Not sure about you guys, but I think pretty susceptible to mom guilt, depending on the day and, you know, how hungry I am. I've felt it in various ways throughout my son's life. Since he was born, I've worked out of the house in an office, I've been a stay-at-home mom, and I've also been a work-from-home mom. If experimenting with these various scenarios has taught me anything, it's that there is no "one-size-fits-all" situation that will work for all moms. Still, I have to still remind myself that working from home does not mean I'm a bad mom. There are way too many factors at play, to make such a blanket statement at all accurate. Checking my phone while my kid plays in my lap, writing an email while he eats lunch in his high chair, or giving him a few extra minutes of screen time so I can meet a deadline are par for the course, and I'm okay with that.
I have so much respect for moms who are able to compartmentalize their work and home lives. For me, personally, I've found that blending the two and letting my "work life" and my "mom life" overlap one another, work best. Just because working-from-home works for me, however, doesn't mean that I don't have those absolutely trying and exhausting days that make me feel like I'm failing as a parent. When I have to essentially ask my toddler to entertain himself, so I can continue to work, the guilt whispers in my ear and tries, at times successfully, to convince me that I'm a bad mother. When I spend more time being frustrated with my kid for not giving me the time I need to focus on work, than I do happily playing with him, I can hear the guilt start to whisper again. Working-from-home is, honestly, a cycle of good days and bad days which, I'd argue, every parent experiences, regardless of their work situation.
Which is why, if you have decided to work-from-home as a mother too, you're anything but a bad mom. Will you have difficult days? You bet. Will you and your kid end up benefits from them? Definitely. So, when your guilt starts whispering in your ear too, remind yourself of these seven reasons, and cut yourself some much-deserved, hard-earned slack. You're doing great, mom.
Every Family Is Different, And Every Family's Need For Balance Will Differ
In some ways, I think life would be more convenient if my son was the only thing that fulfilled me, and if staying home with him made every other thing I've ever wanted to do with my time pale in comparison. However, this just isn't the case. He is by far the most important thing, but he's not the only thing, which is why continuing to work has been the right choice for me and my family.
You're Going To Be Great At Setting Boundaries
Pop quiz: You have a deadline, but your kiddo is asking for a specific toy. What do you do? You might not have an answer right now, but after working-from-home from a few weeks, you could respond in your sleep (and probably will).
Your Kid Will Understand One Day
Actually, my own dad worked-from-home in the 90s. I didn't think much of it as a kid, but now that I'm older with a family of my own, I think it's a pretty sweet arrangement, and I totally get it.
Working, In General, Doesn’t Make You A Bad Mom. Location Is Irrelevant.
Working moms have just as much opportunity to be awesome moms. The only difference with work-at-home moms is that we're sometimes in closer proximity to our kids while we're getting stuff done, but all the other rules still apply.
But, Speaking Of Location, If Anything, Knowing Your Kid Is Close By Is A Good Thing
I mean, if I'm really, desperately, overwhelmingly in need of a hug or a quick play session with my son, I can sometimes do that (not always though, full disclosure, he's in part-time daycare). Being physically near my kid for an extra few hours a day isn't a guarantee that I'm a good parent, but it doesn't hurt, either.
It Can Feel Like The Best Of Both Worlds
Sure, it's not easy. But is any parenting situation? Is being a full-time, stay-at-home mom, or a full-time, working mom any easier? I highly doubt that. At least we can experience a bit of both and feel confident we're making an informed decision for our family.
You're Providing For Your Family
I mean, Britney kind of gets right to the point here. There's something to be said about contributing to your family's income, especially when women have not always been afforded such an opportunity.
You're Setting An Example
And your kids have a front-row seat. They see you managing your time, getting things done, staying focused, and being present, all while you do something you (I hope and assume) love. They see you.