Working Moms

Part 1: Tips For Working Moms

Being a working mom is hard. Being a stay at home mom is hard too.  However, since I am not a stay at home mom, I don’t really have as much insight into that lifestyle.  I do however, have experience as a working mom and I have learned a lot about how to stress less and enjoy both work and family.  The following will be a 3 part series of tips for working moms.  These tips are key for enjoying being a working mom and finding balance in your life.  Here are the first 3 tips to help ease the stress of being a working mom.  These 3 relate to your time at work.

Working Moms

1. Stop Feeling Guilty

It is so easy to feel guilty about being away from your home and your kids.  When your kids are young, you have guilt about missing out on their new discoveries and their activities each day.  As they get older you fell guilt about not being able to go on every class trip or having to send them to an after school program.  The thing is, this guilt does nothing for you, or your kids.  In order to combat this guilt, here is a quick project you can do that can help you again and again.  Take out your phone and in the notes section make a list of all the benefits to your family that you provide by being a working mom.  I’ll start you out:

  1. You are helping provide for your family financially
  2. You are providing an example of a strong, hardworking woman
  3. You are able to have balance with adult time and kids time
  4. You are able to appreciate your time with your kids that much more
  5. Daughters of working moms are more likely to obtain more education and get higher paying jobs
  6. Sons of working moms are more likely to help around the house and be attentive to their children
  7. You are less likely to lose your identity due to your children

You can feel free to continue this list with the financial, practical and emotional benefits of being a working mom. Whenever you are feeling guilty about being at work and missing time with the kids, you can pull out your list and really read it.  Remind yourself of how important it is that you are a working mom and what benefits you are providing to your family.

2. Find a job/company that matches your priorities

When you first graduate and start looking for a job, you might jump at the first company willing to hire you.  You may accept longer hours or a longer commute or any other countless minor inconveniences that are simply not as important when you are young and single.  My first full time job was in NJ while I lived in the Bronx, NY.  The commute was ridiculous, but I liked the job, my co workers, and my pay.

However, as I approached getting married and starting a family I knew my priorities would be changing, so I started looking for a new job.  I found a position still in my field but much closer to home.  Instead of spending 2.5-3 hours of my day commuting, I now commute 20-30 minutes a day.  In fact, I work so close to home that I go home for lunch most days.  My current company also has more days off and summer Fridays.  They prioritize family and allow me to take time off to do things with the kids without feeling guilty about missing a day of work.

Every company and every field of work is different.  Not every job will have the benefits my job does and my job has its drawbacks as well.  There are a few occasions where I can be called out to work after hours or on weekends.  This is rare, but it does happen.  You should find a job that works best for you and your family.

3. Limit distractions at home and at work

When you are in the office, it is easy to get distracted from your work.  You want to catch up on the latest gossip or discuss the last episode of the Walking Dead.  Sometimes you might get distracted by social media.  It is important to limit these distractions as much as possible.  Now I’m not saying you need to be anti-social and never bond with your co-workers, but pick and choose when you will do it.

Say a quick good morning to everyone when you come in and then get down to business.  Chat with your co-workers at lunch or after you have completed a major task as a quick break.  Set a timer on your phone to vibrate after a few minutes to remind yourself to get back to work.  An important part of maintaining work life balance is ensuring that you can complete your work during the work day.  This allows you to maximize your time with your family at home.

My boss works on weekends and late nights a lot.  He’s single and lives by himself.  While he does have a heavy workload, some of it he does to himself.  He will regularly sit and chat with people about the amount of work he has to do, or run to the store for coffee when we have a coffee maker here.  If getting your work done during the work day is a priority, then you need to limit your distractions so that you can do just that.

Limiting distractions is also important at home.  When spending time with your kids, you want to give them your undivided attention.  Checking a quick email or social media account is not the end of the world, but try to limit this as much as possible to when the kids are asleep.

I will acknowledge that this is not always possible.  For example, I generally try to do my grad school homework after bedtime, but when it’s finals time, sometimes I need a little extra study time.  This might cut into family time a bit.  It happens.  Let’s just try to ensure that it doesn’t become a habit.

