If holding down a job and taking care of your family are already stressful on their own, what more if you are trying to balance both of them? For working moms in particular, the thought of juggling a full-time job and home life can spell disaster especially without the proper management.

It is understandable that moms get too tired to do the chores or to try putting the kids to sleep after coming from work. It’s not unusual that stress would take a toll on them and as a result, they tend to get too irritable especially when trying to quiet down their kids running around the living room or coming home to a pile of dirty dishes in the sink.

But do not lose hope, hardworking moms! While juggling work away from home and family life is never easy, it can be otherwise manageable. Here are some great tips to help you to achieve the ideal work-home life balance.

1) Learn to say “no.”
In our stay-driven, stay-busy, eager-to-please culture, we’re too hard-pressed to say “No” to every requests. Saying “No” can be difficult at first, and you’re afraid to offend anyone if you decline their requests, invitations and propositions. But in the long run, saying “No” allows you to have free time to do other things that matter more to you. It’s fine if you do not have to attend PTA meetings, escort your kids on all of their field trips or accept extra work projects. In fact, saying “No” is one of the keys to a healthy, stress-free life. It’s okay not to act like a Supermom all the time. But first though, you must take your time and consider whether this request or proposition is worth taking.

Check out the article “How a Stressed-Out, Sleep-Deprived Mom Overcame Overcommitment” which stresses the importance of saying “No.”

2) Teach simple clean-up tasks to your kids.
Do you always have to pick up scattered toys, put away those shoes and do your kids’ beds every time you’re in the house, while feeling tired from work at the same time? These are the things that even three- or four-year-olds can do by themselves. Whenever you’re home ask them, gently and politely, to pick up and stash their toys when they’re done playing with them, put away their shoes, hang up their coats and fix their beds. Show your kids how simple clean-up tasks are done so that they can do them by themselves when they’re left in the house. You don’t have to berate or discourage them if they do not do these tasks properly, or fix up after when they’re done – after all, they’re still learning how to do it and trying to help you.

3) Set daily goals that are realistic and attainable.
What’s the point of a daily to-do list if the goals are too impossible to complete? Again, it’s okay not to act like Supermom all the time, and it’s also okay not trying to be one. Make sure to that your daily goals are realistic and attainable enough to accomplish, and do more if you more time.

4) Plan meals ahead.
Go to the grocery once a week to buy all of the ingredients. Get a cookbook or browse the Internet for quick and easy-to-prepare recipes. Cook the meals in bulk, and save the half of it to store in the fridge for another meal. The same method goes for preparing a salad – make it in bulk and save the half of it for the next meal. It’s also good to buy instant, pre-packaged and microwaveable meals when you don’t have time to cook or you don’t feel like cooking. Have the children make dinner at least once a week if they’re big and old enough. When you’re too busy to even just pop a TV dinner into the microwave, call for a take-out order like pizza and Chinese food.

5) Make time for your family and for yourself.
Try your best to do things with your family together as often as possible, such as going out for a picnic or a hike or even as simple as having dinner. Plan a movie or board game night, or take the whole family your kid’s big sporting event. These activities will not only help in tightening your bond, they are also great to beat stress and

Mothers tend to put themselves last even on their own priorities. As a mom, you know that all too well. However, you need to know that it’s important to take care of yourself. You are the center, the light and the heart of the home and family. You should have all the energy that you need – rest, relax, recharge and have a little diversion, but it doesn’t mean that you have to “escape” your family to do it. Just make time for yourself every now and then – pamper yourself at a spa, go to the gym, meet up with your friends at a coffee shop or re-visit your hobby.

The relationship between a mother and a daughter generates a wide spectrum of emotions – sweet, wonderful, intense and sometimes overwhelming and a bit chaotic. But whatever that may come out of it, it will always be a mutually beneficial and special relationship.

Because the mother-and-daughter relationship usually holds the strongest bond, it is almost inevitable that they will share a lot of things in common – likes, dislikes, some habits and even a few eccentricities. But every mother-and-daughter relationship is different: some have been best friends for long, while others have survived the roller-coaster ride only to realize they have become closer than before.

It’s important to set aside a schedule for the mother-and-daughter bonding time . It will help you slow things down a bit and allow the two of you to listen to each other, to get each other even better, and enjoy each other’s company. Even simple activities done at home can improve and enhance their relationship, and bring out those precious moments that will be forever etched into your memory. The following activities can work regardless of the various stages of a mother and daughter’s life.

1) Treat yourselves to a “royal spa day”.
Whether your daughter still has Cinderella dreams or has grown too old for them, it doesn’t matter much – she still wants to be treated like a princess, even just for a day. Plan for an all-girls spa day where mother and daughter deserve to be pampered royally. It should come complete with facials, hand and foot spa, manicure and pedicure and make-up application.

If you cannot afford a fancy spa treatment, you can easily create that at home where you can experiment with DIY spa treatments, eat wholesome snacks (no chips for now) and take turns pampering each other.

2) Take a hike
Even the simplest activities can bring a profound experience. Taking a hike together will boost mother-and-daughter bonding. Spending alone together with nature may open your eyes to a lot of things along your path. Plus, this activity can help in reducing emotional and mental stress. It also allows you to get to know each other a little better and deeper that will further cement your relationship. Not to mention you’ll be getting some good amount of exercise as well.

3) Have a rainy-day movie marathon
Gloomy days can be boring and can bring one into a foul mood. In order to stave that negativity off, why don’t you launch a movie marathon? Whip it up with a hot cocoa and a bag of chips, and then settle yourselves on a warm, comfy couch before turning the TV on. Your movie selections may consist of Disney favorites, beloved chick flicks or even action-fantasy films if you both of are into that sort of thing. Or have a good round of Netflix.

4) Go on dates
If your daughter has siblings, she’s probably wishing to spend some time alone with you. At least once or twice a month, plan for a mother-and-daughter date and pick out the most fun things that both of you would love to do together. These things may include a day at a spa (mentioned in no. 1), visiting an oceanarium or a marine park, going to a baseball game together or signing up for a comprehensive two-day cake and cupcake-making class or a pottery class. It helps to be creative when you plan your own mother-and-daughter outing to keep the fun and interest factor going.

6) Cook meals together
Whether it’s on special occasions such as Christmas or Thanksgiving or on ordinary days, it’s always special when mother and daughter cook meals together. Mothers and daughters who cook and eat together, spend quality time together. The sense of accomplishment by preparing and cooking food is rewarding, much more when you do it together. If your daughter doesn’t have any cooking skills yet, then it’s the best time to bond with her by teaching her basic cooking techniques, because cooking is a survival skill and an adventure at the same time. You may also teach her family heirloom recipes or your own piece de resistance. It’s also a good way to introduce her into eating healthily by preparing meals out of fresh and wholesome ingredients.

5) Volunteer to help others
As a parent, it is important that you should instill a charitable spirit and a commitment to help others in your children. Volunteering together will not only tighten your mom-and-daughter bond, but it will also bring you closer to the community. Helping other people and supporting the good causes that you believe will allow you to feel the joy and satisfaction of making a difference, even in just a small way. There’s no greater feeling in the world than bringing light to other people and making them smile, and spending quality time with each other at the same time.