Our world has changed a BUNCH in the last 60 years, wouldn’t you say? From Cleaver to Kardashian, Elvis’ lips to Beyonce’s Lemonade, from Grace Kelly to Miley Cyrus…
Mom life has changed too, and I’m not just talking about the Real Housewives of your-city-of-choice.
We’ve gone from home cooked meals to the Colonel twice a week; from neatly folded and pressed stacks of laundry in the drawers to, “hey, grab what you can and sniff it. If it doesn’t smell rotten then it’s clean!” We’ve moved from the ironing board to the board room, from folded stacks of laundry to stacks of contracts to be signed, and the list goes on.
In my experience, working outside the home can be fulfilling but it can also feel impossible. You wonder, “Am I doing enough? Do my kids know who their mom is? How am I going to do all of the things that absolutely cannot wait this week?”
I’ve been there, totally done (and sometimes still doing) that. We worry about amount of love and attention we’re giving our kids while we’re at work, and thinking about deadlines, projects and board meetings while we’re at home. It’s enough to make a person crazy!
Since we’ve already settled the debate over who works harder, the stay-at-home mom or the work-outside-the-home mom, I’ve come up with a list of 5 things working moms should NEVER feel guilty about.
Staying home with a sick kid
As an over-achiever, I feared the days when I would wake up at the crack of dawn to a kid in my bed with a fever. All these thoughts would race through my head: How bad is it? Is it a virus? Teething? I’d scramble to look at the calendar to see what meetings had been scheduled, how I was going to finish that project on time, and if my boss would understand, when all I really wanted was to stay home, rock my baby and get her well. The worry over my job about being gone one day – or even two – was never, ever worth it.
You guys, at the end of the day no matter how important your job is or how integral you are to getting a project done, there is no corporation, no organization, no company on earth that is going to remember 10 years from now how you ‘took one for the team’ and came into work instead of staying at home to take care of your sick baby. Sick days never destroyed an entire career, I promise.
Having a housekeeper
Hey, if it’s in the budget there is absolutely no shame in getting some help around the house. Not having to deep clean toilets every other weekend freed up time and energy for me to spend quality time with my family. Plus, it was an amazing reboot every couple of weeks to come home to a fresh, clean house and helped me to relax more. And we all know if mama’s happy, everybody’s happy!
I know we have the best of intentions to meal plan and utilize those amazing Crockpot recipes that seem so effortless, but some days it just doesn’t get there! I remember a time when I had it all together: a seasoned chicken, stuffed with oranges and the best spices you can think of, so beautifully arranged in the Crockpot. I’d gotten it all ready before the kids even got out of bed. I was so proud to have been so on the ball, but when I came home expecting to the smell of home cooked deliciousness, I realized that I’d forgotten to turn the crockpot ON. Yeah. Wasted chicken. Off to Chili’s we go, kids.
The occasional meal out was refreshing for my family and allowed us to have some time to talk and enjoy each other without distractions or a tired mom who slaved over the stove for 15 whole minutes to make macaroni & cheese (what?).
Taking Time for Yourself
Alone time is so important for your overall health! I read recently that taking care of yourself is part of taking care of your family.
I don’t care if you work 60 hours a week and only get 6 quality hours of time with your kids on the weekend, take time out for yourself at least once a week. Take a bath, read a book, go out with friends. It will make you a better, more rested person and a better mom.
Not being “Room Mom” (or Den Leader, or Team Coach….)
I’m not talking about going on the occasional field trip or classroom party, or even being involved on a semi-regular basis, but you do not have to be the room mom or the leader or organizer of anything. The important thing is that you support what your kids are passionate about. For me sometimes that can just mean getting them to practice on time and with a belly full of dinner (from a restaurant), and that’s enough.
Rest in the fact that you can’t do it all. I promise you’re not a bad mom. The important things will still get done. You won’t miss out if you just take a breath, relax, and realize that you’re just enough!