According to Mckinsey and as many of us have experienced since early 2020, the pandemic has intensified the challenges women have already been facing. As working moms, we’re all familiar with the double shift of putting in a full day at work and then having a full set of additional responsibilities at home with caring for our children and the household. 

And with most support resources being unavailable over the last 10 months, along with many of us working remotely or on the front lines and having children who continue to be in virtual and/or hybrid school, all of our worlds have completely collided. While spouses and significant others may be helpful for those of us who have them, it still has been a stressful situation nonetheless. 

However, with the New Year in full swing, it’s important to take control of our careers and home life as much as we can and level up. Below are four ways to do just that in 2021.

1. Know your worth and negotiate with your employer, business partners or clients: While many companies have realized the benefits of working remotely and offering more flexibility to their employees, business partners or clients while in quarantine, some may not be completely on board with maintaining these working arrangements post-pandemic. Therefore, it’s important as working moms to figure out what you ideally want your working arrangement to look like, whether you work for yourself or someone else, during the rest of the pandemic and beyond. Be sure to clearly communicate that to your employer, business partners or clients and negotiate if needed. 

It’s also critical to know your worth in the marketplace by talking to recruiters and understanding what other opportunities may be out there that could meet your career and family needs if your employer, business partners or clients can’t support you in the long run. While uncertainty still continues to loom over 2021, the more you can plan ahead and have different options available, the more empowered you’ll feel about your personal and professional future.

2. Get organized at home: Since work and school schedules continue to be ever-changing and constantly in flux, getting organized is the key to maintaining your sanity and success. Make time to read, take action and file your emails from work, your children’s schools and other organizations of importance. Make to-do lists and block times on your calendar for personal and professional commitments, meetings and appointments, even if they’re mostly virtual. Divide and conquer household chores and responsibilities between yourself, your kids and your spouse or significant other. Clearly communicate schedules and expectations with everyone in your family and maintain flexibility where needed.

Doing all of these things can go a long way in managing your life so the daily grind doesn’t get the best of you for the rest of quarantine and beyond.

3. Tend to your health and wellness: The intensity of each day and week on end, can often leave little room for tending to your health and wellness. However, it’s important to stay healthy for your family, work and continuing to protect yourself against Covid-19.

Therefore, set aside time to exercise at home and move your body each day, even if that means simply taking a 15 minute walk outside in between Zoom meetings. Prepare and eat nutritious meals at home and if you need a break from cooking and want to order in, try to make healthy choices. Spend five minutes a day doing some deep breathing to manage your stress and take some breaks from screens in the morning and at the end of the day. Get to bed on time and spend time on the weekends doing things you enjoy with your family and on your own.

4. Dream big and set your own goals: Even though we continue to face challenges across the world, it’s only human to still have dreams and goals you want to pursue. So don’t let the pandemic stop you. Dream big in 2021 and start to write down your goals and make a plan to get there. It’s a great way to stay positive and productive during these difficult times and will give you something to aim for. It will also allow you to stay on track in your personal and professional life.

The last year has been tough and what lies ahead in the New Year is unknown, but you can still level up and make 2021 the best it can be!


  • Reena Vokoun

    Entrepreneur | TEDx Speaker | Author | Media Spokesperson | Health & Wellness Expert | Content Creator & Marketer | Personal & Professional Development Coach | Activewear Designer

    Reena Vokoun graduated with a BBA in marketing and management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MS in advertising and communications from Boston University. She spent several years in corporate America working in marketing, sales and business development roles for companies such as Google, Yahoo, Reebok, CNET, GE and Grokker, while also being certified in health, fitness, nutrition and behavior change through the American Council on Exercise, Athletics and Fitness Association of America and IDEA Fitness. Her experiences and witnessing others during those years, showed her how much overwork, stress and a lack of work-life balance can impact your health and life. Therefore, she's passionate about educating others and helping them take control of their lives in these areas. Today, she serves companies, nonprofits, universities, schools and the media through her products, services and content, which focus on wellness education and training in the areas of fitness, nutrition, mindfulness, work-life balance, productivity and healthy lifestyles. She's featured regularly as a health contributor on the Fox KTVU news morning show in the San Francisco Bay Area, writes a monthly health column for the Los Altos Town Crier and also writes for Thrive Global, Shape and Working Mother. She's a mom, wife and first generation born Indian-American and has a unique perspective to help others balance it all.