My Trick For Easing Mom Guilt While I Work

I guess it’s the hormones, but I’ve been feeling extra sentimental lately. And for the first time, really, I’m getting sad about the passage of time, especially when it comes to my oldest. I’ve never been one to be super… sad about it. I get longing for the baby days sometimes, but it’s never hit me like this. I think just knowing that I’m going to have a tiny baby soon, and my oldest is going to look even bigger next to him, and then I’m going to blink and he’s going to turn nine.

And nine? That’s halfway out the door, you guys.

Ugh.

Pumpkin Patch

OMGGGGGGGG look at that chubby baby at his first pumpkin patch! OMGGGGGGGGGG TIME IS AN ASSHOLE.

But here’s something I’ve been doing lately to curb the mom guilt because I can’t let myself wallow too much- I’m intentionally committing specific times to my children, and in between those times I’m giving myself permission to not be consistently present for them.

My Trick For Easing Mom Guilt While I Work | BabyRabies.com

What does that look like? 

It means stopping what I’m doing, no matter how entrenched I am in a task or behind I am on a deadline, with enough time to greet them after school (or pick my youngest up from preschool), make snacks, check homework, sign folders, not allow them to litter the house with their backpacks and jackets, and be available for conversations.

This is a time of day I generally loathe because we are all in a terrible mood. The kids are hangry and whining, and I’m irritated that I’ve had to pause what I’m doing. The difference now is that I build this stop into my day, I anticipate the bad moods, I make sure there are snacks in advance, and I try very, very hard not to lose my cool. I try to make this time non-negotiable in my schedule. This 1.5 hour block is for them.

Then again at dinner, I am at the very least present for the meal. We always have been a family that comes together around the dinner table nearly every single night, even if that’s just to eat a box of takeout chicken strips. There are no devices at the table, and most of the time the TV is off (though we’ve been known to watch some American Ninja Warrior and Beat Bugs together then). Most nights, I try to cook, too. (Scott does the dishes, and I couldn’t ask for a better arrangement.)

This block of time continues right through bedtime, and I try to read stories to at least the two big kids, while Scott reads to Lowell. Leyna gets 2-3 books of her choice, and Kendall and I’ve been reading the Harry Potter books for 2 years, one chapter at a time. We’re on the 4th book now. We’ve taken some breaks from this routine for other book series along the way.

In addition, I’m up with them at least 2-3 mornings a week, and Scott takes over the others when he’s working from home and able to let me sleep in a bit because pregnancy insomnia is a bitch. I’ve been intentional about making these mornings less stressful by making lunches the night before, and being sure the kids have their clothes picked out at bedtime. I fight my inner procrastinator and drag myself out of bed to be sure they will have plenty of time to eat and get dressed and be out the door long before I have to tell them to run to school. Most days, this plan goes well.

These might sound like normal things normal parents do, and I certainly don’t deserve a gold star for them. But, in being mindful that these times are not something I can work through (or sleep through because I stayed up all night working), and making a real effort to be present and set myself, and all of us, up for success, they are becoming actual quality time, and they are times my children can depend on me to be available (when I’m not traveling).

Selfishly, this has given me a lot of relief when it comes to the times that I simply can’t be available now. After that after school block of time, I can usually be found taking a nap with Lowell (either sleeping next to me in bed, or watching Netflix). I don’t make it to all their baseball/t-ball games because I can get a lot of work done while their dad takes them in the evenings, and I really have to knock out a lot of projects on the weekends, especially before the baby comes.

Does this mean I ignore them? Not necessarily (though I am Team Ignore The Children, for sure). I’m just not going to let myself feel guilty for not being totally available to them then, or turning them away if it’s something they can figure out on their own (or get their dad to help with).

I’ve been feeling guilty that I’ve been working so much and it seemed opportunities for “quality time” were slim, but when I thought about it, it was more that manufactured quality time (trips & special experiences together) was lacking. There’s still plenty of room in our day for time together, I just have to work to make those times less stressful.

