As a working mum it is very easy to feel guilty about the time and energy spent on your career when placed in contrast with the time spent with the children. Constant remarks about how fleeting childhood is and that, looking back, your largest regrets will be that you didn’t spend every waking hour with your little darlings. Right here and now it may be hard to ever believe that, especially when you’ve just stepped over the threshold and awaiting you is the latest temper tantrum, but it can still play on your mind.
There is a very strong case to be made in the favour of working mums, that when you have limited time to spend with your children, you make every second count. There are endless examples of working mothers, who, on their one day off work, fit more into those precious hours than most parents can achieve in a whole week. Suddenly the top priority is having fun with the kids so chores and errands take a back seat whilst the attention is focused in a laser like fashion on the needs and whims of the little ones.
The old adage absence makes the heart grow fonder is true. All parents need time to recharge their patience. How often do mums long for the kids’ bedtime to come around, desperately in need of some respite, only to be thinking fondly of them a few hours later when recounting amusing anecdotes about them over the dinner table.
The other result of spending less time with the children as a working mum is that you have more things to talk about when you are with them. You can discuss their day and share their ups and downs as part of a meaningful conversation; often in a way that doesn’t occur when you are present at the happenings.
So how do you make your time count? Focus on the key moments such as meal times and arriving home from school. Try and be completely present in those moments. Switch off your phone, put work worries in a little compartment in your head and lock the door. Engage in the types of conversations that would otherwise be infuriating, not matter how often the retort is ‘why’.
Working mums have a balancing act to achieve; often the perception is that since they are positioned in the two camps of career and motherhood, they are able to excel in neither. The reality is that the balance that they bring to their lives makes them far more likely to succeed l in both areas. The skill that is required is one of focus. When you are at work, be at work, when with the kids, focus on them. The issues only really arise when the two worlds merge and neither gets the attention desired and needed.
How do you spend your quality time? Do share your tips below and don’t forget to visit Coaching Mums to view our latest FREE resources for helping you achieve more balance in your life. If you’d like a little inspiration and support delivered free to your inbox, click here to sign up for my free ezine; Inspire.