Feeling guilty not being with your child while at work? Maybe it is a bittersweet feeling of missing your child, while feeling relief from the constant parenting demands. Some parents find that being at work relieves stress and helps them find the piece they need, like a mini-vacation. Some parents say they are able to concentrate more clearly when they are away from home. They also find that work provides a sense of financial security for their family, which is also a major stress reliever. This does not mean that parents who stay home are not beneficial, because they are. Any parent who stays home will tell you it is just as tough working at home than going away to work. At least the working parents can go to the bathroom…alone.
For most parents who work, you are surrounded by other parents who chose to work outside the home. Talk to coworkers and other working parents to exchange tips and ideas. This may actually help reduce your guilt trips.
Try preparing for work the night before so you can save time and stress. Pack your lunch at night and have it ready to grab on your way out the door in the morning. It may help to make a To-Do list so you can be sure not to forget anything important. By preparing for work the night before, this may allow some time to spend with your kids before heading to work.
Use a calendar or dry erase board to figure out your family’s priorities. Calendars and To-Do list are great tools when multiple people are sharing responsibilities within hour household, especially if you have a babysitter or nanny.
Stay connected with your children while away. Voice recordings and video chat are excellent ways to communicate. Always give your children something to look forward to, whether it is a picture of yourself or a phone call during your breaks. Try not to focus all your time checking email, making phone calls, or doing chores when you get home. Spend time with your family and do these things once they are asleep. Also try not to talk about work when you are spending time with your kids.
One important thing to remember is your partner. Always put effort into your relationship since this person is the only one you can have an adult conversation with at home. Have date nights, share a conversation about something fun or interesting, and discuss achievements your child did that day. Try not to discuss work or money as these things tend to bring you down. Never forget your partner no matter how busy, crazy, or hectic your life and work can be.
Remember, this is temporary. Your children will one day be grown, they will move out, you will retire, and then all you have left is trying to find something to do~