I went on a business trip this weekend. That’s right; me a Mum; a working Mum of six. I left the kids in the capable hands of their dad. And I went through an airport kid free. Flew kid free. And stayed and worked kid free.
And why the hell shouldn’t I? I took a business trip, made some great connections, got some work done that’s almost impossible to get done at home (tips on how to get work done at home coming soon) and enjoyed every second of it. Well I mostly did. 99 percent of the time I did.
You see there was that voice was in my head. You know the one?! The “you should be home with your children”. The one that tells us “you’re a Mum first so that’s where you should be”. The one that tells us “how could you leave your husband with all that responsibility?”
And then there are the real voices, of friends and family; “Oh leaving your husband with the six kids again are we?” Ugh?!
I turned around and looked that voice square in the face. I told it; this was an important business trip. I’d worked hard for this opportunity. I loved these brands and this business that I was going to work with.
It was important. I’d earned it, I deserved it. And above all; I wanted it. I wasn’t going to let the voices ruin my trip. My trip that I deserved!
So here are my five practical tips to letting go of mama guilt during a business trip or a day in the office.
- Put things into perspective. When I think about how much fun the kids would be having with their dad (pizza and play fights and more) it reminds me that they won’t even notice.
- Take a moment for yourself. A manicure, a quiet coffee; it’s not very often us mums take a moment guilt free with no one to get home to.
- Work hard. Make it worth it. A satisfying business trip or day at work makes it all worthwhile. If I look back and I am happy with what I’ve produced or how I’ve performed, I know it was time well spent!
- Tell yourself you’re worth it. Because you are, you know you are. You don’t love your children any less because you need or want to work.
- Keep in touch. Whether it’s FaceTime when you’re out of town, emails to childcare or phone calls. Keeping in touch reminds me they are fine and so am I.
I think ultimately, it’s important to remember these feelings are valid and normal. It’s okay to miss your kids or feeling like you can’t wait to get home.
But you’re in control you’re not doing the wrong thing. You’re amazing! A business Mum kicking butt.
So I’m pleased to say I rocked my business trip. Dave rocked the stay at home parent gig. And we both walked away from it satisfied that we’d done great jobs. We actually find it so refreshing.
Mama guilt is there for me and maybe it always will be but admitting that and putting steps in place to help me cope makes things possible. Makes dreams possible. Makes my trips for me happen. And they are totally worth it and achievable.
Written by Krechelle Carter. Mum of six children six and under, freelance writer for publications such as Kidspot and Woman’s Day. Blogger and creator of the Eight at home community. Strong believer in following your dreams and balancing it all….. most of the time. Find her @eightathome on Instagram or Facebook.