An important task for working moms is to make sure our kids know that they are our priority.  Work is for work and home is for family.  When we are at home, family is the priority and work is the distraction.  We should never allow our kids to feel like its the other way around.


I hope that you found these tips helpful.  The next set of tips will be coming on Friday and they will revolve around practical things you can do to  maximize your enjoyment of family time.  I will see you then!

Cheers,

Emily

P.S. You can find Part 2 of this Series here.

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Author : Emily Bendler

Emily Bendler is a mom, wife, full-time insurance adjuster, professional dancer, dance teacher, graduate student, and founder of I Hope You Dance, Inc., a non-profit supporting youth dance. Read how Emily used her dance ambitions to become a time management maven using the about me link in the main menu. Feel free to send Emily a message using the contact page which can be found in the main menu under About Me.

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25 Comments on "Part 1: Tips For Working Moms"

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Amie
Guest
As a stay-at-home mom, it’s refreshing to read an article that isn’t about being at home but rather about being a working mom. It helps me gain perspective on what my working mom friends think and go through, things that I may not understand completely. This was a well thought out article. You know, I think that if I were a working mom, the best part would be that I’d enjoy my time with my son more. Being around him all day, it kinda makes me take for granted the time that we have. But if I had to work… Read more »
candy
Guest

Feeling guilty, buying extra toys, taking them out to eat serves no purpose. Soon as you get home from work. Spending time with the kids talking and interacting, asking how their day was. It works.

Marie Yovcheva
Guest

Awesome tips, Like number 2-matching your priorities.. so many just take the 1st job available without thinking about what is right for them.

Monick
Guest

Really great advice! As a working mom, albeit a work-from-home mom (I’ve got the commute handled), all this is great feedback.

Leah Sannar
Guest

What a great post! As a working mom myself, I can totally relate to all these things. The guilt especially. I was a stay at home mom for the first two years of my son’s life and then I started working part time. My son is 4 and now I’m working full time… That, plus my son, plus my blog.. Sometimes I feel like I’m not doing any of it all that well! It’s nice to know I’m not alone in the struggle to multi task. :o)

Alicia
Guest

Great article! This is great for working dads also!

Cassie
Guest

Great tips and a great help for many of us moms that work at home!

Shann Eva
Guest

Great tips! I mostly stay at home, but I do work part-time on the weekends. I still often feel the guilt, but you are completely right. I’m helping provide for my family, and it actually helps to get out a little bit.

Renee
Guest

I am starting to think that the key to life is to be present. If you are present then nothing else will get in the way. Also, you will likely get more done. Guilt only holds us back.

Dia All The Things I Do
Guest

This is a great post. I’m not a mom but these are great tips for anyone really. Some jobs don’t understand what work life balance is and you need a job that you can focus on when you need to and that you can call it close when other things need focus. Often as women we feel guilty for focusing on a career instead of other things and that has to stop. I had a working mom and she was amazing! She taught me the importance of hard work and not depending on anyone.

Carrie
Guest

Really good post! I have been on both sides, a working mom and stay at home. They both have challenges, some are even the same so I think that all moms can relate to your article. Great tips to take away!

Chardline
Guest

My sister would love this article. She’s always beating her self up!
I am sharing this with her. Thanks for the read!
Char.

Erica @ Coming Up Roses
Guest

Ridding distractions is the most important thing! I find suuuuuuch differences in my productivity and motivation levels when I can just sit down, focus, and TRULY focus until a task is complete.

Coming Up Roses

Renee
Guest

I worked 3 jobs when my kids were growing up. I had to! I had an EX that didn’t do what he was supposed to do. So I always felt like I wasn’t doing enough for my kids. Thankfully I guess that wasn’t the case as they are all adults and turned out great! 2 of them have children and my kids are wonderful parents! So I must have done something right! We women need to stop second guessing ourselves.

Simplicity Gal
Guest

Hiya Emily
Feeling guilty is probably one of the hardest parts of being a working mom. You’ve highlighted some really good points to help try and push that guilt to one side, being a mom full-stop can be challenging enough at times ;).

Thanks for sharing such an awesome post.

Carlen
Guest

Emily, so many women can relate to your #1 point! Thanks for sharing it.

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