Tomorrow, I will head back to work. Christmas is over and so is the 4-day weekend I got. I am out of vacation and I really need to get back to work to get some last minute projects out of the way. This is not easy for me, as other families spend this time with their loved ones, and plan for the upcoming year. But this has been a very difficult year for me and my daughter, and work is my only escape. There are people who love to work through the holidays and there are people who absolutely avoid it. As a working mother and the only breadwinner for my family, I learn to deal with it. If you find yourself working the holiday or through the holiday, don’t get bitter, get something out of it.
1. Be Present at Work: Try arriving at work earlier than usual. Since the spouse, aunt or big siblings may be home, you could probably sneak out to work a little earlier, so you can be back on time. When you are at work, give it your all. If you don’t have much to do, clean your office, get organized and chart goals for the upcoming year. The office is probably almost empty, so you won’t be disturbing anyone by shifting that office table or hanging up an inspirational frame. There is also a lot of time to reflect on what you did well, and areas you can be better for next year. Try putting up a vision board or writing a kind note to your coworkers. If you have more than enough to do, get most of it done. Chances are by the time the day is over, it gives you enough energy to focus on your family and friends.
2. Plan or Attend a Cheer Party: Just because you are working doesn’t mean you can’t partake in the festivities of the season. Schedule time with friends and loved ones. Plan a Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve Party. Invite friends over and have them bring a plate or two. Trust me, most people cook more than enough during the holiday, you won’t be bothering them at all. And again, everyone by now understands the challenges of a working mother, they will be glad to bring an apple pie or a bottle of wine. Read: 10 Secrets of an Unflappable Working Mother via Real Simple
3. Schedule Time with Loved Ones: Chances are you have one or more children and are dying to spend time with them as well as your spouse. Let them know that you are thinking about them even while you are at work this holiday season. Send a text at noon to remind them of what you have planned for the day when you arrive, be it a game of scrabble, a walk in the park, a movie date night, or even just a warm cuddle in front of the fireplace. Our families are our biggest cheerleaders, they know how much you care about them and they are longing to be with you just as much as you long to be with them.
4. Cook Your Heart Out: If you are like me and the kitchen is your escape, a fun activity for you, invite your family into the kitchen. Have your kids and spouse help out in the kitchen, this relieves your holiday and work stress and helps you maintain focus at home. If you are into other things like cleaning, gardening, etc., invite your family and have a merry time. A warm hot chocolate or a karaoke at the end could really help to. As long as you make time with them special, they will quickly forget that you were gone most of the day.
5. Don’t Complain: The more you complain about how miserable it is to work during the holiday, the more bitter you become and that is not in the true spirit of the season. Remember that your work is your livelihood and it shouldn’t be disrespected either. There is no use in comparing yourself or your job to your friends either, it only builds resentment that is absolutely unnecessary. Instead focus on the joy of the moments you share with your loved ones, it truly is the only way to celebrate the holidays.