Getting a Grip on Chronic Working Mom Guilt

If you’re a working mother, chances are you suffer from Working Mom Guilt (WMG). This disorder appears the minute you even think about going back to work after having a baby and doesn’t really abate until your child goes off to college, if ever.

I suffer from chronic WMG. The main symptom is a persistent nagging feeling that I’m never doing anything really well. When I’m at work and the kids are home, I feel bad that I’m not there to do more with them. When I’m at home with them instead of the office, I feel bad that I’m not being a good employee. These feelings escalate during the summer months when they’re home for prolonged periods of time.

Not working isn’t an option. In addition to needing to pay the bills and loving what I do, I am not stay-at-home mother material. No offense to the SAHMs out there (I’m actually in awe of the women who do this full time),  but I can honestly say that if I were at home with my kids all the time I would be on the fast track to an inpatient mental hospital. I did the SAHM thing for a few years when the girls were little. Even then I worked part-time from home because I needed the intellectual stimulation raising a toddler and an infant did not provide. I did go back to work eventually full time, and yes, I agonized over that decision, too.

I’m fortunate to work for a company that allows for flexible scheduling and telecommuting. Many of the working parents here have had to find creative ways to get their jobs done while navigating around their children’s schedules. And yes, many of them suffer from WMG, and there are also a few Dads who suffer from its counterpart, WDG.

I don’t think there’s a cure for WMG. It’s just always kind of there in the background, lurking. But there are a few things you can do to lessen its effects. My boss, for example, is very good at employing an “Always be present in the moment” type of mentality. He actively works at training his brain to focus on the task at hand, whether it’s at his job or when he’s with his kids. If feelings of guilt or distraction about either one start to sneak into his brain, he consciously redirects himself to focus on what he’s doing. It’s no magic pill, but apparently it’s highly effective.

Another thing you can do is simply cut yourself some slack. I know, easier said than done. After all, women have been fed a “you can have it all” message since we entered the work force. But we’ve been sold a bill of goods. Can you really have it all? More importantly, can you really do it all? You can’t give 100 percent to your job and 100 percent to your kids 100 percent of the time. You will either die from exhaustion or want to rip your hair out from the stress it takes to do it. Your kids don’t want a stressed out Mom. Your employer doesn’t want that, either.

I’ve learned that most of the time I’m OK with being “good enough.” I’m getting more comfortable with the phrase “I’m doing the best that I can.” I’m also getting more comfortable taking up offers of help from friends and family. Another big help? Don’t compare yourself to other parents and realize that the parents you see out in public are not necessarily the same way they are in the privacy of their own homes. No one gets it perfect all the time. But each day is a new opportunity to try and get it right. So if today was really bad, tomorrow will be much easier in comparison. You get my drift.

Finally, rest assured that having to be “good enough” at home and work is only temporary. Once your kids have left the nest you are perfectly welcome to resume your regularly scheduled programming of the “I can have it all” kind.

Let me know how that works out for you.

Getting Juiced About Juicing

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. Four words with negative connotations, to be sure.

But it’s also the name of an inspiring documentary that’s been getting a lot of buzz.

Released in 2010, the film follows Joe Cross who, at 310 pounds and taking steroids to combat an autoimmune disease, had reached the end of his rope in terms of his poor health. According to the website, “With doctors and conventional medicines unable to help long-term, Joe turns to the only option left, the body’s ability to heal itself. He trades in the junk food and hits the road with juicer and generator in tow, vowing only to drink fresh fruit and vegetable juice for the next 60 days. Across 3,000 miles Joe has one goal in mind: To get off his pills and achieve a balanced lifestyle.”

Cross talks to more than 500 Americans about food and healthy living while on his journey. He also meets Phil Staples, a truck driver who suffers from the same rare condition. At 429 pounds, Phil is walking a fine line and, inspired by Joe, begins his own journey to get well.

The transformation these two go through is nothing short of amazing. You can see for yourself by watching it on Amazon, Hulu and Netflix.

I happened to watch it with my daughters a few weeks ago and we were all transfixed. The girls had never heard of juicing and I was pretty unfamiliar with the topic myself. But needless to say it made an impact on all three of us. As the credits were rolling, they asked if we could try juicing. I didn’t need much convincing. Not 10 minutes later we headed to the store to get the necessary supplies: a juicer and a hefty supply of fruits and veggies.

To clarify, I would never subject my kids to a juice fast. There are various schools of thought on the subject, but in general it’s not recommended for children. (It should also be noted that Joe and Phil did their juice fasts under strict medical supervision.) But drinking 100 percent fruit and vegetable juice — and not the kind you find in stores that are filled with preservatives and added sugars — is a healthy way to quickly introduce vitamins and minerals into their little bodies.

