Working mom! It’s easy to feel that you are not there enough. There’s always that little biting guilt that you are not always there. I was always warned of the pains of being a working mom by fellow colleagues, but then I thought how hard can it be. Until now when over the past ten years of having a child, there have been countless days when I have felt like I come up short because I’m working. I know that guilty feeling; guilty that you like going to work, guilty that you want to go home early to be with your baby. Guilty when you miss an important moment or guilty when you have to work late. Guilty when you forget a work commitment or guilty that you have to leave early because the baby. Not to mention your boss, your partner, your aging parents and extended family, are always around to let that feeling never go away.
In spite of what everyone says trust me, you are doing a great job. And your kids will turn out just fine despite the hours you spend away from them. Truly.
Below are few key ways to embrace your short-falls as a mother (we all have them!) and ensuring that our kids know they’re wanted, loved, and loveable, no matter what.
#1: Accept that settling is non-negotiable.
When you choose to to be a working mom there will be sacrifices on both fronts. You need to be clear as to why you are doing this. Make a list of reasons why you work – money, passion, ambition, or simply sanity.
#2: Don’t make too many rules for yourself. Our parents did not come to each of our competitions in school or did not spend two hours with us daily. And we turned out ok. Our rules are more a social pressure on what a mother “should” do. While my son is the centre of my universe, my world cannot revolve around him.
#3: Lower your bar to ‘good enough’
You don’t have to be the greatest or the best. If you are “good enough” then that takes off an enormous amount of pressure. You don’t have to be the super mom that makes the best tiffin or the one that’s always a proxy in school. If you make it to the parent teacher meetings and you know what he’s up to in school you are good enough.
#4. Don’t give in to critics.
There is no one right way of parenting. No one can tell you their method is the way to go. So just take criticism in your stride, don’t give a damn and enjoy what you are doing the way you are doing it.
#5. Don’t allow your very clever children to blackmail you with guilt.
They know they have an amazing ability to pull on your heart strings, which is why they can be masters of guilt manipulation if you let them. Refuse to play the game! Tell them you love them and that you are doing your best to support them.
#6. Make the Mornings Easier.
Avoid starting the day on a frazzled note by getting organized the night before. Lay out their clothes (plus your own), decide the food menu for the week so you are well-stocked, look over the next day’s to-do list and divide the schedule and time your day. Time management is the magic mantra!
#7. Create and Organize a chores calendar.
Everyone in the family gets to do some tasks. Delegation will get you places. Set aside a few minutes each Sunday to review and prepare for the upcoming week’s schedule. This helps eliminate surprises during the week.
#8. Stay Connected During the Day.
Stay connected with your children even when you’re not together. During your breaks at work, call your child; hearing him can help you get through a rough day, and they’ll be comforted to know you’re near.
#9. Limit Distractions and Time Wasters.
Be disciplined and set time limits when checking email or making phone calls, things you can do when the kids are sleeping. Reduce TV watching to maximize time with your family during the evenings. Try to avoid multitasking, especially when spending time with your children.
If I had to choose, of course I’d choose motherhood over career. My son is the most important thing in my life.But does that mean he has to be the only important thing in my life? I’ve decide to do it all and taken flight. Will see where I land 🙂