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Balancing Working From Home and Being a Mom
Single Working Mom of a Toddler
It's a struggle for any mother to have to go back to work after their child is born. In my opinion, it's especially hard when you are a single mom, and having to figure out how your work life is going to fit into your mom life. I remember having to leave my baby at 5 weeks to go back to work. I felt so guilty leaving him, but at the same time I had to make sure everyone was fed and happy. Three years later, my child being a toddler now, I am still facing that same struggle. I even chose a new career path from being an administrative director for a non-profit to an entrepreneur storage buyer/seller. Even as a mom who works at home, I am still consumed with guilt and fear that I am not leaving enough room for mothering. Lately, I've decided enough is enough. I need to stop being so hard on myself, but how?
Don't Forget That You are Human
From the second I wake up in the morning my mind starts racing with everything that needs to get done for the day: laundry, taking children to the park, cooking, cleaning, online bidding, selling, ordering packing materials, going to the store, and if I'm lucky, getting a shower in. Usually by the end of the day I'm beat, having only finished a portion on what I needed to get done, and feeling completely defeated. I've made a point to remind myself every day that I am human, and for me to even get a few tasks done with a toddler by my side is a major feat. There are times I have mixed up schedules, snapped at employees, and completely forgotten to ship items that were due for shipping a week prior, but since I am not a robot, I can't expect myself to be perfect at everything, even if I am really trying to be.
Make Time Every Day for Your Children
This is a lot harder than it seems, but worth it. At least once a day make it a point to put down the computer, cell phone, spread sheets, whatever is taking up your attention, and focus on your child. It can be as simple as a short trip to the park, or sitting down for a quiet lunch. The main thing is that you are engaging with your child in some way that isn't associated with work. On weekends, or days you have off, take a small trip somewhere and turn your phone off for the day. Even if it's just to go fly kites, or to go to the zoo, you will thank yourself for it later. Work will always be there when you are done, and if your little one is tired out from play time he or she might take a long enough nap to where you can get some work done anyway. It's important to utilize any little time you have during the day to get your tasks done, as long as it's not at your child's expense.
Make Time for Yourself!
Sometimes this seems like an impossible task. You finally sit down from a long day at work and your brain can't shut off. Try and relax by taking a bath, playing a dumb computer game, or exercising for an hour or so. Not only will this help your mental health but also your physical health. In the end you will be able to be more focused on your child and your business, because your energy levels will be restored. The mental break from all the craziness will help provide clarity, which every mom can agree we need sometimes.
Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help
It's amazing how little us hard working Mom's ask for help, but we need to! Have a huge day of organizing financial folders ahead of you? Ask a family member if they would be able to babysit for a few hours, chances are they will be more then inclined to help, and might even be open to helping in the future. You will be able to focus all your attention on your business while your little one is away and get more work done, thus making more time to spend with your little one. Just typing that sentence felt chaotic, but really, asking for help is not a bad thing, and does not make you weak. Remember we are human and we are women, we can handle a fair amount of stress, but we don't always have to and it's okay to ask for help.
The Struggle is Worth it
Basically being a working Mom is one of the toughest jobs there are. We need to remember to take one thing at a time and be easy on ourselves. Stop taking everything so seriously, and remember to take a step back and admire our beautiful child/children. There is only so much that can be done in one day. Just the fact that we have the drive to be better mothers and business owners shows a lot of character and drive. Someday, when our children are grown and we've built our empire, we can look back at the craziness as a good thing, and be proud that not only did we raise amazing people but we were also able to run an efficient business. As working mothers, we accomplish more in a day than some people do in a week, and that alone is more than deserving of the title "perfect mom."