Mom Guilt. What is it?
That feeling that you are not doing enough for your family or should be doing more. Both stay at home and working moms have felt this. I have had both experiences. The stay at home mom and the working mom since my children were born. And now I am back at work full time and I must say that work, my family and moving home and all at the same time is not easy!
How can we manage our homes, children, our well-being, health, fitness, personal lives, our spouses and partners while having a full-time career?
Most important! Repeat after me… The difficult situation I am in right now is not permanent and things will get easier and better.
I am struggling financially “now” (this will not last forever)
I am unfit or have gained some weight “now” (this will not last forever)
I don’t have time to cook my kids healthy food “now” (this will not last forever)
I am not happy “now” (this will not last forever)
You get the point… the list goes on and on!
First, ask for help!
Second? Admitting we are not perfect!
Third? Remove guilt from your vocabulary. Every woman deserves to have a career if she chooses to. It does not mean she is choosing not to spend more time at home or with her family. She can have it all! Family life and a successful career!
The rest is all organization!
Let me share with you my secrets to keep everything together. I work more than 45 hours a week, am studying for a new degree in my part time, train and try to cook and have healthy food for myself and children.
- Wake up early every day. If the kids must wake up at 7am to get ready for school, get up at 6am. I need this one hour for myself. I drink my coffee, look at the day’s schedule, do some stretching and meditation to get ready for the day.
- I am a fan of calendars and writing everything down. Get one of those large desk calendars. I also use my iPhone for all the events with reminders so I don’t forget anything. Here I categorize everything in colour (the kids, work, nutrition, personal, training) I also use the family sharing when I add something that I want everyone involved to see. A lifesaver!
- I go to the supermarket and fruit market twice a week. I plan our weekly dinners and what the kids will bring to school to eat for breakfast and lunch.
- Get help. I now use the morning and afternoon school bus. This 30 minute in the morning and afternoon gives me more time for other things that I need to do and not to be stuck in a car in traffic. Also, I have someone that I trust to help me while I am working in the weekends and late evenings.
- Night time routine. At a certain point, every evening, we start bed time. This means dinner, then bath and pyjamas and good night kisses. AT 9PM every night my kids are in bed when they have school the next day. They get the rest they need and I have alone time.
- Schedule in time for you! If you schedule it, you are more likely to do it. My favourite is morning runs. Get it done before you start your crazy day! If I wait till after the kids go to bed for me to work out, I will be so tired and lazy to do anything.
- Focus on quality and not quantity! I don’t spend as much time as I used to with my kids. But I see now that we enjoy our time together even more and we try to value every moment. I am involved everyday with their homework and activities. And speak to their teachers very regularly to ensure all is ok.
- The last point is a new concept and I see it is the best! No television or tablets in the home! This was hard at first but it is truly amazing. Now we all talk more, do more activities and best of all read more! Including myself. So many times, I would find myself staring at a screen after a long day of work too tired for anything else. Now I read, study or go to sleep!
No matter what every woman chooses to do, stay at home or work part time or full time, it is her choice. We as women and mothers also must support each other and bring each other up as a community. Only love and happiness. No judgements!
Happy Mother’s Day! I hope you enjoy it!
Katy Taveira, MSc
*Cover photo: www.domaine.com