Going back to work after having kids can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you get some much needed time away from the chaos of diapers and Spongebob Squarepants, but on the other, there's that nagging sense of guilt that follows us all the way from the front door to our desks. These days, the majority of moms bring home the bacon too, but that doesn't stop us from feeling like we should be spending more time with our children. With the cost of living at an all-time high, it's not always viable to spend our days looking after the kids. It's down to us to get things done, guilt be damned. Here are a few tips to help you kick that working mom guilt to the curb once and for all.
Remember why you're doing it. It can be easy to give ourselves a mental flogging whenever we have to run out the door before packing lunch, so take some time to pause and think about the bigger picture. Maybe that family holiday that you've got booked next summer wouldn't be happening without your paycheck, or maybe you want to show your kids that you can have it all - a career and a family life. It might be as simple as keeping a roof over your heads, and that's a lot to be proud of. It can sometimes feel like we're doing our kids a disservice by heading to the office, but remember, it's all for them in the long run.
Ditch mommy shamers. People often have a knack for making us feel like we should be doing something different. It might be that other soccer mom who made a passing comment about your "hectic schedule" at the game last Saturday, which made you feel as though you were the worst in the world. You don't need people like that in your life, so don't be afraid to set some boundaries and keep your distance. Relatives can be harder to avoid, so try changing the subject or leaving the room. They don't understand you and that's just fine.
Make family time count. If you work a busy job that often requires you to do extra work at home, then set clear boundaries. Tell your boss what you're willing to do and when, and make sure that you stick to it. It's often tempting to open up your laptop and check your emails in the evening, but doing this too often could have an impact on your family dynamic. When you're not in work, put an extra effort into making the time you spend with your kids happy and memorable. It will help you to have some downtime, and reconnecting with the little ones goes a long way, even if it's just popping some corn and watching a movie together.