Ever wished you were at home with your children when you are at work and can’t stop thinking about work when you are at home?
Join the club!
A couple of years ago the Daily Mail reported that more than half of working mothers feel guilty about leaving children when they have to go to work. For many it is essential. The most common reason for working is financial need. Gone are the heady, luxurious days of Dad bringing home the loot for the family in a Friday pay packet from his job-for-life role (with index-linked pension)
It is a natural concern but not one shared by all working mothers. There are some women who love their children dearly but also enjoy the intellectual stimulation of the work place and this is natural too. Luckily we are not all made from the same mould, otherwise life would be very boring.
If you are one of the mums who find it difficult to be away from your child/children, especially in the earlier and formative years when so much change is taking please, here is some good news.
In April this year, the first longitudinal US study published its results to say that it appears the sheer amount of time parents spend with their kids between the ages of 3 and 11 has virtually no relationship to how children turn out. http://ow.ly/WgpWK
But discussions on this often uselogic, the head and brain stuff. It doesn’t address the key area, the “heart of the matter” which is the emotional response that many of us have when we have to let others experience those memorable moments and magical times with our children. So here are a couple of simple things to do to help you balance your emotions. Remember, the children, (dear little things that they are) know how to play us, read us like a book and usually win.
Many nursery teachers told me (after leaving a distraught child who had to be almost surgically amputates from my legs) that as soon as the car engine sounded, the child leapt up, smiling, wanting to play. So much for being irreplaceable (or is this the fear?)
1. Take a sheet of A4 and fold it in half vertically.
i) On left hand side, head it “why I work”; right hand side “why I want to be with …. (Names of child or children)”
ii) Then list all the reasons for each.
iii) When you are at work, remind yourself of the list of reasons why and make up your mind to appreciate and enjoy the time there. Also, remind yourself about the research that shows that children do just as well on all fronts with working mothers as stay-at-home mothers.
2. Now for the important time with the children.
Look at your diary and diary in “quality time” with the children.
Prepare yourself for this time.
If it is an important as you think it is, give it the importance it deserves. This includes and is absolutely essential, having no mobile phone on, no checking emails, texts or doing anything that takes your attention away from the child. This includes during travel time to and from places with the children. Engage with them, talk to them about what they see, feel and experience during the trip, (no sneaky peaking at the phone!!) New motto – when with the child – 100% with the child.
Children go by what you do, not what you say. Diverting your attention away from tells them that they are second best at that moment.
If you have more than one child, make time to spend with each child individually. There are many activities, treats and events which are inexpensive or free and enable you to make the most of the time with that child.
Let the children help with chores, cooking, cleaning. Children want to please. It is so much easier to get on and do it yourself but by letting them take over a little bit, although it may slow you down but will reap huge benefits long term.
3. Finally, make sure you diary some time in for you too. “Me-time”. Research has shown the average UK woman spends 27 minutes per day on herself including getting ready for work and going to bed. Plan 2 hours at some stage. Farm the children out to friends or family. Find a little corner where you feel relaxed and happy; in the garden or a park or somewhere at home. Find your favourite lovely-scented candles (doesn’t have to be expensive) lavender is a good all-rounder to help relax and restore you. Read your favourite book, have a long and uninterrupted bath and think of things to be grateful for.
4. There are two things that immediately spring to mind to be grateful for;
i. Your job and all it does for you and your family
ii. Your family.
If these simple steps don’t help, contact me for more information firstname.lastname@example.orgRecommended1 recommendationPublished in Articles, Family & Children, Health & Wellbeing, Resources Library, Staff & HR, Survival & Enterprise, Time Management, Work Life Balance