Being a working mother is a tough job, no matter if you’re working at home or out of the house. Balancing their time and resources and strengthening the relationships with their children is an issue almost all mothers struggle with. Candice, author of the blog Fashionably Organized addresses the topic of staying connected with your children when you are not home with them all day.
As a full time work-out-of-home mom it is a constant battle with myself to try to stay connected to my children. There are so many of us moms and dads who have to work out of the home and/or even travel for business. Not being there as much as we would like is hard.
I’ve compiled a few lists of tips to stay connected with your children when you’re at work or away.
Tips to stay connected with your children
- Put a well loved blanket in the diaper bag. Ask your day care provider to keep the blanket near your child when it is possible. It allows your child to smell you when you are not there, and gives them a sense of peace, and connectivity.
- When you are picking up your child from day care or preschool spend 2 minutes finding out what your child did that day from the adult present. This is a wonderful way to feel part of their day.
- Get involved in school any way you can. Save your child’s teacher some precious time, by just offering to do some of the prep work. You would be surprised what you can do from home. Teachers can send home items they need photocopied or cut out. When you do this, you know what your child is doing in class, and it gives you a chance to talk to your child’s teacher and get to know him or her better.
- Put the whole school year calendar in advance in your calendar. Whether you use a computerized system or a write-in calendar, sit down for 20 minutes at the beginning of the school year and enter each event. This gives you ample time to make sure you work meetings and trips around the things you want to attend.
- Instead of asking “what did you do today,” when they get home from school, ask them what their favorite part of the day was. It’s fun to hear what stuck out in their minds.
- Sit down at the dinner table with your children. Some days we play fun conversation games. Their favorite is the fast thinking game. You know the one where you have to answer with the first thing that comes to mind, let them take turns asking you as welI. There will be a lot of laughing going on.
- Play the kids favorite songs, and dance around the house. My 2.5 year old refers to it as shaking your tushy, so now we call it, “shake your tushy time.” We laugh, we run out of breath, and most of all we let loose.
- Have them draw you pictures for your workspace. I have so much of my children’s artwork at my desk. It’s actually quite the conversation piece when people stop by. I keep them all, and get to see the progression of their artistic abilities over the years. My kids now send artwork to my co-workers too, because they love the thought of people having their work at their desks.
- Always set a time to talk to the family, and make that time sacred. I recommend a before bedtime chat, or a wake-up time chat. If you can try to video chat with them. The kids get such a kick out of seeing mommy/daddy on the screen, even though they are far away.
- Get a small stuffed animal and tell the kids to take turns sleeping with it the week before your trip. Tell them that when you go you’ll take it with you, so that you can have a little bit of them with you too.
- Put the trip on the family calendar with markings for how long you will be gone. While you’re gone they can X out the days until you return.
Don’t forget the power of pictures on your phone. I go through mine almost daily. Most importantly every day make it a ritual to kiss and hug before you go. I tell my kids, “hugs and kisses are always free.”
How do you stay connected with your children?
Written by Candice, the author of Fashionably Organized and a full time working mom to 3 beautiful children. “J” her oldest son, “E” her middle son and “A” her daughter. Her husband “R” is an attorney while she plays the role of a paralegal in Hollywood, CA by day.
Kissing photo of Lolli and her son, AJ.