“Sometimes it’s Hard Mama is Working” was a hit single I wrote for my little brother when I was five years old. It’s hard when you’re little and you just want your family all together all the time. It’s hard for mamas and daddies to be away too. So how can we as parents make sure our kids know that they are more important to us than work, even when we are working?
Talk to Them
Make sure that your babies know there is nothing more important to you than they are. Don’t just assume they know–tell them. Tell them every chance you get and don’t let them forget it. Make sure you say bye when you leave for work (even a kiss on the noggin if they’re still asleep) and excitedly greet them when you get home!
Explain to your children why you work. Make sure they know you don’t work because you like to be away from them (although sometimes it can be a nice breather). Let them know that they have a roof over their head, clothes, and food because of your job. They also get the things they want sometimes like toys, games, activities, and classes because of your job.
Speak Kindly of Your Partner’s Job
Don’t let your kids think that your partner cares more about their work than them. If you say “mom works too much” or “dad is never home in time,” your kids will pick up on it and start to begrudge them as well. Remember you’re a team, and if there are work/life balance issues, discuss them in private. Thank your partner for their hard work in front of your children or thank them for paying for dinner or providing for a fun activity, etc.