This isn’t some groundbreaking technique. I’m guessing this is how it goes for a lot of parents who work out of the home, though their dedicated times of the day/week may be different. Of course, I can’t speak for that experience and would love to hear from parents who do work out of the home. Do you find that you’re more intentional with the time you have with your children?  I’d love to hear from parents of all walks, actually. Are there certain times of day you’ve been able to carve out quality time by being mindful and present, and how does that affect the rest of your day?

  • Jess Z. - Yes! I have trying to be more mindful at this time of day, too. I work from home one day a week (Tuesdays…I call them “Tuesdays with Callie” since I keep the youngest home with me) and go to the office the other four. I have really been trying hard since school started to be more mindful of the time we have together as a family because it seems like time is moving so quickly and I can’t keep up; or rather, I’m scared I’ll miss something my oldest (almost 8) has done or said…really the same reasons you have stated. I’m trying to cherish these times more and not get so annoyed with the whining/fighting/crying parts of our days. I’m worried my kindergartner (5) gets lost somewhere in the middle of things (ha ha, she is the middle child), and the baby (20 months) gets the most relaxed version of me because, well, she’s the baby and I’m more relaxed with her the third time around. I’m just trying to be more intentional with each of them and I hope they can sense that. To me it seems to make things easier and there isn’t as much whining/fighting/crying if I’m calm.ReplyCancel

  • Kerrin - YES! I freelance from home and when my older two get home, I try to always pause work (b/c the baby is napping then) and sit down with them while they snack and do homework. Somedays, i really should be working, but the kids seem to be so much better if they KNOW they’ve had my undivided attention when they get home. The rest of the evening goes so much more smoothly.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - I work in real estate, and work-life balance is something that we discuss a lot. There is so much pressure to be available for your clients on evenings and weekends, whenever they call or text or email.

    I do exactly what you do, but not for 1.5 hours. That’s a lot in my book. I, too, stop work a few minutes before she gets home and am usually waiting for her when she walks home. I leave my phone upstairs in my office before coming down. We probably spend about 15 minutes talking about her day – that’s all she really wants of me, before she wants to chill out.

    Sometimes, I’ll go get my laptop and continue working while she pulls out a book to do her reading homework. I am so grateful to have a job that is flexible, that allows me this time with her.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - Oh, and in our area (Washington, DC) where it seems everyone’s jobs are just So. Important. (sarcasm there) and parenting is a competitive sport, this whole quality-time conversation comes up a lot. It’s not just a working-from-home phenomenon, but also a ‘how do I be a good parent if I am working 70+ hours a week?
    We had a speaker talk about this, a writer and professional speaker who travels quite a bit. He talks about flow, instead of balance. There will be busy times of the year for work, and then there will be slow times. It’s about finding your flow, and spending more time, more relaxed time, planning the vacation when business is slow. I mean, you are home with the kids ALL SUMMER. Isn’t that enough family time to last, for like, ever? 🙂ReplyCancel

  • adidas tubular x - Thanks a lot for providing individuals with a very spectacular chance to read from this website. It is often very good plus stuffed with a great time for me and my office mates to visit the blog minimum thrice per week to read through the latest items you have. And indeed, I am also usually impressed with the remarkable secrets you give. Some 4 tips in this article are undoubtedly the most suitable I have had.ReplyCancel

  • vera bradley bags - I needed to write you the tiny word just to thank you so much over again over the pleasant guidelines you have discussed at this time. This has been quite unbelievably open-handed with people like you to give without restraint what many of us might have marketed as an e-book to help make some dough for themselves, notably considering that you might well have tried it in case you wanted. Those secrets also acted like the easy way to know that other people online have the same keenness much like my personal own to learn a lot more when it comes to this matter. I think there are several more pleasant situations in the future for people who check out your blog post.ReplyCancel

  • hermes belt - Thank you so much for giving everyone an exceptionally breathtaking chance to check tips from this website. It is always so pleasant and as well , jam-packed with a lot of fun for me personally and my office colleagues to visit the blog at minimum three times every week to read through the fresh items you have. And lastly, I’m also always pleased with all the brilliant strategies you serve. Selected 3 areas in this posting are basically the best I have ever had.ReplyCancel

