Being a working mom doesn’t come with a guidebook, and if there was a secret formula for perfecting the parenting trifecta of home life, career and kids, we’d be all over it. Instead, there’s a unique family dynamic that comes out of being a working parent, and there’s also a whole tribe of working moms out there who do the daily grind too—you are SO not alone. In honor of multi-tasking supermoms everywhere, we’ve rounded up 12 things a working mom needs to hear every day. You got this, mom!
1. Quantity isn’t always quality.
According to this study, even when you don’t log hours with your kids every day, the tiny moments are what matters. Talk with them on the way to school. Set up a nightly routine that includes a twice-weekly family dinner with no exceptions. Read aloud before bed, and set aside time on the weekend just for the family.
2. Pinterest is for looks.
Guess what? That class full of kids is going to love those store-bought cookies as much as they would a from-scratch version. (It’s cookies, what’s not to love?) While you may feel like the other moms are more crafty, more creative, more together, just remember what you had to do this morning to get everyone where they needed to be on time.
3. You’ll never get it all done (and that’s okay).
That pile of clean laundry sitting on the couch? Kids can just as easily find what they need by digging through it as they can if it’s folded and put away. Better yet, show your kids how to fold it themselves. Speaking of chores, here’s a definitive list of chores your kids should be doing, broken down by age.
4. It takes a village.
Hillary Clinton wrote the book on this concept—and it’s very true. If you have family nearby that’s willing to help out, consider yourself lucky. If you don’t, don’t be afraid to ask friends for help. A ride to after-school activities, a playdate after school, a ride in the morning, all of these things help. Just be sure to return the favor because, well, it takes a village!
5. It's okay to delegate.
As much as we women should be putting our boss lady skills to work at home, a recent study shows that working moms actually work 98 hours a week to get it all done. Ask your partner to do an equal share of the drop-off/pick-up/social calendar organizing/lunch-making madness that is raising kids. Or, opt to outsource menial tasks that should take a backseat to your kids’ school programs and activities.
6. Your kids will be fine at daycare.
Daycare is a tough one, but we promise, moments after you leave, your kiddo will be bonding with her teacher over Play-Doh and Disney. Think of the positives: she’s learning, she’s getting a ton of social interaction and she’ll be absolutely thrilled to see you at the end of Every. Single. Day. Check out our list of other tips for making the daycare transition as easy as possible for everyone.
7. You are setting a great example.
From the awesome stuff you achieve at work to collaborating on projects, to valuing other people’s time and opinions—this is modeling behavior you want to see in your own kids, whether it’s on the playground or the classroom (or dinner prep). Make sure you share what makes you proud, and tell your kids why you need to meet deadlines or be on time for meetings. It helps them value your time more, too!
8. You’re going to miss moments, and that’s okay. There will be more.
This one is tough. Luckily, these days there are plenty of ways to stay updated on your kids’ lives, whether it’s through a school program like Class Dojo, or having the nanny or daycare staff send you visual updates. Be sure to bring up anything you saw during those precious minutes after work!
9. You are a good mom.
Say it with us, You Are A Good Mom. You are working hard and providing for your family. Your family is better because of you. In fact, a Harvard study found that kids of working moms grow up to be just as happy as kids with stay-at-home moms and that girls in particular benefit from having a mom who works.
10. It's not easy, but it does get easier.
That first week of daycare for working moms can seem like agony. When they’re babies, it seems like you’ll never make it out of this stage. We’re not going to lie, there are many days ahead where you just won’t want to be apart from your kiddos, but as your children grow and grow accustomed to a routine, it does get easier.
11. Don't forget to fill the well.
Your mornings might feel like a time warp and your evenings a flurry, but you can’t keep giving from that seemingly bottomless well of momitude without refilling once in a while. That might mean taking 5 at work and having your favorite latte, or it might mean taking 60 seconds to destress before you walk back in the door.
12. You look fabulous today!
Maybe you envy the mom who gets to wear sweatpants all day. You know what? It’s a good bet she envies the fact that you get to wear grown-up clothes all day. No matter what you wear, you’re also wearing the badge of a working mom, which makes every mom look good.
—Gabby Cullen & Amber Guetebier