By Heather Eager
It happens five days a week. You have to shift gears from being a mom to being an employee – even for the boss. How can you effectively shift gears and get yourself ready for the workday ahead? How do you gain and keep respect with those who work alongside you?
Be Confident with Your Choices
There’s nothing worse than not being comfortable with who you are leaving your children with during the day while you’re at work. Do your research and ask for referrals from trusted friends and family. You definitely don’t want to be worried your child isn’t being taken care of properly while you are trying to concentrate at work.
Mommy guilt might be a coined phrase but it certainly fits many working mothers. This is something you have to come to peace with if working is something you really want to do or your situation requires you to earn a full-time income outside the home. This guilt will weigh you down in everything that you do…including work. Your employer will not appreciate your focus and energy being elsewhere.
Make the Rules Clear
Your work life and your home life will function more efficiently if rules and expectations are laid out beforehand. If the daycare closes at 6 o’clock every day and you need to leave work at 5 o’clock to be there on time, then your supervisor needs to be aware of that. Let people you work with know this too, so that meetings that you have to attend won’t be scheduled at the end of the day.
Also, try to save up your sick days in case your child is sick. Of course, this can’t always be the case but the more you can show your employer that you’re not trying to take extra time off (which, of course, is not the case), the more he and your co-workers will respect you. Those that don’t have children can perceive these extra days as an unfair advantage to parents. When possible, trade off with your spouse on who takes the time off. This can increase the partnership feeling of raising your kids in a two-income household.
When you’re a mom and an employee, you have to wear two hats. The key to success is to know when to wear each one. When you’re in mom-mode, it’s best to be 100% there in the moment with the kids. However, when you are on the job – even though you can’t ever completely turn off being a mom – you owe it to yourself and your employer to contribute all you can. It is possible to be a great mom and a valuable employee.