The first recipe we tried can be found on Joe’s website:

Joe’s Mean Green Juice:


  • 1 cucumber
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 2 apples
  • 6-8 leaves kale
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 T. ginger


  1. Wash all produce well.
  2. Peel the lemon, optional.
  3. Juice it all.
  4. Pour over ice and enjoy!

It serves 1-2, so if you want more, double it.

Now, I was a little nervous about how this would taste, but more so of the girls’ reaction. But that was wasted energy because we all loved how deliciously light and fresh it was. Throughout the weekend we tried different recipes and were equally pleased with those. So, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by this experience and will continue to experiment with other ingredients in the days and weeks to come.

What about you? Ever tried juicing or juice cleanse or fast? Let me know your thoughts.


DIY Kitchen Backsplash Project – Danelle

Fasade backsplash Traditional 1, Oil-Rubbed BronzeFrom time to time, I’ll post a project profile that one of our customers completed. This post is about Danelle’s dramatic kitchen remodel, and how she used Fasade kitchen backsplash as the pièce de rèsistance to her stunning new space.


Small budget, big payoff kitchen backsplash the finishing touch on dramatic makeover

To see the “after” photos of Danelle Anderson’s kitchen remodel, you’d never know that the project was, as she terms it, “a labor of love done on the strictest budget possible.”

Looking like something you’d see in a high-end design magazine, the room is a testament to her resolve in the face of a number of challenges, the biggest of which occurred several years ago in her Syracuse, N.Y. home.

“We have a bathroom right above the kitchen and had a plumbing leak about seven years ago,” she explains. “So of course our money went into fixing that and what was left behind was a big hole in our ceiling drywall right above where the kitchen sink used to be. After many long years of living with the eyesore in the kitchen ceiling and dreaming about someday having a kitchen that was functional and pleasing to the eyes, I began to do my research.”

Danelle called in four contractors to give her estimates for the job. The original kitchen was a U shape with a small entry dividing it from the living room. She wondered if the wall could be removed to open up the space and make it more conducive to entertaining. “I didn’t want to be stuck in the corner cooking by myself while everyone else was socializing,” she says.

Two contractors said yes, the wall could go. Two others disagreed, however, saying the wall was load bearing and needed to stay. Their quotes ranged from $10,000 to $40,000. “But I didn’t have a good feeling about any of them,” Danelle says. “I quickly realized I’d be doing this on my own and that’s how this monster was created.”

The hard work begins

Danelle decided to go with another contractor altogether, who removed the wall and installed a beam across the room to open up the space. She chose crème colored cabinets by Timberlake and designed their layout on the manufacturer’s website. The cabinets frame a new window on the exterior wall, with the sink repositioned underneath. “Because who doesn’t want to look outside to do the dishes?” she reasons.

She also decided to add double ovens, a 5-burner cooktop, dishwasher, microwave and refrigerator, which she ordered off the GE Appliances website, earning a $500 gift card for purchasing more than three appliances during a promotion that ran at the time.

Then it was hurry up and wait for the next six months, as contractors rerouted plumbing, electrical and HVAC, installed new drywall and flooring and redid the ceilings and installed lighting. Nine months after it all began, the cabinets and window were installed, the appliances went in and countertops and sinks were installed.

No sooner had Danelle thought she could see the light at the end of the tunnel when she realized two things were missing: hardware for the cabinets and a kitchen backsplash.

“I panicked because there wasn’t anything left in the budget for a backsplash,” she says. “I knew I wasn’t going to put up tile because it’s expensive and it’s annoying to have to clean spattered cake batter off all the grout lines in a tile backsplash. Tile is not convenient to clean and, frankly, boring. Everyone does it so I knew for sure I didn’t want that.”

Choosing the backsplash

After doing some research online, Danelle discovered Fasade backsplash panels. Fasade decorative thermoplastic panels resist water, impacts and stains, and give homeowners a designer look for a fraction of the cost of other backsplash products. Available in 13 different styles ranging from traditional to modern to industrial, and 20 different finishes, this unique kitchen backsplash product is perfect for the DIY enthusiast who wants a high-impact look with quick and easy installation.

Danelle ordered samples from and was pleased with the different styles she received. In the end she chose Traditional 1 kitchen backsplash in Oil-Rubbed Bronze.

“I kept the sample up on the wall for a couple days so I could see it in every light and I loved it more and more as they days went by. So I ordered it online and it arrived in three days,” she says. “My contractor put it up and he said it was very easy to install even though it was his first time using the product. He also said he was pleasantly surprised and wanted to put it into his own home.”

Danelle said she loves how the backsplash looks and how it’s so easy to clean. “Everyone that comes to the house raves about it,” she says. “They say it completes the kitchen and I couldn’t agree more. It really is the icing on the cake. I truly couldn’t be more pleased with the quality, look and affordability of this product.”