When a stay at home mom decides it is time to return to work, every person in the household will go through a period of adjustment.
While writing last week's post, my just turned five year old came over to sing me a song she had made up. As with most of her songs, it was adorable, and distracting, and I *wanted* to snuggle and admire her...but I knew I needed to create a boundary or I would never get anything accomplished.
I have worked since becoming a mom, though it has been on a smaller scale while they were out of the house, and I don't think my youngest realized that I worked at all.
When Daddy says he needs to go into the home office and get something done, they (more or less) understand that they need to leave him alone. When they see me on the computer, they assume I am still available.
What I Recognized
- I need to use my workspace, though I prefer brainstorming outside of an office desk.
- I need to be clear that I am doing work, though I prefer to write as inspiration strikes me.
- My client work is easier for them to understand as 'work', as I'm either out of the house or having online appointments when they are otherwise engaged.
Support Your Children
If your child is used to instant access when they want you, it will be a process that you are not always immediately available.
- Tell them what you love about your work, or why you are doing it.
- Encourage them that being home with them is one of your favorite things, and that you will make sure there is plenty of mommy/child time.
- Be patient with neediness or short tempers, everyone is doing the best that they are able.
- Ask your children and partner to support that you can no longer do everything you may have done before; engage them in the changes, instead of demanding their increased efforts.
- If your child is older, explain that just as they have school and activities, moms also need fulfillment outside of the house.
- Create quality time by scheduling in things that you love doing together, instead of trying to figure out something fun to do at the last minute.
The parents will have to figure out together how to shift some of the household responsibilities. Finding time for work, household needs, spending time with children and still nurturing their own relationship may take some time.
There may be frustration or even arguments that the flow is being disrupted, but work together to remember why you are going back to work at this time. Whether the reason is financial, emotional, or some combination, you deserve to be supported and happy.
For more support on parenting, partnering, and happy children, visit my website at http://mommybutstillme.com/