I am so torn between my professional life and my homelife. I have a great career that I thoroughly enjoy, it also consumes a lot of my day. I also have four wonderful children–I love them and I enjoy the precious time I get with them. I feel like they don’t get enough of my time. Some days I feel like quitting my job and being a full-time stay-at-home, I feel like my children need me and don’t get nearly enough time from me and their busy father. But, I also love the way I feel when I am working and feel that in many ways this job helps me be a better mother. What do I do? How do I know what is best for me and my children?
It’s important to set your priorities in a way that reflect your values, this will minimize any feelings of guilt. Conflict between work and family life are inevitable sometimes, so you need a guiding mantra such as “kids come first”, in those times of conflict (e.g. when a child is sick). It’s also important to compromise with yourself, e.g. spend less time on the job than you would ideally like to while the kids are young. Try to separate your work and “mom” roles. In order to not feel guilty while you’re at work, block that time off as “work time” and try to not think about the kids’ needs. The same goes for family time – don’t think about finishing work assignments when you’re at home – put your whole heart into mothering and be completely present with the kids. Find the best balance between work and kids, and don’t let doubting negative thoughts sabotage the balance. Mindset is the most important of all. Emphasize the positive by focusing on the benefits you get from your career: a greater sense of personal fulfillment and the fact that you mentioned “this job helps you be a better mother”.
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