Working Mothers and holiday guilt seem to go hand-in-hand during the holiday season. Most families need to be two income in order to make ends meet, and we are no exception. Between good old fashioned bills, and college loans, it makes the holiday season more stressful. And the guilt builds more.
The hardest part about being a working Mother is the small amount of time that I have to spend with my kids. It is even harder this year because oldest is in college. So having time together is even more important to me than ever before. And the working Mothers and holiday guilt stress is higher than ever.
And it’s just not time with my kids that I am missing, being a working Mom. My husband is off for an extended time between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day. Being full-time, I am only home with him 4 days during that two-week period(not counting Christmas Day). It’s hard, because time spent with my husband is so important to me.
Working Mothers and Holiday Guilt:
So what can you do to combat the guilt of working while your family is home? Here are a few things that may help.
- Start planning early! The more things you can get done before the season starts, the less you will have that working Mothers and holiday guilt syndrome. Grab a few books, make some notes, and start stocking up.
- Plan fun things on your day off. The housework and laundry can wait. Really. Do only the basics, and leave the rest. Time spent with your family is far more important than having a perfectly organized house, and the laundry will always be there. Put in a movie or have a video game tournament.
- Leave work at work. Really. Make a vow to forget about the office while you are at home. Before you get out of your car, jot any last-minute notes on a sticky note, and leave them on the garage wall. When you leave for work the next day, grab the sticky notes and take them with you. That way you are not constantly thinking about work when you should be enjoying your family.
- Plan simple meals that don’t require a lot of kitchen preparation. This is where your slow cooker becomes your most used kitchen appliance. Embrace the power and freedom it gives you. The less time you need to spend in the kitchen, the more time you have with your family. Use paper plates and plastic ware so cleanup is a breeze. A quick swipe of the table, and you are done. If your budget allows it, go out to eat.
- Decorate for the holidays together. Generally I used to decorate on Black Friday when I got home from work. Now, we just do it the weekend before. It helps cut down on the guilt, and gets us in the holiday spirit. Because once Black Friday hits, my life is no longer my own.
One of the most important things to do is just enjoy what time you have. Things don’t need to be perfect, in fact, the husband and kids won’t remember if all the bows are the same color, or that the filling wasn’t handmade.
So instead of putting piles of guilt under the tree, grab a cup of hot chocolate and just enjoy your family, the rest just doesn’t matter. Working Mothers and holiday guilt can be hard, but be glad there is something you can do about it.