Even though we’re well into the 21st century, that old lingering feeling of guilt over working instead of being more present with your family might still be there. And it’s no wonder. With so many products, blogs, books, even TV shows dedicated to stay-at-home moms, working moms often feel like they’re “missing out” on something by going to work every day instead of staying home. Sometimes we need to take the extra step for quality time.
But here’s the truth: if working makes your family stronger, whether financially, emotionally, or a combination of the two, then it’s good for your family, no matter what anyone might try to tell you otherwise. And, not to add any more fuel to the so-called “mommy wars” that many women are still battling, but there’s suggestive evidence that children of moms who work might actually be better equipped to land a successful career because they are more independent and resilient.
The main thing to remember as a working mom is that your children need to spend quality time with you; you won’t be able to be perfect at home and at work, so just stop trying before you drive yourself mad. Instead, focus on the things that really matter, like spending quality time with your kids.
How to focus on quality over quantity time
Sure, working means you’re away from your kids a large portion of the day, so you’re lacking in the “quantity” department when it comes to spending time with your kids. But you can still have quality time together, even if it’s only for a few minutes in between dinner and bedtime.
Here are a few ideas to make the most of the time you do have with your family:
- Eat dinner together: Even if it’s a meal that comes from a box or delivery from GrubHub, eating dinner with your family is a great way to reconnect after a long day at work. Make this a priority most days of the week, focusing more on spending time together than stressing out cooking a gourmet dinner.
- Play games: Playing games has a lot of benefits for kids, and as they grow this can be a way to have fun as a family. Many games meant for toddlers and preschoolers are specifically designed to only last 10 minutes or so, so you can make time to squeeze one in most nights.
- Reading: There is nothing kids like more than winding down with a good bedtime story and snuggle. This can be a special part of your routine that gives you and your kids time to reconnect, imagine, and talk.
It’s not easy being a mom, period, whether you work or stay home. Give yourself a break by dropping the idea of perfection, and spend some quality time each night with your family.