Child Separation Anxiety

Child Separation Anxiety

I feel guilty because my child always cries when I leave for work.  What should I do?

I remember one Monday morning when Emily was about five years old. We had just finished a wonderful weekend and just like any family, we all had the Monday blues. I had a business trip planned and was finishing packing while trying to get everyone ready for the day. Emily was tired, she wasn’t in the mood for school, and the idea of me heading out on another work trip just added to the negative vibe we had going at home.

I was in a hurry and I made a series of bad decisions. I could see she was a little down and I too was a bit low-spirited knowing that I was on my way out of town and away from my family for a few days. So, I made the classic mistake so many guilt-ridden working mothers do: I cut a deal with my five year-old daughter. I told her that if she would get dressed faster, I would take her through the McDonald’s drive-thru and get her whatever she wanted. Bad mommy moment.

Really, there were two mistakes made: I broke away from our usual routine and I over-dramatized my departure. Emily sensed all of this – my haste, the break from our predictable schedule and my guilt. What happened? As you could probably guess, it didn’t end well. We pulled into McDonald’s and Emily, sensing the change, became upset.  As we paid at the drive-thru window, she yelled out that she did not want to go to school and that she wanted me to be a “stay-at-home mommy”.  Even though I am at peace with my decision to be a working mother, hearing this from my kids still stings.

Once we arrived at school, my poor choices continued to flow. I spent way too much time getting her settled in, setting up her breakfast, and reminding her that I would only be gone for a few days. I even read her a story. As you might imagine, my extra efforts only made the situation worse. Emily started pulling on my skirt, begging me not to leave her and in full theatrical display, threw her breakfast on the floor for all to see. I kept trying to make her feel better and calm down but eventually had to head out, leaving her in hysterics.

I should have driven to work but instead, sat in my car feeling sorry for myself. After a few minutes, I decided I would make a drastic change. I would resign from my job. A position that gave me great pleasure and a job I had worked very hard to earn. I wiped my smeared makeup, adjusted my tear-stained jacket and re-entered the school. Emily couldn’t see me but to my incredible surprise, she was happily drawing with some of her friends. I walked back into the classroom and gave her a smile. She looked up and immediately ran over to hug me and show me her creation. I admired her picture and said hello to her friends. Amazingly, when we said goodbye this time, she hugged me and almost with indifference headed back to her friends to finish her work.

Did Emily realize how sad she was making me feel that day? She absolutely did. This is when I realized the problem resided with me.

To determine the route cause of your families issues with separation, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Is this new behavior?
  • Does your child cry when you leave him in other situations, such as with your husband or even with a friend?
  • When your little one cries, do you often come back and prolong the departure?
  • Since he/she has begun to cry, do you often bring home gifts?
  • Once you have left, does your child seem peaceful and content? (You can ask your sitter or child care this question)
  • Do you notice any other problems besides crying when you leave?

Children cry when their mommies leave them with a sitter or child care for a variety of reasons. Some children have more trouble with separations than others; some are at different stages of development, and some cry because crying gets mom to delay leaving or sometimes even provide guilt gifts and attention. Rarely is the crying an indicator of something more serious. Remember that as long as your child care is good, your working will not have any direct negative impact on your child; hence there is no reason to feel guilty.  

Separations are hard. Even after thirteen years as a working mother, it is still hard when I have to drop Parker at school, or say goodbye to Emily and Megan for a few days. Although I try to do everything right, sometimes I still make mistakes. But I also know that part of my responsibility as a working mother, is to teach my children that it is alright if I am not always there. Parker, Emily, and Megan have all learned to be comfortable without me, to understand that I will always return, and to see that their mother has a life outside of our family. In my opinion, these are all good lessons.

It is important for both you and your child that you go about your life. Go to work, visit the hairdresser, go on a business trip, or get delayed at an airport. Whatever you decide to do with your time, do it without guilt and with confidence that your child is in the care of someone you know and trust.

10 Things NOT To Buy A Working Mother For Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a time for us all to show some love. All kidding aside (Valentine’s Day “pin”) it is the best opportunity for your partner (or your kids) to let you know how much you mean to them. Of course at PWM, we are not about the material things, in fact quite the opposite.

Let’s be honest, there are some things a working mother wants and quite a bit that we don’t. We are saying it for you, so you don’t have to! Just share this with your special someone so they can be sure not to make any of these purchases.  Good news: If they  already bought it, then they will have exactly two days to return it and get something great!

Here are 10 things you should NOT buy a working mother for Valentine’s Day: 

1. Don’t buy me a heart shaped pizza:

heart shapped pizza

Nothing says love like pizza

What you are really saying to your PWM:

“We are both way too busy to cook, and we don’t need to impress each other anymore.  Let’s eat”.

