Mom guilt. Whether you’re a stay at home mom, working mom, or work from home mom, mom guilt is a gift that keeps giving. It is ever present.
But I will dispense a piece of advice from my mother who is a child psychiatrist.
The fact that you even feel guilty about all this means you are doing it right. Bad moms don’t feel guilt.
I needed to remind myself of that this week as I have felt completely pulled in a million different directions. I am so thankful for this weekend to reset, recharge and reconnect with my family.
So, how do I let go of mom guilt?
1. Set clear boundaries for work
I hate telling my kids “in a minute” when I’m working and they’re clamoring for my attention. I work from home 2 days a week, completing the administrative and marketing side of the practice. Many times, work spills over to home. I’ve learned to set clear boundaries for work for both myself and my kids.
On my “work from home” days, I set aside 5-8 pm as no working times. No computer. No cell phones. Nothing. My kids are all in school now, and are involved in after school activities at school, so I pick them up around 4:30/5ish and try to give them my undivided attention, when I do.
However, there are times when I pick them up from school earlier. And, I’ve explained to them, that the trade off for picking them up earlier to take them to the playdate or whatever, is that I may have to answer phone calls/texts form work. Explaining this to them and setting the expectations helps decrease the whining (notice, I didn’t say eliminates the whining completely!)
2. Outsource the mundane
I have found college students to be able to do the mundane tasks that I hate – like folding laundry, cleaning the bathrooms and dishes after dinner. This really opens up my time with the kids. I find that time between 5-8 pm to be so busy for us mamas with kids. There’s dinner time, homework, baths, books, and night time routines all to cram into a 2-3 hour time frame. And, I hated spending 30 precious minutes of that time, cleaning up after dinner and doing dishes.
Once I found a helper, it really opened up our evening routine schedule in a tremendous way. Just think about it. What’s your time worth? Calculate your hourly rate (whatever work you do), and see if it’s really worth it for you to be doing those chores. For some, they really love doing the dishes. Maybe you hate cooking. Figure out what mundane tasks can be outsourced to free up your time with your family. It’ll be worth it, I promise you!
3. Be intentional with your time with your kids
This kind of plays into #1 – but remember, it’s quality of time, not quantity. I try to be as intentional as I can in creating moments with each of my children. It doesn’t need to be elaborate. Sometimes, it’s just something simple like going for bubble tea with one of my boys or doing a little cartwheel clinic with my daughter in our backyard. But above all, it is one on one time, so that I can really connect with that one kid. This way they don’t feel like they’re competing for my attention with their siblings.
I just ran errands with my middle son yesterday, while my hubby took the other two. Just in the mall, running around, returning things. This is my most challenging child. So gifted, but really needs to have things “exactly so” (do you have one of those?). And, guess what? He was a perfect angel. To the point that sales associates were commenting upon how well behaved he was (shocked my hubby when I texted him that). He brought a book and just settled in and read. But, as we ran errands, we talked – he was talking to me about how he learned about rain and gravity. He had received a balloon at one of the department stores and he wanted to learn about static electricity. And, then we talked about his friends. It was a great couple hours with him.
Bottom line – you are doing amazing! Even when you think you’re not, believe it when I say, you are! So, hats off to all of the mamas out there juggling work, other babies, self care, sanity, meal prep, and just life in general!