7 Ways to Get the Most Out of Working Mom Life (Let go of the guilt!)
(Inside: How do you overcome working mom guilt? How do full-time moms cope with working? How do I stop being guilty about being a full time working mom? Read on…)
I lingered a few feet outside the main doors of the gym where my son was playing in his final weekend basketball tournament. Phone to my ear, I discussed work with my colleague.
When I hung up, I instantly felt guilty. I should be more helpful to my coworker – she has a lot on her plate. That thought had barely passed when I felt guilty for stepping away from family time to take a work call.
The working-mom/stay-at-home-mom debate stirs up big emotions. I’ve done both and they’re equally hard in different ways. Right now, in this life stage, I am called to work and called to be a great mom. I love both roles.
Yet sometimes I shortchange each – work gets busy and home life suffers, or family is demanding and I wish I were a better employee.
Here’s what I’ve found though: Every mom feels this way. We want to excel at our crafts and we also know the season of raising kids is sacred and fleeting. We tug-of-war between the two.
But when I’m struggling with prioritizing and my working mom guilt higher than the temps of a Texas summer, I remind myself of these 7 things. They help me let go of the working mom guilt and get the most out of working mom life.Working mom guilt is FOR REALZ. But so are these 7 ways to get over the working mom guilt and get the most out of working mom life. #workingmom #momlife #motherhood Click To Tweet
1. Be fully present where you are.
When you’re at home, be at home. When you’re at work, be at work. Offer each place the best of you while you’re there. You don’t need to stress about one when you’re focused on the other. News to me. Somewhere in my career, I told myself work needed to be my life. Recently, I began collaborating with a successful coworker who rarely checks her emails at home. Gasp. Can. Not. Even. Process. This. I don’t have to work until I burn out? I can fully enjoy my home life and come to work refreshed? (All the praise hands.)
2. Examine what’s most important to your family and make it happen.
My family values unpacking our thoughts together. So, dinner, old-fashioned card games, evening prayers, or other activities that promote communication are a must. Even if my day is slammed, if we’ve had time to talk as a family, I feel good. How can you prioritize the things that connect your family?
3. Reduce commitments.
If you don’t, you will crash. I promise you, it happened to me. Break the news: Sorry, I can’t commit. People will get over it. And don’t sign your kids up for everything. Look at your calendar and create margin. Your sanity will thank you.
4. When you don’t have time, collect moments.
Sometimes busy is best; everyone is involved in beloved activities and the schedule is held together by a thread. At those times, collect moments. Watch in slow motion as your son walks into practice. Linger in that hug with your daughter. Pause in your day and collect the blessing of the moment. It’ll fill your heart in ways you didn’t expect.
5. When your kids are communicating, stop and listen.
Look up from the phone, quit chopping the vegetables, turn off the vacuum. The to-do list will always be there, your kids won’t. And know they always feel the need to unload their hearts at the most inconvenient times. Roll with the waves on this one.
6. Take time off from work.
I remember stressing about the number of sick days I used. A wiser coworker said, “That’s what they’re for. You have kids. They need you. Take more days if you must.” We get time off for a reason. Use it. The world will not stop. Life is happening right now, not tomorrow – live that way.
7. Be kind to yourself.
We are our toughest critics, but we deserve the same grace we give other people. When you need time for you, take it. Create quiet moments to listen to your heart. Do whatever refuels and inspires you. Your household and workplace will benefit from it.
As I took my seat at the basketball game, I reminded myself: now is family time.
I hushed the guilt for abandoning my coworker. Instead, I focused on cheering from the sidelines. And I felt motherhood be the sacred role that it is. When I walk into work on Monday, I’ll be ready to give my all there, too.
Read the full let go of the working mom guilt and thrive in working mom life series…
I went to college to get my high school teaching degree. I planned to work for a few years, then stay home with babies. My mind was made up.
Except, I didn’t factor in one thing…
I loved my career.
Furthermore, at my workplace, there were so many working moms that daily showed me how to be great at both your job and motherhood. So, after taking six years off to be home with my kids and fulfill that dream, I chose to go back to work.
I love being a working mom and I want to imperfectly thrive in it – I know you to thrive too. Be encouraged through this series on being a working mom.
Thrive as a Working Mom Series
To the Mom Going Back to Work After Being a Stay at Home Mom
7 Ways to Thrive as a Working Mom (Let go of the guilt!)
Be a More Organized Mom: How to Care of Your Heart and Your Home
Working Mom Planner – Keep Track of ALL THE THINGS in style
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The Ministry of Motherhood: This book made me want to have 125 more children because Sally Clarkson left me feeling inspired as a mom.
Settle For More: I am addicted to reading people’s stories. Megyn Kelly’s a strong woman whose determination is empowering.
Own Your Life: I love Sally Clarkson. She shares her wealth of knowledge in loving and inspiring ways. She’s every mom’s cheerleader.
Breaking Up with Perfect: Amy Carroll helps us let go of perfect and reach for joy.
Let. It. Go.: The title says it all. It’s a great read for all the type A’s out there. Plus, Karen Ehman is just fun.
Unglued: That’s how I felt for an entire year…okay maybe 2 years. Lysa Terkeurst helps us make “wise choices in the midst of raw emotions.”
Savor: If you’re a tired mama – Shauna Niequest is your girl. I love her inspirational words that deepen our faith and help us live every day abundantly.
If you have great reads for me, I’d love to see your recommendations in the comments.
Cheryl is a mom of 3 boys, wife, speaker, high school teacher, and author of Empowered Moms & Kids. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and is passionate about learning and teaching. On www.empoweredmomsandkids.com you’ll find inspiration and encouragement for moms raising tweens and/or teens. Read more in the “about” section of this page.
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