“I told them i was going for a walk, then sat in an empty house, read the newspaper and drank a beer”. 

“I said i was going to the supermarket and sat in the cafe so i could have half an hour of peace”

“I pretended I had an after work function but I just sat in the cinema with no-one fighting over the popcorn”

In a customer survey I ran recently I asked working mums what they would most like to achieve. “More time for me” was the unanimous response.

I’ve seen it amongst friends – the working mum guilt that leads to us being 100% in entertainment mode, feeling like we need to be “adding value” to our kid’s lives all weekend because we “abandon” them for work during the week. 

As a Director of Operations I had day to day responsibility for leading a team, most of whom were millennials. I swear i felt that every day i went from mothering at home to parenting in the workplace – it just never stopped. My day would be so busy that a standing joke text to friends would be “did you get time to go to the toilet today?”. Of course my family didn’t care what my day had been like when I got back and stuck into dinner to bedtime routine.  

Why do we feel so guilty saying we need just a bit of time out away from work and kids? 

Do we think that other mums enjoy being with their kids all the time and never want a break? There are plenty of social media posts out there with mums baking and crafting with their kids. No-one posts the video of themselves spending an extremely long time in the alcohol section of the supermarket so they don’t have to go home yet do they?

Do we think it’s natural to want to be with our children for every available minute, making up for “lost time” at work? Where did we get that idea? The movies?

Here are three reasons that I am giving you permission to take that break openly and unapologetically:

  1. Being your best self at work and at home is not going to happen if you do not get time to recharge. At the end of the day you know when you are going through the motions and it doesn’t feel great and you don’t perform well. Don’t let yourself down.
  2. Kids learn by observation – isn’t it better that they see mum taking care of herself? Do you want them to grow up thinking they deserve no time to look after their own wellbeing?
  3. And finally, frankly you work hard and you damn well deserve it. No further explanation needed

I created the “Working Mum’s Winning Morning Routine” as a free resource to try and encourage mums out there to just take a bit of time for themselves and make it quality time. You can get it for free here: https://www.helenotoolecoaching.com/

Please do me and you a favour, find that “me” time and make the most of it.

Good luck and stay sane.