Remember, your work-life decisions aren’t absolutes

Do what works for you today. You can always reassess tomorrow.

Remember, your work-life decisions aren’t absolutes

As mamas, whether we work at an office or stay at home, we are ALWAYS working. When we work away from home, our thoughts and hearts remain indebted to our kids that we separated from. When we are at home, our thoughts, hearts and bodies are toiling each and every moment to meet our kid’s needs. Clearly, the decisions we make about whether to work or stay at home is not an easy one, and definitely more complex than picking Huggies versus Pampers.

Some of us have the choice to stay at home and some of us do not. Some of us want to work from home, but because of the type of job we hold, we cannot. And then there are some of us who want a mixture of work and staying at home, but that choice seems hardly feasible.


Usually, but not always, no choice is ideal because our reality wins. This reality is what we are faced with daily through the everyday reminders of lifestyle, finances and external support—among other things. Regardless, it’s not a decision we simply make over a cup of coffee or glass of wine. (Seriously, wouldn’t we wish.)

With the decision about work, we sometimes find ourselves wishing we had something better going on. It’s at this point that the stories we tell ourselves about others appear so appealing that we feel partly envious. Like when we search Pinterest for family photography, and all we see are those happy families paired with perfectly placed hair and smiles. Or when we need a distraction from our lives and switch on to Facebook or Instagram, only to be inundated with a “friend’s” post showcasing their beautiful family with endless comments and likes.

Yet, despite the stories we tell ourselves about other mamas, they are most likely having their prick of the double edge work sword from time to time. It just goes to show, when it comes to a mama and her work, whichever way we go it’s not simple.

Instead, we ponder, question and secretly pick at our nails or pull out our hair, strand by strand as we figure out what makes sense. We may go back and forth about the choices we make about work that affects our families, maybe a couple times a month—sometimes more. Any choice we make has its pros and cons. There will be good days and bad days, good thoughts and bad thoughts and always good and bad feelings that accompany it.

Sometimes when we aren’t with our kids, we may think about the other person who’s spending time with OUR kids enjoying their coos, laughter and jiggly thighs.  At times, we may feel slightly sick or maybe jealous, and can’t wait to quit what we’re stuck doing to steal them back from the imposter. Hello, you! I AM the only MAMA in their life and yes those chubby thighs are mine. So back off. (OK, OK, it's not always like that. We appreciate our daycare, nannies and parents for helping out.)

Or sometimes we may feel bad about not wanting to be with our kids. You know when you have that “you’re about to lose it but try to hide it” look and your body feels so hot that you’re certain your blood temp has hit an all-time high? Then suddenly this leaves us looking for the nearest punching bag or the urge to sprint so far away from the incessant sounds of the ridiculous pleading requests of our children. You know those cries that conveniently occur when we are all alone with no one to save us or when we’re out in public? Gosh, talk about losing our identity that moment.  And who, those kids? No, they aren’t mine, I swear. So please lady at the counter, stop judging me.

And then there are the times we can’t afford to think about our decisions—because maybe if we did, we may feel that guilt. Those times, regardless if we are at home or at the office, when we zone out of whatever we are doing because we are feeling vulnerable and confused. Then we notice the accompanying sensation of pins and needles in our nose and suddenly we find ourselves full of unbearable emotion that we quickly wipe off any evidence of it, gasp for some air and slap on a smile to continue with our day. THAT guilt.

Wow, we love our kids—did I say that yet? And that’s a huge part of the reason our decisions around work aren’t simple. It involves matters of the heart and the mind. It involves our “wants” and our “shoulds.” I think I’m also ready for that glass of wine, who’s with me?

The important thing is, our decisions about work do not have to be absolute, even if it appears that way.

They do not have to function seamlessly and they definitely do not have to be perfect. We are going to have tough moments and that’s OK. We are also going to be submerged in beautiful moments like when they look at us with those innocent eyes reminding us that we are their world. Together, these moments in some unique way put faith in our decision.

It is then we have to honor what’s best for us. Trust ourselves in our decisions while being honest with the feelings and thoughts it brings, and adjust our decisions when we need to. Decisions do not always have to be final during a lifetime, let alone a year, even when they seem that way. Our families change and grow, and so do we.

Now give yourself a generous compression-like hug because you are doing the best you can. You are an amazing mama and are doing just what you are meant to be doing right this moment, regardless of where you are—at home, at work, or somewhere in between.

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    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

    I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

    I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

    My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

    1. Go apple picking.

    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

    2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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    One out of six.

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    (And yet people still question the validity of stating that black mothers are at a higher risk of pregnancy and birth-related complications.)


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