Whether you’re a working mom by choice or necessity, there are certain stressful situations you need to avoid. This isn’t always going to be easy but taking steps to avoid them will make everyone’s life happier. You’ll also support your whole health by keeping the stress to a minimum.
The problem with situations with the kids is they’re not always things you have control over completely. However, there are steps you can take to keep the possibilities of them arising to a minimum. Then there are situations at work that you can avoid with some planning and other tips.
Here are the seven stressful situations that you need to avoid as a working mom. We won’t just give you the things to avoid, but the way you can avoid them from happening.
The Guilt of Not Staying at Home
We all have our reasons to work. Some of us do it out of necessity as a single parent and others will choose to work full-time to save up for summer holidays or house deposits. There are others who will want to work because they find being a stay at home mom boring.
Whatever your reasons, don’t stress over your decision. Own it and move forward. Stressing over the decision and feeling the guilt that your child is in daycare, with a nanny, or with another family member is just putting your and their happiness at risk. There’s no need to worry about what you’re not able to do, as you can’t (or don’t want to) change the situation.
To get rid of this guilt, focus on the good you’re doing by being at work. The extra income allows you to do more when the kids are off school in the future. You can save for college, plan for more vacations, and even save up for a bigger home with a garden in a better location for a better school. There’s a high chance that you’ve chosen daycare, which means your children get ready for school and make new friends. Daycare can be highly beneficial for development and social circles.
Everyone will find something to judge you for. The moms that stay at home will judge you for choosing daycare or nannies. If you chose to stay at home, the working moms would judge you for not pulling your weight when it comes to the family finances. Nobody understands your decisions and will think they know better.
You can also think of the good role model you’re showing yourself as to your children. You’re proving the point that you can be a good mom and work at the same time. There’s no need for your daughter to sacrifice her career and your son will see that he shouldn’t expect his future wife to do all the childcare (especially with a supportive partner).
There’s no point in getting stressed over the situations. Move on and accept that you’re doing what you can for your family. Look at the positives, and they will certainly outweigh the downsides.
You’re not alone with the guilt. Every other mom has the same guilt, so there will be others around you that you can talk to.
As your kids get older, they’ll go to school full-time, and they’ll have more playdates and fun events. You’ll find you have more time available and will start to feel less guilt.
The only time that guilt as a working mom is justified is when you can’t see any positives from it at all. This is when you’ll want to re-evaluate the situation; when you’ll want to decide if you’ve made the right choice or whether you can change something.
There’s nothing wrong with deciding later that the workplace isn’t the right environment for you; that you want to spend more time with your children. Theirs is certainly nothing wrong with deciding that you want to stop being a working mom. You will need to weigh up the pros and cons of both being a stay at home mom or a working mom to make sure you make the best choice for the whole family.
Trust Your Childcare Provider
One of the most stressful situations for working moms is thinking about what’s going on in the daycare or with the babysitter. This doesn’t have to be something you stress over or worry about.
Start by thinking about your friends and family members. They may not be able to provide the care you’d like, but they can often help make recommendations. Some will already have children in daycare and share their experiences with their own. They may know babysitters, nannies and other alternatives for you to start your research.
Before you go searching, know what you want from a daycare center or babysitter. What are your priorities for your children? You can check off the items on your list for each provider you meet with and look around.
If you do choose a nanny, look for those who have the long-term commitments with their families. Look for those who have experience in dealing with children of all ages, since it shows they can adapt to needs and development stages. You want someone who you can see can care specifically for the needs of your children.
There’s nothing wrong with scheduling a testing session or settling in session. This will help you assess the carer and see if it’s the right environment for your child. Don’t be put off by the initial cries. Your child is initially going to be unsettled, but a good nanny or daycare center will know how to calm and soothe your child. A tester session will usually last 2-4 hours to get settled and experience the full environment.
Also, don’t be ashamed to ask for references, testimonials or a record of excellence. You want to see that others recommend the center or individual.
Depending on your work, you may also want to consider asking about flexible schedules. What happens if you are late for whatever reason and what happens in an emergency? The more you’re certain of procedures, the more you’ll be settled when it comes to going to work.
The best time to start this search (especially if you know you’re going back to work) is during pregnancy. This will get your name on the waiting list, so there’s a space when you need it. If you can’t do it while pregnant, look as soon as your baby is born to give yourself some time.
Stop Stressing on a Morning
Don’t make the morning difficult when it doesn’t need to be. Too many working moms rush around getting the kids ready for school and daycare and getting themselves ready for work. There is a way you can make this process as easy as possible.
The big mistake people make is leaving it all for first thing on a morning. We want the relaxing evening, but that makes it a problem on a morning. If you get up late, you’re going to find it even more difficult to get everything done and ready.
Opt for getting organized the night before, instead. You can lay out uniforms and clothes for the next day, pack lunches and even get everyone showered and ready. The next morning you need to do a quick wash of the face and under the arms/around the groin and get yourself ready.
Make sure the backpacks are done the night before. You can get the lunches in the fridge, so they need to get packed on the top right away. The bags can all go by the front door, so you can grab and go first thing on a morning.
