Working Through Working Mom Guilt

You come in the front door (or maybe emerge from your home office) tired after a long, stressful day of mediating disagreements, collaborating on projects, and meeting deadlines. The door opens and you walk straight into a world of chaos. One kid is crying, another is riding the dog across a never-ending pile of laundry, and the sitter is holding the baby who immediately dives for you and starts shrieking. Job 1 is done for the day, now it’s time to punch in for job 2.

Even if this isn’t your daily routine as a working mom, chances are that many days are full of chaos, challenges, and constant juggling. We recognize that being a working mom is not for the faint of heart, and as a way of applauding all your tireless efforts, here is some encouragement and tips from working moms who have been there!

It truly is impossible to do it all.

Regardless of how you may feel some days, it is just not possible to do it all. The laundry may be rumpled in a basket, but if it’s clean, your family can look for clothes when they need it. Dinner might mean grabbing a pizza on the way home. Bedtime might consist of a quick teeth brushing session, a chat, and a hug - the truth is that we all only have 24 hours in a day, and working moms only have so much time they are able to give.

Holding a family meeting and setting expectations can do wonders when it comes to taking care of the home (and taking some of the load off of your shoulders)! Explaining that your family is a team and that you can all work together to do household chores can give the kids a sense of responsibility and meaning, to help mom out so the house can run smoothly. Don’t be afraid to use whatever method of reward works for your family (charts, allowances, etc). Delegation is your friend and working together can actually help your family grow closer!

Ditch the comparisons.

Some moms are Pinterest queens and have the time and energy to make homemade snacks for classroom treats or for their toddlers at home. While this is wonderful and meaningful, so is stopping by the grocery store on the way to school for classroom snacks. Snacks or treats that are purchased can be just as tasty and fun for kids! There are so many areas where moms compare their own lives with the lives of other moms, especially when viewing the world through the lens of social media. The truth is, we are all doing the best we can for our families, and this is what’s important. So the next time your mind starts to drift and wonder why you’re not more like that mom, remember - you are doing what’s best for your family and that is what matters in this season!

Your village matters.

Just as you can’t do it all,  you also can’t do it alone. Remember that the people you surround yourself with, your support system, truly matters. If you have family or friends nearby that are willing to step in and help, take them up on their offer! If a friend is willing to bring your child to practice, help an older child with homework, or participate in after school activities while you’re working, accept the offer and breathe a sigh of relief! If you find that you don’t have an immediate support system, branch out and be willing to ask for help (and also be willing to help others too when you can). This is a great way to build a community that you can lean on and trust when things get tough!

Understandably, not everyone has the bandwidth to take on something else. Connecting with people virtually through a group with a shared location or hobby, or with parents who have kids the same age, can meet your needs and you’ll be able to connect on your own schedule!

Quality Time > Lots of Time.

Seriously. Experts conducted this study and found that the amount of time spent with younger kids is not what matters. What really matters is the quality of the time spent: talking to the kids at bedtime about their day, asking what happened and what’s going on with their life, spending time laughing over silly things, and working through serious things together. Prioritizing quality time with your family is more important than spending lots of time every day with each child.

Take a step back.

We mean, really. With all the demands, with all the juggling, and the chaos - how do your kids see you, right now, in this season? Chances are, they see that you love them. They see you setting a great example of working hard and pursuing your dreams. You’re doing an incredible job balancing work life, while taking care of your kids, your house, and all of the other commitments you’re facing. Say it with us: you’re amazing and you’re doing a good job!

“Me time” is mandatory.

Yes, permission to de-stress! What relaxes you? It doesn’t have to be a 3 hour long spa treatment (though if you can go that route, we say go for it!). It can be taking 20 minutes to escape in a book you love. It can be an extra long shower, or hiding in your room to give yourself a manicure. Whatever you’re able to fit in, whenever you’re able to fit it in - be sure to make yourself a priority!

Above all else, remember: the season you’re in may be tough. Life may be chaotic and stressful at times - but you are showing up. You’re working hard, and setting an example. You’re pouring into your kids when you can. You’re doing a great job and you are amazing!

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