As a working mum, are you finding it difficult to balance work and family? Or perhaps you’re plagued with guilt and stress? This is a reality that working mums live in, there is a prevailing feeling that being excellent at one’s job means to lack at being an excellent mother and that it may be impossible to have the best of both worlds. It’s not. In this piece, we’ll tell you how to overcome mummy guilt and reconnect with your kids while slaying your career.
Set up reminders
As a full-time mum with a full-time job, it may be difficult for you to remember stuff like your daughter’s camping trip, your son’s league match or even special days like anniversaries and celebrations. You have a ton full of workload and responsibilities off work that sometimes it could feel overwhelming and the next thing you know, your mind is already all over the place and you’re running around trying to balance it all out.
Author Annabel Crabb explains the tension that working mothers feel,
“The obligation that evolves for working mothers, in particular, is a very precise one; the feeling that one ought to work as if one did not have children while raising one’s children as if one did not have a job. To do any feels like failing at
Relax lady boss mum. You’ve got this. If missing out or forgetting activities makes you guilty, get a fun planner, mark your calendar, or set up reminders in your phone that will go off a few times before an event, whatever you think is the most accessible to you.
Between business meetings and your personal family’s affairs, your schedule gets jammed and there will be things that’ll slip through the cracks so plotting up small reminders and to-do lists will be extremely useful. Plus, organizing things this way helps keep you on track which frees you of the guilt that comes after forgetting to cater to your family’s affairs.
Maximise your annual leaves
Due to the whirlwind of tasks at work and the stress that builds up out of your everyday routine, you may feel like you’re missing out on chances to spend time with your family. A long day at work may knock you out and by the end of the day, all you may want to do is to curl up in bed and rest.
But the guilt creeps in, so you do your best to shut that thought out and “be a mum”. Just a gentle reminder that it’s okay to get tired and you could use some unwinding too. It will help to take a few days off work to go on a holiday – and that’s where your annual leave comes in handy.
Not only is a holiday beneficial to ease your stress, but you can use this as the perfect opportunity to bond with your kids and make up for the time that you feel was lost due to work and whatnot.
Now you might be worried about finances but holidays don’t need to be grand or fancy, in fact, you can opt for a weekend staycation in your area if the timing is really tight and you’re on a budget.
Take your kids to the zoo, or an amusement park, or perhaps play in the sand with them at the beach. Watch the sunset with your hubby, go sightseeing, or go on a road trip to the countryside. While you’re at it, try to avoid checking your phone for work emails and focus on your kids. Catch up with them, know their interests, and try to meet their needs.
Not only will you get to spend quality time with your family, but you will also create and take home memories that no amount of money could ever replace.
Unleash your creativity and have fun
Along with setting up reminders, try to schedule special family activities that you can do at home during weeknights or weekends. Unleash your creative self – Wednesdays could be ‘Board Game Night’ and Fridays could be ‘Popcorn Movie Night’.
Maximize the time you have after work to enjoy with your family. You may also put up a fun and interactive “family board” that may include a chore chart for the kids, a calendar of your weekly family activities, and perhaps a “wishbox” where the kids can put a list of the activities or places they want to do or see on the upcoming weekend or holiday.
Remind yourself that it’s okay to not always be your ‘best self’
Mums are dubbed as “superwomen”, because why not? Women, by nature, are excellent multitaskers. It takes a great deal of strength to have a full-time job as a career woman and be a homemaker at the same time. It’s draining, and it’s okay. Mums have been put on a pedestal where they are always expected to be a “superwoman” but you have to remind yourself that you’re not perfect and that it’s okay.
You are allowed to feel exhausted. And you are allowed to not be a “superwoman” all the time.
If you feel like you’re not spending much time with your kids because of how busy you are, try to limit your after office activities. As much as possible, avoid bringing homework and set your after office hours to reconnect with your kids.
Small things like involving them in meal preparations, helping them with homework or just sitting back with them and watching their favorite cartoon matters – relaxing and parenting at the same time.
In her blog, Aussie author, educator, and parenting specialist Maggie Dent has written a little reminder for you,
“To those busy mums who have little ones give yourself permission for daily couch time or chill out in the garden time. Just sitting and watching little ones play is a powerful way to connect and encourage them to be creative and inquisitive. When we are calmer we are also kinder to ourselves and our loved ones. If that guilt monster comes to visit while you are taking time out, tell it to get lost or go hang the washing out.”
Set regular date nights with the hubby as well. Even if your marriage is going smoothly, spending quality alone time with him still makes a difference. It strengthens the bond between both of you and helps you fulfill your roles as partners and parents respectively.
Remind yourself that you can have a career and be a mum at the same time
You can have the best of both worlds. Yes, that is absolutely possible. It may be difficult to stop beating yourself up because of missing your child’s P&C meeting or being late to her swimming lesson.
But think of the bigger picture: you are working to help support your family, put your kids through school, provide them with a better future. And whoever says mums can’t have their own careers?
The key is finding that balance between work and life and always knowing your priorities. Your work is part of your personal and professional development and while family always comes first, it isn’t a crime for a mum to have career goals.
So keep your head high, lady boss mum. Whenever you find yourself back in that guilt pit, breathe, and remind yourself that you will make mistakes, forget things, sometimes be a mess, and that’s okay. You are a working mum, and you are great at that!