  • cheap jordan shoes - I needed to compose you the very small note to be able to say thanks a lot yet again relating to the magnificent information you have featured in this case. It is certainly incredibly generous of people like you to provide extensively what numerous people might have advertised for an e-book to get some money on their own, chiefly seeing that you could have done it in case you wanted. The creative ideas also acted like the fantastic way to be certain that other people online have the same eagerness much like my own to figure out a great deal more with reference to this problem. I’m sure there are many more fun times up front for individuals who browse through your website.ReplyCancel

  • adidas stan smith sneakers - I just wanted to make a quick word in order to thank you for those unique items you are sharing on this site. My considerable internet lookup has at the end of the day been recognized with good tips to share with my co-workers. I would claim that most of us visitors are very fortunate to live in a great place with so many perfect individuals with very beneficial tips and hints. I feel extremely lucky to have discovered your entire web pages and look forward to really more brilliant moments reading here. Thanks a lot once again for a lot of things.ReplyCancel

  • adidas yeezy uk - Thank you for every one of your work on this web page. My mom really likes engaging in research and it’s really easy to understand why. All of us know all of the lively medium you provide invaluable tactics on the website and as well as inspire participation from others on this subject so our own simple princess has always been becoming educated a lot. Take pleasure in the remaining portion of the new year. You’re carrying out a glorious job.ReplyCancel

  • adidas nmd uk - I simply had to thank you so much once more. I am not sure what I might have followed without the actual aspects shared by you concerning such a topic. This was an absolute hard dilemma for me, but viewing this well-written strategy you solved that took me to jump with contentment. Now i’m happy for the help and even sincerely hope you find out what an amazing job that you’re carrying out teaching other individuals by way of your blog. I’m certain you have never encountered any of us.ReplyCancel

  • chrome heats - I have to convey my appreciation for your kind-heartedness giving support to men who have the need for help on this study. Your very own commitment to getting the solution along came to be exceedingly insightful and has permitted regular people like me to achieve their ambitions. The invaluable facts can mean much a person like me and especially to my office workers. Regards; from all of us.ReplyCancel

  • cheap nfl jerseys - Thanks for your whole labor on this blog. My mother really likes making time for internet research and it is easy to see why. My spouse and i notice all concerning the lively means you deliver very important tips and hints by means of this web blog and therefore improve participation from some other people on the article while our girl is certainly becoming educated a lot of things. Have fun with the remaining portion of the new year. You are always conducting a fantastic job.ReplyCancel

  • longchamp handbags - I must voice my passion for your kind-heartedness supporting individuals who should have help with this theme. Your special commitment to getting the solution across came to be surprisingly interesting and have all the time empowered most people much like me to attain their aims. The invaluable useful information can mean much to me and somewhat more to my colleagues. Regards; from all of us.ReplyCancel

  • nike dunks - I would like to express my appreciation to the writer for rescuing me from this crisis. Just after exploring throughout the the web and finding notions that were not productive, I assumed my entire life was done. Living without the presence of approaches to the problems you’ve fixed all through your main guideline is a crucial case, and those that could have negatively damaged my career if I had not encountered the website. Your talents and kindness in dealing with every aspect was invaluable. I am not sure what I would’ve done if I had not encountered such a thing like this. I can also at this moment look forward to my future. Thanks so much for this professional and results-oriented guide. I will not think twice to recommend your site to anyone who would need direction about this subject.ReplyCancel

  • chrome heats - I and also my friends ended up going through the best advice from your web site and then quickly I got a terrible suspicion I had not thanked the web blog owner for those strategies. All the boys are already so happy to read all of them and now have clearly been taking pleasure in these things. I appreciate you for truly being very helpful and also for selecting variety of nice subjects millions of individuals are really wanting to be aware of. Our honest regret for not expressing gratitude to you sooner.ReplyCancel

