Are you the only mum who didn’t make her own cookies for your child’s class party? Did you forget it was mufti day at school and sent the kids off in their uniforms? Do you constantly feel like you’re trying so hard to do it all, yet always coming up short? Don’t worry, all of us working mums have been there and have felt exactly the same way you do. And we’re here to tell you that you don’t have to live with a cloud of guilt hanging over your head! The next time you feel like you’re not measuring up, remember these simple facts and tips.
Your Children Are Going to be Just Fine
At some point every working mum has wondered if her kids are going to grow up damaged in some way because she wasn’t around for them all the time. The truth is there is absolutely no evidence to show that children with working mums grow up any less well-adjusted than kids who have stay-at-home mums. In fact, by giving your kids a bit of time away from mum, you are actually encouraging your child to become more independent, allowing for more social interaction with babysitters and other children, and setting a great example for them of the importance of responsibility and hard work.
Remember What You’re Doing All of This For
We all have our own personal reasons for why we choose to work rather than be a stay-at-home mum. Maybe you’re busting it in the office every day so you can give your kids the best possible future. Maybe you love your career and don’t want to give up all the hard work you put into it up until this point. Or maybe you just need something to do outside your family that makes you feel sane and balanced. Whatever it is, it’s important not to forget why you chose this path and to remember that you should never feel guilty about following your dreams or aspirations.
Accept That You’re Not Superwoman and Move On
Why is it that so many of us have this idea that if we’re not effortlessly juggling raising kids, being a good wife, excelling at work, keeping up a social life, and squeezing in a session or two at the gym then we’re failing at life? Honestly, you can’t do it all every day and that’s really ok. Life is all about compromises, so you have to accept the fact that some days you’re just not going to be able to whip up a home cooked meal, finish that report with time to spare, or make it to that ballet recital or girl’s night out. Do what you can do, focus on what you were able to accomplish and just keep moving forward from there.
Don’t Listen to Naysayers
No matter how hard you work to maintain a happy balance between work and home life, there is always going to be someone who wants to cut you down. It could be your mother-in-law, another parent or even a complete stranger throwing you shade, making snide comments or judging you harshly. Regardless of who it is, don’t allow yourself to be sucked into their negativity. Remember that they’re not in your shoes, so they really don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to forming opinions about how you live your life. Let their remarks or behaviour roll off your back, and focus your energy on the people who bring positivity into your life.
Remember That It’s All About Quality, Not Quantity
Of course as a working mum you wish you could spend more time with your family, and when you think about all the time you’ve missed out on it’s bound to make you feel guilty. But don’t let your guilt spill over into your relationship with your children and your partner. Make the most out of the time that you do have with them. Leave your work at work and your anxieties at the door and try to be completely in the moment when you’re with your family. The more present and aware you are during the time that you spend with your family, the deeper your connection to each other will be, and that will carry through to those times when you can’t be together.
Be Grateful For the Positives
It’s so easy to get caught up in everyday stresses that we often forget that there are actually heaps of things to be thankful for. Sure, you may not have as much time to spend with your family as you would like, but when you do have a day or two off you’ve probably got money to spend on fun outings with them, right? Even the little things can be something to be appreciative for like enjoying the scenery on the way to work, having a laugh with a co-worker or friend, or seeing your little ones eyes light up when you walk through the door at the end of the day.