The holidays are a wonderful time of year. Laughter, love, and lots of fun. But if you are a working Mom, this can be an especially difficult time of year. Today I am sharing tips to help you combat working Mom holiday guilt.
When I graduated college with my nursing degree, I had no idea how much my life would change after we had kids. What started out as the perfect job, ended up being difficult once I started missing out on the family time when I was scheduled to work.
It was hard.
It was painful.
And, truthfully, it sucked.
And it still sucks now, even though I am no longer working as a nurse. Working Mom holiday guilt never seems to go away, no matter what job you work.
So I thought I would help share a few tips that helped me deal with some of my working Mom holiday guilt. I assure you, it never fully goes away, especially when you are working Black Friday instead of enjoying it.
Back to task.
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.
What you plan for early depends on the ages of your children. Both my kids are in college, so I don’t have that crazy frenzy of shopping for toys, hiding them, and spend hours wrapping them(and then forgetting where I put them).
Easy tip: while it is tempting to wait to go toy shopping once the holiday sales start, you will save yourself a lot of grief by getting it early in the year. Watch for Black Friday in July sales, or even regular store toy sales.
Start planning your menu early, and stock up on the non-perishables as soon as you can. Think outside the box, and purchase any things related to cooking or baking. If, by some chance, you really need them, there will not be a last minute panic-induced run to the grocery store.
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.
Making the most of your day off with your family goes a long way in lessening the working Mom holiday guilt. As I said earlier, it won’t go away completely, but at least you have done something to combat it.
Pro Tip: Also use your day off to take a long soak in the tub, do your nails, or spend time reading a book. Refreshing yourself will go a long way to organize your mind as well.
Leave Work AT Work
Let me preface this next point by saying I am HORRIBLE at it. I mean, truly. But if I can get one reader to take this advice, I will consider it a victory.
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.
This was especially difficult when I worked as a nurse because I was responsible for so many people. I can get that part. You think: did I remember to finish charting? Did I mark out a medication? Oh my, I don’t think I called their family member back. You can see how that can be difficult.
But the surprising thing is, it is even harder as a bookseller. Why? I am not sure. Sometimes I leave work feeling like I have failed my boss because I didn’t get more stuff put away. Or I didn’t find a book for a customer. And maybe I was a bit too grumpy with a co-worker.
And being away from my family intensifies those feelings. They are my rock and my comfort, so when I am feeling overwhelmed, I definitely need to be with them.
Plan Simple Meals That Don’t Require A Lot Of Kitchen Preparation
Here are some recipes to get you will enjoy during the holiday season.
- Slow Cooker Cranberry-Apple French Toast Casserole
- Crockpot Spiral Ham
- Thanksgiving Slow Cooker Hacks
- Easy Crockpot Stuffing
- Top 10 Holiday Recipes In The Instapot
- Easy Instant Pot Thanksgiving Recipes
- Instant Pot Cinnamon Rolls
- Instant Pot Turkey Breast
Other tips for spending less time in the kitchen and more time with your family include using disposable serving ware, having a cereal night, or even have a pizza delivered. Little tidbits that go a long way!
Easy Tip: Plan as many meals in the slow cooker as you can for a single day. Breakfast, snacks, drinks, and more. It is a great way to stay out of the kitchen, yet have everything ready so family members can serve themselves.
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 stress, and gets us in the holiday spirit. Because once Black Friday hits, my life is no longer my own.
Now that the kids are older, and we have cats that tend to climb anything and everything, I forgo a lot of my Christmas decorating. Truthfully, it doesn’t really bother me about the inside not being super crazy decorated. But I always decorate the outside because it is very comforting to come home to.
What If The Holiday Will Be A Painful One?
So this is a touchy subject for me. And one I am not quite sure how I am going to handle. Early in 2019, my Mom passed away suddenly. There were unresolved issues between us that will never be discussed or fixed.
So I think that is part of the reason why I would rather skip the festivities. Dealing with this AND the working Mom holiday guilt will definitely be a challenge I am not sure I am up to handling.
One Last Thought About Working Mom Holiday Guilt
Try not to blame yourself for it. Sometimes it is unavoidable because of life circumstances. Most families require dual incomes to make ends meet. It is just the way life is. So accept that fact, and make it a priority to make the most of your time at home.
Here are a few things that will help you out in your quest for a good holiday season.
Things To Start Your Holiday Season Right
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- The No-Stress Holiday Planner
- Southern Living Home For The Holidays Cookbook
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