Being a working parent is tough but there are many joys to bringing home the bacon and relishing a role outside of the home. That said, there are a few things working moms do that jeopardize their sanities, self-esteem, advancement, and, sometimes, family lives. Here are seven things that all working moms need to put the kibosh on right now!
Guilt Over Working
Do dads feel guilt over providing for their families? Maybe sometimes if they're working long hours or traveling, but more often than not work is viewed as a natural extension of a man and father's personality. A must-do. A way to survive. Why, as a mother, should work be seen as anything different? Your work is an extension of you as an authentic human being. Your work is a method of survival. Why should it be any different because you have ovaries, a uterus, etc.?
Working After Hours
We all have work that hits us after hours especially for those of us, like myself, who work at home. It's almost as if you live (and you do!) in your office 24/7. However, there has to be a time in which you put the phone down and stop checking the email between particular hours so that you can:
a) Be a parent and effectively enjoy the time you have with your children and
b) Relax and decompress from the day
You're no good to any employer if you're constantly on!
Stalling Asking For a Raise
You need money. You work hard. You have put the time in, so what's holding you back? Are you worried about being too aggressive? Are you worried that your boss will get angry? The reality is the only thing that can happen is he or she says no. No one is going to fire you for wanting a raise, and if the answer is truly no, perhaps it's time you consider a different job. Are you really getting paid your worth? Fight for what you deserve, diplomatically so. Men do it all the time. You are providing for a family. Ask!
Avoiding Me Time
Juggling work and family life is an act and feat in itself, but it's important to build in me time into your schedule just as it's important to build in family time. Not caring for yourself could jeopardize your work performance, which could affect your ability to provide. Not caring for yourself could make you an agitated and angry parent, which means your poor kids suffer. Take time to relax alone!
Comparing Yourself to Childless Co-Workers
When your kids have Spring break and there's no one to watch them and so you need to work from home or take the time off, don't stop to compare yourself to your childless co-workers. Raising children while working is a delicate act and sometimes, especially if there's a family crisis or an illness or other high-needs situation, you may have to step away from work duties or work at home or late at night or flex hours to make sure your job and your family's needs are met. This is something your childless co-workers may or may not understand and a part of you may feel envious that they are not juggling such matters, but it is what it is!
Taking It All On Yourself
If you're a divorced mom or a married mom, the other parent needs to step up to the plate to help out with family duties just as you do. Your work matters just as much as your partner's work or your former partner's work. Don't take on everything yourself regarding family matters and errands, leaving you drained or worse, hurting your work performance because you have bitten off more than you can chew. You need to ask dad or the other coparent to take off work during some school vacations or hey, please make dinner tonight. Too many women take on everything because they don't like how the other partner does something or because they're simply used to taking charge but in order to stay sane, ask for assistance. If this means hiring a babysitter or home-helper or calling on family or friends, do it!
Talking Bad About Their Jobs to the Kids
You may love your job! If so, this doesn't apply to you, but if you hate your job, I truly understand but don't tell this to your children — too much. You don't want your kids to grow up finding and viewing work as drudgery and a horror, even if work can be! You want your children to have a positive attitude about work and careers. If your job is truly that bad, you really ought to consider how you can find a new one! Your unhappiness will bleed into your children's lives, guaranteed.