Have a Snack (& Other Tips for Working Moms)
I love my work. I love the day-to-day challenges, and knowing I'm doing a good job is a reward in itself. However, there is one thing I love more. The single thing I enjoy most in life is spending time with my family. I have a great job and a great family life.
But as anyone who does the working-mom thing knows, there are peaks and valleys. Sometimes there are hugs and kisses, other times there are temper tantrums and tears. Sometimes everyone loves the dinner I rushed home to cook, other times my kids turn their noses up and have a snack instead.
Here are a few tips that I learned from some amazing working moms. They helped keep me sane, and I hope they do the same for you.
Tips for Working Moms
Laugh Your Head Off
Life, family, and work have plenty of serious moments. These should be offset with peals of laughter! Laugh away your stress. Laughing releases endorphins, which make us feel better. Laugh with your family, friends, and co-workers. It's a great way to maintain relationships.
Know That You Can't Do It All
Of course, there were days when I just wanted to be alone. But instead, I found myself driving my children and their friends to events all over town. As I drove, I started mentally checking off all the things I still needed to do. Laundry. Send a birthday card to my brother. Pick up milk. I could get really stressed out, or I could shrug it off and enjoy my time with the kids. The truth is that I couldn't possibly do everything I want to get done. Laundry will wait another day. My brother was already used to getting late cards. No problem.
Read To Your children
Storytime was one of my favorite ways to spend time with my kids. Not only did it give me an exuse to cuddle with them (especially when they got too old to want to cuddle!) it also helped their brains.
Reading to children encourages brain activity, and it actually helps them down the road when they start reading to themselves. As a busy working mom, I wanted to make the most of my interaction with the kids. Reading to them was a win-win option. It's good for me, and good for them.
Offer Your Kids Your Support
Unfortunately, kids don't always believe that their parents are on their side. I wanted mine to know that even though I was busy, I was still there for them as much as possible. When they brought home an art project from school, I admired it even though the fried potatoes were burning in the pan. When they had a bad dream, I sat with all night even if I had a presentation in the morning. My kids deserved a loving, caring mom, and I was and still am determined to give them the best of what I have to offer!
Don't Neglect Your Own Needs
I've been saying a lot about serving your kids and family, but now comes the harder instructions. You first need to care for yourself, or you won't be able to take care of your family.
Taking care of yourself means exercising so you stay healthier and have enough energy to tackle your day. The great thing about exercising is that you can do it with your kids! Run with your toddler's stroller. Stretch and tone with an exercise video at home. Take nature walks for a gentle workout and a fun activity for your whole family. Make sure you drink lots of water and eat healthy snacks, too.
Feeling depressed or confused? You might need to schedule some thinking time, or maybe some time to talk to a trusted friend or counselor. Take care of your body and your mind. It really is that important.
Forgive and Forget
Life comes with its hurts. Try not to fall into the trap of grudges and bitterness. Instead, embrace the healing nature of forgiveness. What can forgiveness do for you? It can lower blood pressure, decrease anxiety, decrease depression symptoms, and improve your relationships. The next time someone says something that stings, try to put it in the context of that person's busy life. Set a good example of forgiveness, and move forward.
Have a Snack
Before motherhood, the phrase "I forgot to eat" was unfathomable. Flash forward to being a full-time working mother of two - and it all makes sense. I can't count the number of times I was short with those around me because I was simply hungry.
These days, I have a snack on me at all times, more than likely a Bobo's bar. I wouldn't sell a product I wouldn't eat myself or serve my family. My purse snacks have saved me and my kids on more than one occasion - just ask my kids!
I hope you take this advice to heart. Your love and attention not only benefits the people you love, it also makes you the mom you want to be!