  • michael kors handbags - Thank you a lot for providing individuals with an extremely superb opportunity to read in detail from here. It is always so cool and stuffed with a lot of fun for me personally and my office co-workers to visit your website at least 3 times weekly to study the newest things you have got. Not to mention, I am just certainly motivated for the outstanding creative ideas you give. Some two areas on this page are certainly the finest we’ve had.ReplyCancel

  • salomon shoes - I must show my appreciation to you for rescuing me from this type of issue. After looking throughout the world wide web and meeting tips which were not pleasant, I believed my entire life was gone. Existing devoid of the strategies to the issues you’ve sorted out all through your good short article is a serious case, and those that could have badly damaged my career if I hadn’t noticed your website. Your personal talents and kindness in taking care of all the things was tremendous. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I had not come across such a solution like this. I can at this moment look ahead to my future. Thanks so much for your reliable and result oriented help. I will not be reluctant to propose your web sites to anyone who needs to have assistance about this problem.ReplyCancel

  • michael kors handbags - My husband and i got satisfied that Raymond managed to conclude his investigations from the precious recommendations he got through the web page. It is now and again perplexing just to be giving out guidance which usually other people may have been trying to sell. Therefore we acknowledge we have got the writer to be grateful to for that. Most of the illustrations you made, the easy blog menu, the friendships you make it easier to engender – it’s all unbelievable, and it’s really assisting our son in addition to the family consider that that situation is awesome, which is truly vital. Many thanks for the whole lot!ReplyCancel

  • nike free - I want to get across my passion for your kind-heartedness in support of persons that really need assistance with in this study. Your special dedication to passing the message along had been incredibly functional and has specifically helped most people like me to get to their targets. Your insightful instruction can mean so much a person like me and somewhat more to my mates. With thanks; from everyone of us.ReplyCancel

  • skechers shoes for women - I really wanted to post a quick message in order to express gratitude to you for those precious hints you are placing at this site. My long internet lookup has now been compensated with reasonable details to share with my guests. I ‘d admit that we readers actually are rather endowed to exist in a fantastic place with so many wonderful people with valuable tips and hints. I feel somewhat lucky to have used your website and look forward to tons of more enjoyable minutes reading here. Thanks once again for a lot of things.ReplyCancel

  • jordan shoes - I wish to show some thanks to this writer for rescuing me from this particular circumstance. As a result of looking out through the the web and obtaining principles which were not pleasant, I assumed my entire life was gone. Living without the approaches to the issues you’ve sorted out all through your good posting is a serious case, and the ones that would have adversely affected my entire career if I hadn’t encountered your web blog. The capability and kindness in controlling all the stuff was helpful. I am not sure what I would’ve done if I hadn’t come upon such a point like this. I’m able to at this moment look ahead to my future. Thanks so much for the impressive and sensible help. I will not hesitate to propose your blog to any individual who would like support about this area.ReplyCancel

  • true religion jeans - I enjoy you because of all your valuable work on this web site. My daughter loves making time for research and it is obvious why. Most of us notice all of the lively method you render useful secrets by means of your web blog and attract response from the others about this topic and our favorite daughter has been understanding a whole lot. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the year. You’re the one carrying out a wonderful job.ReplyCancel

  • new balance shoes - I happen to be writing to make you understand of the extraordinary discovery my wife’s princess went through using yuor web blog. She came to find too many issues, with the inclusion of what it’s like to possess an excellent helping style to have folks with ease thoroughly grasp selected very confusing issues. You truly did more than our own expected results. Many thanks for offering such helpful, trustworthy, edifying and as well as easy thoughts on that topic to Evelyn.ReplyCancel

  • links of london - I and also my pals happened to be reading the great guides on your web site and so immediately came up with a terrible feeling I never thanked you for those secrets. All of the young boys are already as a result thrilled to learn them and already have in fact been loving those things. I appreciate you for genuinely very helpful and also for deciding upon this sort of good information most people are really desperate to be aware of. My personal honest regret for not expressing gratitude to earlier.ReplyCancel

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

*

*