Being a working mom is one tough gig. I should know; I spent my fair share of years as a working mom. I remember days that were flawlessly executed and went like clockwork, but of course…there are the OTHER days. The days where you question yourself and wonder if you are doing the right thing by working. Yes, it happens to every working mother.
So in honor of all working mothers, who tirelessly trudge forward on little sleep and extensive to do lists that never quite get completed, I would like to throw in my wisdom for surviving as a working mom fairly unscathed.
1.If you have something of extreme importance at work that you just can’t miss, chances are, your child will wake up sick. I’ve never done true research on this fact. However, I can tell you from experience that my kids were never sick on a day of NO importance. Please don’t encourage your child to tough it out and go to school— the guilt will kill you when you get the call from the school nurse half way through the day. Take the opportunity to slow down for the day and bond with your little one who will, undoubtedly, spend the day being very needy. Put it in perspective— nothing at work is THAT important.
2.Refrain from placing your kids in every extracurricular known to man, because this will make you (and your kid) lose your mind. Here’s a little something to think about: they can still be successful, great kids without taking part in every activity imaginable. I remember the year I carted my son Alex to piano, singing, baseball etc. Halfway through a baseball game, the coach told him it was his turn to bat again and he turned to him and said, “no thanks, I’m done and just want to go home”. He had just hit a triple so he wasn’t trying to avoid playing. I took a good look at the kid and it really hit home. All he wanted was some down time. Trust me, kids have plenty of years to enjoy their varied interests— don’t rush it.
3.If you feel that your teenager needs consequences for behavior, grounding him or her to the house after school will not be effective (if you are not there). In theory, this seemed like a good idea and a reasonable punishment at the time. In reality, this just didn’t work at all. I’m very glad that my son Zach was predictable: 9th grade— I just had to pull up to his girlfriend’s house to find him. 10th grade— I just had to pull up to his new girlfriends house to find him. Looking back, I really can’t remember what he was grounded for, and I definitely question my thought process for the situation. Grounding him without being present in the house strikes me now as quite naïve.
Being a working mom isn’t easy— everyone knows that. But when a working mom’s expectations of self are out of kilter, it just makes things that much harder. So relax, girlfriend, and be good to YOU!