6 Ways I Practice Work-Life Balance as a Working Mom

When I was in high school I imagined myself as a CMO of a Fortune 500 company wearing a suit everyday to the office. I went to college, studied marketing, and went on to get my MBA. I married, moved to Austin, started my dream job and found out I was pregnant a few months later. I was elated to start a family, but I had no idea how it would drastically shift my career priorities. I leaned in, had a baby, leaned out, leaned back in, had twins, and well….it’s fuzzy after that. I’ve learned quite a bit these past 8 years about how to find work-life balance as a working mom. Here are my top tips! 

6 Ways I Practice Work-Life Balance as a Working Mom  | Jesse Coulter


I’ve learned the hard way how a company who doesn’t value family and work-life balance can truly make you unhappy in your career. I know some mothers don’t bring up their family in interviews due to biases, however I always bring up my children and their importance in my life. They are my why, and I can’t separate them from the work I do. I want to be surrounded by peers and leaders that are open about family being of utmost importance. I am very relationship based, and when I join a company I want to feel like we are one big family.


Whether it is an exercise class, a solo shopping trip or binging my favorite show after the kids are asleep. I always make time for myself during the week. I am a very independent person and thrive off alone time without my kids yelling in my ear. Exercise makes me feel physically and mentally strong, but taking the time in a busy week is tough. Pre-COVID I would walk around the building during lunch or take a 15 minute break and chat with a coworker. These days I walk in my neighborhood or do an in-home workout. Whatever your self care looks like, the important thing to remember is it isn’t selfish and is extremely important to living a balanced life.  

6 Ways I Practice Work-Life Balance as a Working Mom  | Jesse Coulter
6 Ways I Practice Work-Life Balance as a Working Mom  | Jesse Coulter
6 Ways I Practice Work-Life Balance as a Working Mom  | Jesse Coulter


It’s easy to feel isolated when dealing with the stress of work and parenting, which is why it’s extremely important to spend time with other working moms who are experiencing the same thing. Pre-pandemic I would often grab lunch or go to happy hour with other moms in the office to chat about life and kids. I felt so relieved to know they had the same feelings I did, and I always learned something that was helpful in my work-life balance journey. These days we slack each other about our struggles (ahem….remote learning), and you’d be surprised how comforting a slack message is. 


Do not be afraid to ask for help from your spouse, family or friends if you need it. Mothers were never meant to raise their children alone, that’s why the term “It takes a village” is so important. My husband and I consider ourselves a team, and it’s assumed we pull our weight 50/50. He does the dishes, I do the laundry, he cooks, I clean, he takes care of the finances, I put the kids to bed. Every night we both lay out what our morning will look like the next day to see who will be able to take the kids to school. We both take early morning calls, so it’s a constant team effort to get the kids ready and out the door. Ultimately we both value and support each other’s careers, and do what it takes to raise our family and work full-time. 

Also, if you can afford it...outsource! We also have a house cleaner that comes twice a month and it's a huge stress reliever and time saver. I also think any type of meal service would also be extremely helpful on weeknights.

6 Ways I Practice Work-Life Balance as a Working Mom  | Jesse Coulter
6 Ways I Practice Work-Life Balance as a Working Mom  | Jesse Coulter
6 Ways I Practice Work-Life Balance as a Working Mom  | Jesse Coulter

Photos: Madeline Harper | Location: Garey House


I believe it’s extremely important to communicate with your employer up front about having a family. The hope is that your boss would also value work-life balance and family, and you would have an open communication about your needs as a working mom.  Sometimes you hit the manager lottery, and sometimes you aren't so lucky. During my time at IBM, I’ve been surrounded by inspirational leaders that truly value family. I’ve gotten the dreaded call from the school nurse plenty of times, and when I told my boss they immediately said to drop everything and go! No questions asked. There have been important school celebrations I’ve asked to attend like my son’s Kindergarten graduation or my twin’s holiday party at daycare, and all of my managers have been extremely accommodating.  It’s a huge relief as a parent and employee to know your company supports you and if something happened with your children, they would be there to support you. I wish I had been working at IBM when I had children, because their maternity leave policy is absolutely amazing!


Every working mother will experience guilt and telling a mother to not feel guilt is impossible. Dropping your baby off at daycare for the first time always has its sting, but you have to embrace the guilt and move on. Think of the bigger picture. Why are you pursuing your career? What are your children learning from you about work ethic, perseverance and passion? The world is SLOWLY shifting its view on working mothers, but it’s still a constant struggle. Simply know that guilt will be there, especially as a new mom, but keep your eyes on your why and it will help combat those negative feelings. 

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