters. Check out the rest.
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