I say it all the time that I love working from home! But something many work at home moms (WAHM) feel but don’t talk about is excessive guilt. We have a wide-range of responsibilities that we have to handle all at once. Taking care of the children, managing the home, and completing work has to happen all at once. There are no boundary lines that separate our duties — no 9-5 work day that comes to an end. All of our work is done in the fringe hours of our day with kids in our laps and dried food in our hair.
We wake up early to fit work in before our children are begging us for breakfast — they are ALWAYS starving. Then we are interrupted all throughout the day with every little need (or want). It would be unrealistic to send children into the workforce with their parents and think they can get anything done, but yet we expect ourselves to be experts.
Since we aren’t able to show up to give 100% to our family and to our work, how should we battle the guilt we so easily feel?
1. Remind yourself that you are doing your best!
You are no superhero. You cannot be perfect. But you CAN do your best! If your kids are loved and your work gets done in the end, you are doing well. Celebrate that. No one has 200% to offer each day. Do what you can!
2. Separate your work and time being a mom as much as you can.
This sometimes feels impossible, but do your best to set designated times. In the morning before breakfast and after nap time I give my kids complete attention and put the laptop aside. I do the same at bedtime. Eye-contact and direct attention for a few short spurts is better than being half present throughout the entire day.
3. See yourself the way your kids see you.
I guarantee your kids aren’t as hard on you as you are on yourself! In fact, your kids think you are pretty awesome! They see you juggling and balancing like a madwoman. They see the hardworking and nurturing mama wrapped all in one! You have decided to tackle the hard just to be with them, and they feel important! They don’t expect perfection; they just want love!
I believe “rest” is what I feel most guilty about. There is so much to do, so how dare I even think about resting! But this just isn’t true. Guilt is an ugly thing and the cycle of guilt and unrest just makes me show up for my kids and work in the worst ways. To help me get out from under the guilt, I have to make rest a priority — and so should you!
WAHM’s, tell us in the comments how you handle the guilt that comes from working at home!