One of the best ways to make sure you’re ready for the morning is to create a to-do list. Have a list of all the tasks that would usually need to happen on a morning and do them one at a time on a night. You’ll find they only take an hour or so (not even that in many cases) and that frees up the time on a morning. There’s no need to shout at the kids to stop watching their morning cartoons, and you don’t need to stress about where the important documents are for work.
You’ll spend the morning drinking your coffee, waking up and enjoying time with the kids before you go off to daycare, school, and work. Your day at work becomes more positive, as you start off on the right foot.
Stop Stressing About Your Time
Wasting time isn’t just annoying. It can be extremely stressful. You realize that you’re not getting as much done and worry about the judgment of your colleagues. They think that your family is causing the problem, and you can find your boss brings up the concerns. Meanwhile, you take work home with you, so you don’t get to spend the evenings planning for the next morning. You don’t get to spend time with your family when you’d like to.
It’s time to stop stressing about wasting time, by limiting distractions and using your time more productively. This means finding the tasks that are most time consuming, distracting and a problem.
Many of us find ourselves lost in the emails. There’s no need to check the emails every five minutes. You don’t need to respond to an email right away. Make it a priority to spend time on your work, and limit emails to first thing in the morning, before/after lunch, and at the end of the day. You’ll find you become more productive throughout the day.
It’s also important to become more disciplined when you get home. Minimize the time you spend watching TV so that you can spend the time with the family instead. Opt for a family movie night once a week, so the rest of the time is spent doing fun things, playing outside and doing the crafts. Not only do you get more done, but you’ll find it easier to get rid of the guilt.
When your colleagues at work distract you with the office gossip, politely explain that you need to get on with the tasks. The breaks and lunchtime are the times for chatting and socializing.
Make a note of how you spend your time both at work and at home. Find where your time wasters are and become more mindful of cutting them out. You get rid of the stress, become more productive, and show your boss that you’re certainly worth having on the team.
Stop Wondering When You’ll Get Time to Yourself
Many moms find that when they start working full-time that they don’t have any time to themselves. You’re either at work or dealing with the kids. If you have a partner, you can find that the two of you have no alone time together. This becomes stressful, as you try to find time to look after yourself. In fact, most of the months will slip by, and you haven’t even gone for the pedicure that you love.
It’s time to stop stressing about when you’ll have time to yourself. Make the time.
One of the best ways to do this is by waking up before your kids. If you know, they get up at 7 am, set your alarm for 6 am and get the morning to yourself. You can spend time meditating, reading a book and drinking your coffee while it’s hot! You don’t even need a full hour; just an extra 30 minutes in your day to spend on yourself is beneficial.
You can also arrange for time on a weekend. Find a friend or family member who is willing to look after your kids for you. Arrange time off with your partner, so you get to spend an hour or two on yourself now and then. You can go to the spa or get the manicure that you desperately need.
Don’t Stress About What Could Happen
Kids get sick. Some will have accidents and others will develop life-threatening injuries and ailments. Reading the newspapers will open up this world on a daily basis. There’s always something about a sick or injured child, and it can leave you stressed about your own children’s safety and health.
You’re worrying about the things that could happen and not taking life as it happens. This involves worrying and stressing about something often completely out of your control. Sicknesses and bugs go around. Children come down with them, and you can’t prevent them all.
However, you can take steps to minimize some of the situations. It’s possible to minimize the chances of your children picking up many viruses and illnesses, by vaccinating (unless for a medical/religious reason), good hygiene and other steps. You can minimize accidents by teaching your children about roads, other people, stranger danger, etc.
One of the best things you can do, though, is to avoid the newspapers. Sure, you don’t want to wrap yourself in a bubble, but the epidemics and genuine problems will come up in conversation with your friends. You’ll see those that are a direct problem for your children and your family pop up on social media, etc.
Bad news always sells, so the media takes control of it. The problem is that it stresses and plays on your anxiety. If you know it’s causing you to think about what could happen in some far-fetched world, then you need to step away.
Don’t Question What’s Coming Up Next
Many moms fear that they’ll miss an important doctor’s appointment or miss the school play. They’re trying to juggle so much that it can be hard to figure out where you need to be and when. It’s time to stop stressing when there’s a step you can take to manage it all.
It’s all about the family calendar. Whether you do this online or with an actual calendar on the wall (going old-school), you can keep track of absolutely everything that you need to do.
The calendar is a good place to mark down all bill due dates, create a chore chart for the kid, mark down appointments and school events, make a list of the activity and hobby dates, and mark down other social events. With everything written down, you can look at the date and decide if you’re free the next time you get an invite or event date.
An online calendar is a good place to start. You can allow everyone to have their calendars that are all synced to each other. You have access to the kids’ calendars, so when they put in events, then you can see it on your calendar. If you have a family event, you can make sure everyone sees it immediately, so they don’t double book accidentally.
Staying organized will create efficiency within the home. You’ll reduce the “what ifs” or uncertainties to keep the unnecessary stress to a minimum.
Only Stress When You Need To
There are certain things that happen that you have no control over. You can’t prevent bugs from passing around the home and won’t have any control over last-minute meetings at the office. However, as a working mom, you need to keep the stress to a minimum. There are things that you can avoid any problems that you can prevent happening.
Following the tips above will help. You can avoid the stress that causes harm. Avoiding the stress will make you healthier and happier. You get rid of the built, spend more time with your children, and know that you’re doing the best for everyone.