If you are a work-at-home mom or thinking about being a work-at-home mom, then you probably have dealt with guilt at some point in time. If you have worked out of the home, then guilt was likely to be a part of your daily routine. When you decided to stay-at-home, as I did, you probably thought that this guilt would be gone. For me, it has been hard to learn how to handle the guilt that I feel trying to squeeze in minimal hours to earn an income as a work-from-home mom.
There are some things that have helped me to lessen the working mom guilt that I feel. I thought that if I shared them, I might be able to help someone else.
7 Tips for Dealing with Working Mom Guilt:
Tip #1—Carve Out Special Time for Your Kids
One of these is something that I call “adventure” weekdays. These are special days where my entire focus is on my children. I do not use my laptop until after our adventure is complete. I go the morning without checking things. This is unlike me on typical days because as a freelance writer, I often have to answer emails and send out bids on work. So I take one day each week where work is not a priority at all. Do I miss work? Sure, but those days are special for my children and help me to work on being a better mom to them all. This makes the missed work worth it for me.
Tip #2—Consider Childcare While You Are Working
Another thing that I have considered is hiring someone to watch them while I work for a few hours each week. This is an area where I would like to hear from others. I feel super guilty even thinking about hiring a babysitter when I am home. However, there is the other side to this that if someone were here to play with them and focus on them, I would be able to focus on my work for a few hours a week knowing that they were being taken care of. This would be mean less time where mommy was trying to focus on the kids and work at the same time. I have read a lot of information on both sides of this issue and really have a hard time knowing what the best answer for my family is. If you have suggestions, I’d love to hear them.
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Tip #3—Realize That a Work-at-Home Job is Still a Job
Realizing that I must work sometimes is something that has helped me not to feel bad or guilty when I have to work. I keep reminding myself that I could be going to work every day and not spending any time at home with my children. When I do this, I am thankful that I get to stay at home with them and work-from-home.
Tip #4—Remember Why You Work and What You Work For
Another thing that I have had to consider and think about is all of the extra things that we can do because I spend these few hours each week working. I attempt to work at night while they are sleeping as much as I can. I never want to be one of those moms that will ignore my children. There are things that I have found help to keep me on track with this. One of these is setting specific hours to work.
Tip #5—Have a Set Schedule
Finally the last tips that I have to reduce your guilt are to become friendly with your schedule and become more organized. There are many ways that you can do this but the things that I have had to do include listing all of the big household projects and then putting them in order of importance. This includes all of the deep cleaning and everything that I want to get done to make our house a home.
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Tip #6—Lists are Your Friends
I also have a list of DIY projects that I want to complete for my family. I have a list of DIY projects that I would like to complete for gifts for Christmas and birthdays too. Then there are my master cleaning lists. This is something that I am still working on. I am in the process of listing all of the chores that need to be done daily, weekly, and monthly and then working out a plan for how to get them done. I am hoping that this frees up the time where I contemplate what I am going to be doing next.
Tip #7—Organizing Meals Can Help You Keep Them Healthy and Easy
The last thing that I can think of that is helping me to reduce my working mom guilt is to organize our meals. One thing is for sure, I want my family to be healthy, and I want to feed them good foods full of nutrition. The purchase of Bento boxes for each of my kids has helped me with this. In the morning, when I prepare breakfast, I make their lunches as well. So at lunchtime, it is just grabbing their boxes and feeding them. It is so much better than the quick fix meals that they got before.
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Amanda Miller is an aspiring writer who hopes to be published by the end of 2012. Currently, she works as a freelance writer and distributor for Body by Visalus. She has four children: Andrew, Althea, Huxley, and Adeline and lives with Shane, the love of her life. Her blog Everything For Modern Moms can be found at Everything For Modern Moms. There you can find reviews of products, contests with prizes, great giveaways, DIY projects, recipes, and the story of how she keeps it all together.