For mothers across the world, nothing is more precious than our children. We bust our butts working to provide for them. We readily sacrifice whatever we have to for their benefit. We give up the pieces of ourselves that are most precious to us in order to help them grow. That’s what being a mom is all about, and there’s nothing we’d rather be doing.
But if we’re being honest, it’s often anything but fun. Sure – those Instagram and Facebook posts of babies smiling in their crib make it look like motherhood is always a joy. But people didn’t see the diaper change that turned into a hazardous waste spill right before the picture was snapped. Or the 20 straight minutes of crying at 3 a.m. when baby just wouldn’t eat. It’s enough to drive anyone insane.
As mothers, it’s important that we keep an identity besides the role of “mom.” There’s been plenty of research that shows taking care of yourself is one of the most critical things you have to do as a parent. But in the world of the working mom, where are earth are you going to find the time to do that? Below, we’ll explore a few great options that you have to ensure your kids get everything they need, and so do you.
Pass Kids Off to Daddy
The quickest and easiest solution to your mommy dilemma is to simply hand off the kids to papa bear for a little while. It’s amazing what just an hour of alone time in a separate room will do to lift your spirits!
Now, ladies, I know what you may be thinking. You can barely trust that man to boil eggs, let alone change a dirty diaper with a wailing 1-year-old. Trust me – I’ve been there, felt that, and I have the t-shirt as evidence. However, what changed my mind was by thinking about this:
- I chose to have a child with this man. If he’s that unreliable, why on earth would I do that?
- We have to work as a team for this whole parenting thing to work. If I’m not willing to share the responsibility, it’s going to fall apart.
- By letting him care for the baby, I’m also strengthening our bond as a couple. The fact that I show trust in him builds his confidence and he feels more appreciative of me.
It can be terrifying to entrust your child to someone else when you’re so caught up in being a mom. But if you can’t trust your baby with your partner, who can you trust?
Hire a Nanny
So for starters, let me be clear: there’s a big difference between a nanny and a babysitter. Babysitters usually only watch your children on a limited basis. They typically only feed, clean, and entertain your kids, and only for a few hours at a time. By contrast, a nanny is a dedicated caretaker who will focus on all of your child’s needs nearly every single day.
For working moms, a nanny can be the greatest resource you have. A nanny will not only take care of your child’s basic needs but will also provide education and development. Needless to say, this will allow you to focus on work, and take some time for yourself, without feeling like you’re neglecting your child. You may be feeling apprehensive about what hiring a nanny will entail for your family, and that’s okay. There’s plenty of great resources that will help you navigate the process and give you peace of mind.
Reduce the Amount of Time You Spend on Household Chores
Some of you will probably think this is nothing short of blasphemous, and that’s okay. We each have to walk our own path. But for me, reducing the time I spent cooking, doing dishes, folding laundry, and other chores allowed me to take some more time for myself once I got home from work.
Before my baby was born, I was a devoted clean freak. Stains on the countertop drove me insane. Finding a dirty sock on the floor had me fuming. Once I came back from maternity leave, that attitude lasted for a whopping two weeks. I’d get home exhausted but still need to care for the baby. Trying to spend an additional hour cleaning every day was completely burning me out. Now, I spend about three or so hours on my days off cleaning. Does it suck? You bet. Is it better than not having any personal time throughout the week? Absolutely!
Set a Weekly Date Night
There’s a growing trend amongst parents to put their children before anything else, including their own marriage. Numerous studies have shown that this is a terrible idea. A report published in The Guardian showed that parents who put their children above all else burn themselves out and produce entitled, narcissistic children.
You can beat both trends by leaving the kids with a sitter for a night and going out with just your spouse. What you do doesn’t so much as the fact that you do it together. Take in a movie if you like, or just talk over dinner. Surveys show that 70% of parents who make weekly dates do it less for the romance and more to get back on the same page. It’s essential to share time with your spouse away from your children, both for your sake and theirs.