How Busy Mums Can Prepare For Performance Appraisals

We know juggling work, kids, and everything in between is no easy feat. You’ve got dinner to cook, homework to check, and oh, let’s not forget that looming performance appraisal at work. If the thought of preparing for it makes you want to run for the hills, take a deep breath and relax. We’ve got your back with some friendly advice to help you ace that appraisal like the pro you are.

Understanding the Purpose of Performance Appraisals

First things first, let’s break down what performance appraisals are all about. These reviews are not just about your employer checking a box. They’re an opportunity for you to showcase your achievements, discuss your OKRs, and get valuable feedback. It’s a chance to shine a light on all the hard work you’ve been putting in (yes, even those late-night emails after the kids are in bed).

Getting Started: Self-Assessment

Reflect on Your Achievements

Take some time to reflect on your accomplishments over the past year. Think about the projects you’ve completed, the goals you’ve met, and any positive feedback you’ve received. Write these down. Seeing your achievements in black and white can be incredibly empowering.

Be Honest About Challenges

While it’s great to highlight your successes, it’s also important to be honest about any challenges you’ve faced. This shows that you’re self-aware and willing to improve. Plus, identifying these areas gives you the chance to seek support or training that can help you grow.

Gather Evidence

Collect any evidence that supports your achievements. This could be emails from happy clients, reports showing improved metrics, or any awards or recognitions you’ve received. Having concrete examples will make your appraisal discussions more impactful.

Preparing for the Discussion

Know Your Goals

Before your appraisal, think about your career goals. Where do you see yourself in the next year? Five years? Having a clear vision will help you articulate your aspirations to your employer and discuss how they can support your development.

Practice Your Pitch

It might feel a bit odd, but practicing what you want to say can really help. Stand in front of a mirror, or better yet, enlist a friend or partner to role-play with you. This will boost your confidence and ensure you don’t forget any key points during the actual meeting.

Prepare Questions

Remember, appraisals are a two-way street. Prepare a list of questions you’d like to ask your manager. This could be about opportunities for growth, feedback on your performance, or ways the company can better support your work-life balance.

Balancing Work and Home Life

Time Management Tips

Managing time efficiently is crucial, especially when you’re a busy mum. Use tools like calendars, to-do lists, and reminders to keep track of important dates and tasks. Prioritize your tasks by importance and deadline. Delegate where possible – your partner and kids can pitch in too!

Find Your Focus Time

Identify the times of day when you’re most productive and try to schedule important tasks during these periods. For many, this might be early in the morning before the household wakes up or late at night after the kids are asleep.

Take Care of Yourself

Don’t forget to look after yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in taking care of everyone else, but your well-being is just as important. Make sure you get enough sleep, eat healthily, and find some time, even if it’s just a few minutes, to do something you enjoy.

During the Appraisal

Stay Positive and Professional

Enter your appraisal with a positive attitude. This is your moment to shine, so bring your best self. Be professional, listen actively, and respond thoughtfully.

Discuss Development Opportunities

Use this time to talk about any training or development opportunities you’re interested in. This shows that you’re proactive about your career and eager to grow.

Address Work-Life Balance

If managing work and home life has been a challenge, don’t hesitate to bring this up. Discuss potential solutions, like flexible working hours or the possibility of remote work, that could help you maintain a better balance.

After the Appraisal

Review Feedback

Take the time to review the feedback you received. Reflect on what went well and what areas need improvement. Constructive criticism can be incredibly valuable for your growth.

Set New Goals

Based on the feedback, set new goals for yourself. These should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART goals). Having clear goals will give you direction and motivation for the coming year.

Follow Up

If there were any action items or development plans discussed during your appraisal, make sure to follow up on them. This shows that you’re committed to your growth and takes the feedback seriously.

Quick Tips Recap

Reflect on Achievements: Celebrate your successes and acknowledge your challenges.
Prepare Evidence: Collect concrete examples of your work.
Set Goals: Know where you want to go in your career.
Practice Your Pitch: Get comfortable talking about your achievements.
Ask Questions: Be ready with questions for your manager.
Manage Your Time: Use tools and prioritize tasks.
Focus Time: Identify your most productive times.
Self-Care: Look after your health and well-being.
Stay Positive: Bring a positive attitude to the appraisal.
Discuss Opportunities: Talk about development and work-life balance.
Review and Set Goals: Reflect on feedback and set new goals.
Follow Up: Ensure you act on any plans discussed.


Performance appraisals don’t have to be daunting. With a bit of preparation and a positive attitude, you can turn this into a valuable experience for your professional growth. Remember, you’re not just a mum; you’re a powerhouse juggling multiple roles and doing an amazing job at it. So, go ahead, prepare, and shine in that appraisal.