Working out of the home and parenting can bring special challenges but not unique challenges! Whether you love your job, or would rather be at home with your child or children, finding a work-life balance is not always easy. What can you do to improve the quality of your bond with your children? And how can you feel more focused on work while you are on the job?
1. Quality may matter just as much as quantity!
A friend of mine, who had two children back-to-back, recently returned to work after a very long stretch of maternity leave. She was feeling terribly guilty about returning to work, even though she knew that her children would be just fine with her husband, who is a stay at home dad. But, after the first week back at work, she was amazed to note that she got even better quality bonding with her kids in the more limited time they now had available each day.
When she was at home all day, she felt fine about spending time on the web while letting her husband take care of the littles. After going to work again, she found she really took the time to play with her kids! When you engage in memory-making activities when you spend time with your kids, they may value your time even more than if you were at home with them all day.
2. Take care of yourself (and your marriage) too
Many working mothers, myself included, fall in the trap of thinking they should spend the time they're not working with their kids. Don't feel guilty about a trip to the hairdresser, or a night out with your partner. Only when you feel happy and rested can you be the best mother you can be.
3. Know that your children are being taken care of while you are at work
If you are happy with your child's daycare facility, babysitter, or other care-giver, you are more likely to feel able to concentrate on your job. This one goes without saying, really. If you are not entire happy or are not sure your child is, do explore other daycare options!
4. Enjoy your job
Working mothers who love the job they do will feel better about being away from their children. Of course, having a career that pays a reasonable amount of money helps with job satisfaction too! If you wish you were at home with your kids instead of at work quite often, ask yourself whether it is having a job outside the home you dislike, or perhaps you just wish you had a nicer job.