 

 

 

2.     Don’t buy me ANY kitchen appliances:

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What you are really saying to your PWM:

You already know what you are saying….this sucks.  Try again.

 

 

 

3. NO edible underwear EVER:

edible underwearWhat you are really saying to your PWM:

When it comes to romance, I like to be extremely juvenile (and cheap)

 

 

4. Don’t buy me a onesie:

onsie

Snuggie anyone?

What you are really saying to your PWM:

I ran out of ideas, and thought of you while I was picking up my prescriptions at Walgreens.

 

 

5. Don’t buy me a self-help book.

book

Umm…what are you trying to tell me?

What you are really saying to your PWM:

We need to talk.

 

 

6. Don’t make a romantic coupon:

coupon

Nothing says love like something printed on your computer

What you are really saying to your PWM:

I was planning on getting you a real gift, but decided I could print this out on my computer for free.

 

 

7. Don’t buy me a gym membership:

gym

I work and am a full time mom…really?

What you are really saying to your PWM:

“I love you, but I would really like it if you looked a bit different than you do now.”

 

 

8. Don’t buy me drug store chocolate:

chocoate

Go Godiva or Go Home

What you are really saying to your PWM:

I don’t know the difference between crappy drug store chocolate and Godiva. Also, I still think we are in high school.

 

 

9. Don’t come home empty handed:

nothing

We don’t need to cover this.

What you are really saying to your PWM:

“I thought I only had to work at it when we were dating.”

 

 

10. Don’t buy me jewelry:

jewlery

He went to Jared

 

#10 is actually a trick. We were just checking to see if you were paying attention. OF COURSE WE LIKE JEWELRY, NOW GO PICK OUT SOMETHING NICE!!

 

If jewelry is not in the budget, how about some flowers? I don’t know one hard working mother that doesn’t love flowers (even if they are a day late). Do you want beautiful flowers that are easy to order online? Click here to check out Organic Bouquet.

Eco-Friendly Gifts for All Occasions

Statistics: Who is Happier- Working Moms or Stay at Home Moms?

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According to the Pew Research Center, America’s working mothers are now the primary breadwinners in a record 40 percent of households with children. This highlights a very important fact: more mothers are now balancing work and family. But not all of them. Other sources reveal that a significant number of mothers are choosing to stay at home.

So, for all of us moms, the question that we ask ourselves and that we debate with one another is:

Who is happier- those of us who work, or those that stay home?

Well, it depends on who you ask. In writing this post, I spent quite a bit of time surfing the internet for important factoids. Here is what I found:

  • 36% of working moms said they were very happy with their working roles
  • 37% of stay at-home moms said they were very happy with their stay at home roles
  • 78% of working moms were very happy with their family lives
  • 75% of stay at home moms were very happy with their family lives

 

 Huh?

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As with anything, if you look long enough, you can find support for almost any position online with just a few clicks. As an example, last night I typed in: “Breast feeding past age two is safe” and I got 2 million results. Alternatively, I typed in “Breast feeding is not safe past age two”, and I got 5 million results. My point is that you can find literally thousands of official studies, experts, and posts around any topic and about any point of view.

So, as it pertains to working moms and stay at home moms, who is happier?

I have friends who work and are very fulfilled. I also have friends who stay home and are equally satisfied. A woman’s happiness level is based on so many factors, it truly is impossible to base it upon statistics. That is silly.

What really tips the scale is not whether you work or whether you stay at home but that you live your life as a HAPPY parent. For some, this might involve a full time career. For others, it might mean staying home. The statistics don’t really point to anything: only WE know what is right for our families.

Do what works for you. Be a Proud Working Mom (inside or outside the home)!

The Working/Traveling Mom

Working Mom Travels

My job requires me to travel, which I enjoy. Why do I feel so guilty?

I have three kids who range from 4 to 12 years old and I’ve been traveling since they were newborns.

Guilt is a funny thing. You likely feel guilty because you are enjoying something that you believe you should not. Although you can outwardly admit that you enjoy traveling, it sounds like you believe that you shouldn’t enjoy being away from your family. I would argue that being away can actually help you and your family if you allow yourself to enjoy the break and return refreshed.

When I started traveling for work after having my first baby, I had the “new mom guilt”. Now, I have “guilty pleasure guilt”. I have to admit, there are times when I look forward to escaping from the chaos of the day-to-day management of my family and have some quiet time for myself. When I travel for business I am highly productive during the day and when I return to my hotel room in the evening it is my time. There is nobody asking me to do anything for them – no kids, no husband, no dog…only me. Do I feel a little guilty? I used to.

