Bringing work home is an issue that everyone has an internal battle with, especially parents. If not managed properly, bringing work home could turn into an unhealthy cycle that will not only adversely affect you but your children and family as well.
As a career-driven mom, you already spend most of your day in the office and as soon as you clock out, your priority should shift. I know, I get it, and I can completely relate! However, those nights where you have tight deadlines call for work to be completed with no exceptions! I have been there plenty of times and at those times it’s hard to follow all of those mantras stating “family before work” because if mommy doesn’t work… who is going to financially support the family!?
According to a Harvard Business Review article entitled Don’t Take Work Stress Home With You: After a long day at the office, many of us find ourselves taking out our stress on friends, children, or significant others. And if we’re not careful, we allow our work stress to become home stress, often at the expense of our families and relationships or our health. Work stress can be a challenge for home life. Learning to manage stress — by working with your partner to cope and by keeping some of your professional stress outside the house — can contribute to better relationships and better physical and mental health.
The Harvard article makes excellent points and I completely agree that bringing work home is unhealthy but sometimes a Mommy’s got to do what a Mommy’s got to do! I have listed 4 tips for managing bringing work home in a healthy way where it doesn’t affect your children and your own conscience as much.
1. Get Up Early!
Children are usually still in bed in the early morning. If you have work that needs to be completed, wake up an extra hour or two early to complete it before the kids wake up. This is a great idea because the child still receives mommy time in the evening and you can still get work done. The only disadvantage is that you will have less sleep. Sleep deficiency can wreak havoc on your health but try to embrace the “Hustle Hard ” mindset to push through the day and then take a serious nap during your lunch break!
2. Set a Specific Time Limit & Stick to it!
If you need to do some work at home, limit the time that you are willing to sacrifice for work and stick to it. Allot yourself 2 hours right after work or once the child is sleep. After your 2 hours are up, you are on serious mommy duty before bedtime or lay down as quick as possible to get that well-deserved beauty rest!
3. Work at a Kid-Friendly Location
You could also try not to bring work inside the house. I always do my best to leave my laptop in the car. I tell myself, “My home is sacred work-free ground.” The park in the summer and indoor bounce houses in the winter are my go-to spots if I have to do work after hours. I pack snacks and a bunch of Romeo’s favorite toys and let him have a ball after school with playground distraction while I’m in career beast mode for next couple of hours. Distractions like this will feel like a reward for the child and also keep them in a safe and fun place while you catch up on work.
4. Lose the Phone!
The cellular device is one of the biggest distractions and it will cause you to waste productive time that could be used for completing the project or spending time with your little one. Get in work mode and focus. Don’t come up for air or breaks unless it pertains to your child. Use this time to get as much done as possible so you can clock out of the work mode as quickly as possible.
Continuing to bring work home could make you bitter and resentful towards your boss and co-workers but it absolutely does not make you a bad mom! Manage your workload effectively and be sure to communicate your project list with your leader so that you don’t get overwhelmed. Work is very important to career-driven mothers. Your child will admire your drive and ambition forever as long as you manage the load effectively!
Read more of Georgina’s contributions to allmomdoes here.