Working Like a Dog, Navigating Summer as a Working Mom

Man am I struggling right now with my eight-year-old daughter and her understanding of me working. She is a busy body and always wants to be on the move. She also wants to be with me every moment she can this summer. Lately though she has really been on my case about being at work all the time and when I am home not paying enough attention to her. Eight-year olds are great for pointing out your flaws with brutal honesty.

After a bit of a trying Monday, I got home late and finished up my dinner around 7:15 pm when the kids and my husband came bounding in the door from jujitsu practice. Emily announced that she would be snuggling with me. I then announced, not until after I take care of myself first. To which she insisted she would be joining me. To which I insisted that she would not be. I wanted to lose my sh*t, but I didn’t. I calmly explained to her that Mom had given of herself to everyone that day, and that for just 30 minutes Mom needed to tend to herself and her own needs to be able to give more to her later. Emily did not like that response. I didn’t let her guilt trip work on me. I put on my headphones and headed out for a brisk walk. Upon my return I announced to the family that I was now available for them. Emily took me up on it for a good cuddle and giggles.

In the past I would have one, never put myself and my self-care first and two, given in to Emily’s guilt trip and had resentment towards her, my job and all the other responsibilities I have. Now I know that I must do daily self-care of some sort for me to keep filling my cup, so I can keep giving of myself to all the ones in my life I care about. I am setting an example to my family as well that I am important, my health is important, and they like me a whole lot better this way! Later that evening Emily brought me a picture she found “pre-transformation”, and said to me “Mom you look so sad here. I am glad you are happy again.” So, I know what I am doing is working for me, and that she sees it, even if she still gives me uber grief.

I have found ways this summer to connect with my family even though I am away at work. I use an app, Marco Polo, which is fabulous. We live FB messenger each other. On occasion I will bring my kids to work with me as well. Emily finds a way to stay busy and usually is very helpful. It also gives them a chance to see what I do all day and why I can’t be home with them. I love my kids, but I love my work as well. I am always finding ways to make it work best for all of us. Follow Dr. Becky Krull at and