The best way to combat mommy travel guilt is to truthfully assess what is making you uncomfortable. Begin by asking yourself a few questions:

  • Is your child care arrangement with a quality provider? Do you worry that your friends, your partner, your relatives are overextended while you are away? What about your daycare or nanny? Do the hours accommodate the trip, or do you need to make an adjustment? If your child care situation is taxing on your family, then find another way to care for your children and this way, you can leave knowing both your kids and caregiver will be satisfied and not counting the hours for your return.
  • Are your kids feeling your reluctance towards traveling and manipulating you? Are they getting you to drop some of the rules you have worked so hard to establish? This would include lax bedtimes, extra helpings of desserts, extra phone/text time, and lots of overpriced airport gifts. If you are falling into these common traps, your guilt is teaching your children to be manipulative and further implies that working is a bad thing. It isn’t so stop!
  • Is your traveling requiring you to miss to many significant events in your kids lives? Traveling is fine, I have done it for years. Consider that maybe it isn’t the travel but the sheer number of hours you are required to be away that is weighing on you. Whether you are in Tahiti or Denver, if you are gone too long consistently this can be a larger source of guilt than the travel itself.
  • Do you wish your kids missed you a bit more? Ahh…this one is tough. All of that fretting to call home and realize your kids are still making practice, still getting homework done, and still smiling. If this is the case, then you need to adjust your thinking a bit and become more comfortable with being a working/traveling mom. Your kids do miss you, and you miss them. You should feel confident that they are being well cared for and that you have established such a solid routine that your absence does not create a break from your family rhythm. This should be a source of pride so start thinking about it that way.
  • Do you feel guilty because you DON’T miss your kids? Many traveling moms I know hesitate to admit how much they enjoy being away, assuming they are being viewed as bad parents if they vocalize that they like the separation time from their families. It is perfectly fine to enjoy your occasional independence from your family. Let it go…we all need time to refresh and take care of ourselves. Use the time to take care of you. Get the manicure you have been wanting, order room service, watch a PG-13, or *gasp* a rated R movie. Catch up with a friend on the phone. Whatever you do, keep the guilt in check and remember the reasons that you are working in the first place.

You work to better the lives of your children by being able to provide for them. You work to be a great role model for your daughter who believes that she can become whomever she wants to be. You work to empower yourself and be your best you! Now get out there and DO IT Proud Working Mom!

 

South Beach Diet Delivery ~ PWM Approved!

Unknown-4Today on PWM, we are going to tackle healthy eating and diet. For all working mothers, one of the hardest things to do is to take on the world AND eat right. Heck, I am lucky if I can get the kids’ lunches packed up in the morning, much less worry about what I am eating.

Last week I got the results back from my yearly blood work. It is official, I have high cholesterol. It wasn’t a surprise. High cholesterol has a very strong genetic component and my Dad’s side of the family is the culprit. My Dad survived a heart attack at 56 and my Grandfather died of a heart attack at 55.

Unknown-3So, it has been a great ride but you could say that I am officially on the wagon – the diet, exercise, and eat right wagon.

In the past, the South Beach Diet is the only diet I have ever been able to sustain, and so I looked it up to see if there was a new book or plan that I could follow. Lucky me, I found out that they now DELIVER!

South Beach Diet Delivery ~ Official Site

South Beach Diet Delivery Review – What Is It?

The South Beach Diet Plan has been around for a long time. The South Beach Diet Delivery is the delivery of pre-made (chef) meals delivered right to your door and ready in minutes. For those that haven’t heard of the South Beach Diet, it is a 3-phase program where you start out with no carbs, bread, rice, potatoes or pasta (including fruit). The idea behind phase one is to purge your system of these carbohydrates and reset your system so you don’t crave them. Then, in phase two and three, you slowly incorporate whole grains back into your diet. I have been on the South Beach Diet before and learned lots, and also lost weight.

South Beach Diet Delivery Review ~ What I Like

As a busy working mother, the thing I like most about the South Beach Diet Delivery is the ease and convenience of having meals delivered to my door. I am always trying to cook a healthy balanced meal for my kids and husband with my diet in mind. It is impossible with all the other things I have going on, yet I want to make weight loss a priority. With South Beach Diet Delivery, I can just focus on preparing one meal and know that mine is already ready, and has exactly what I need (and nothing bad for me). Also, if you buy it now, South Beach Diet Delivery will give you free shipping for the first week!

South Beach Diet Delivery Review ~ What I Didn’t Like

There is virtually nothing that I don’t like about this system. I only wish South Beach Diet Delivery could deliver my family meals every day of the week. That is the only way this gets better. South Beach Diet Delivery is the perfect idea for a busy working mom like me!

South Beach Diet Delivery Review ~ Overall Thoughts

It is hard to remain impartial when it comes to this product. I have been on the South Beach diet before and saw great results. Now that the meals can come prepared to my door, there is no reason I should not start South Beach Diet Delivery right away!

Check it out today and good luck fellow PWM!

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