“Being a working mom is not easy.” “You have to be willing to screw up at each level.” Do such thoughts cross your head also because you too are a working mother? On the other hand, even if not a working mother still you could be nodding your head in agreement to these.
I can relate to both the situations or rather to both types of mothers – working or stay-at-home. As I have the privilege of experiencing both the worlds. However, there is no one perfect way to be a perfect mother because there is no such term as “Perfect” mother.
Of course, one can try to be a better mother. For a mother, each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. What really matters is the connect, the bond a mother has with her children.
Most working mothers feel guilty about not being at home. Moreover, when they are there, they wish it could be perfect.
Please stop beating yourself up about your work/life balance. It is not worth the negative energy.
Below are five key ways to embrace your short-falls as a mother (we all have them), and refocus your preciously finite energy on what truly matters: ensuring that your kids know they are wanted, loved, and lovable, no matter what – and that they will always have you around for guidance and support.
1. Lower your bar:
The bar on what it means to be a ‘Perfect and Great Parent’ has been gradually moving up, and now it is so high that we’ve set ourselves up to forever fall short in scaling it. Accepting that for the most part, good enough is good enough, is too big a call for us as parents especially mothers.
It is very difficult to give up on that quest to be a super-mother who does everything ‘just right’. However, the only golden mantra is to let go that quest of being a super-mother and simply enjoy each moment when you are with your children, without being anxious, guilt-ridden and exhausted. After all, it is who we are for our children – happy, good-humored, and a role model for the values we believe in – that ultimately influences them more than how closely our homes, our meals, or we resemble the front cover of women’s magazines. The reality is that you do not have to be a perfect parent to be a great parent.
2. Take the digital time-off when with your children:
We can be with our kids 24/7 and yet never be fully present to them. While ‘turning off’ from work and other distractions is easier said than done, it’s important to be intentional about being fully present to your children whenever you are with them by minimizing the multi-tasking as much as humanly possible. I often take my daughters out for a game of badminton or just to have an ice cream from a local vendor as a ‘special treat’ – for me as well as them – which removes me from the magnetic pull of my home office. Some may believe this is going too far or perhaps even unnecessary just to avoid distraction, but here I would like to mention specifically that it is not about what other people think, it is about what works for me – and my family. It stands true for each one of you.
Switch of the mobile phone when you are with your children even if it is just for 30 minutes- channel all your energy into being there for your children. They will love it. When you are at work, focus on the task and park any thoughts about your children. You will feel calmer and cut out that sinking feeling that you should be somewhere else doing something else.
3. Do not let someone else drive you crazy:
The fact is, there is no one ‘right way’ when it comes to raising children. Just as we all differ in our personalities, preferences and circumstances, the choices that make us feel whole, healthy and happy differ as well. To those who love to critique and judge I would only say “to each their own.” The vast majority of working mothers I encounter work incredibly hard to be the best parent they can, and that deserves encouragement, not criticism.
Many times it so happens that working mothers are consumed by guilt because they feel they do not have a right to be away from their children. They care too much about what others think. What you do is nobody else’s business.
Women are experts at making themselves feel bad. They feel guilty at the click of a mouse or the sight of a raised eyebrow. Be confident about your life choices. Do not feel you have to justify yourself to anyone or make excuses.
4. A daily to do list should be your top most priority:
Be harsh with your to do list.
Decide what is really important to you. Break it down into two or three things you are going to do today. That means you will actually get them done. A list of 100 things will straight away drive you crazy and the very sight of it will drain all your energy. Certain tasks cannot be ignored, so either do them and stop thinking about them, or delegate them. Force yourself to identify items that can be scrapped off the list. If you get more things done, you will feel calmer and have more time to spend with your family.
I am not telling you it is going to be easy. I am telling you it is going to be worth it.
5. It is OK to let things go sometimes:
Know it is OK to let things go. Let some things slide so that you can spend time with your family. Maybe you hire a professional agency to keep your house spic and span. Alternatively, perhaps you order food sometimes because you are just too tired to cook or because it will give you more time to spend with your children and family. Moreover, it is also OK to decline a party invite so you can spend some one-on-one time with your child or squeeze in some extra family time.
Know you cannot let the pressure get to you. You cannot do it all in one single day. Do not let the guilt get to you. Know that you are doing the best you can. Never force anything. Give it your best shot and then let it be. Do not hold yourself down with things you cannot control.
Laugh when you can, apologize when you should. Therefore, just let things happen. Let life flow.
Trust you will also like the following blogs of value:
- Do Not Manage Time Manage Energy
- 4 Styles of Parenting and its Effect on Children
- Tips for Easy Smooth Parenting