Work taught me that.
At work, worry about work. At home, worry about home. Don't bring the 2 together. Because you end up worrying about one more than the other and the one you're REALLY supposed to be worrying about, isn't actually the one that's worrying you.
I'm only going to talk about one half of the equation today.
Don't let work follow you in the door when you get home. Yes, I understand that you may have had a COMPLETELY crappy day at work, beLIEVE me I know what those are like and it's hard NOT to want to tell someone about it. To rant and vent and just have them listen and say "Wow, I'm sorry" and basically justify your irritation. Scream in the car if you have to all the way home. Pretend someone's sitting in the seat next to you. Talk to that invisible person. Will people see you talking to yourself? Maybe. But how many people now use a bluetooth in their car. You're not going to look out of the ordinary. Trust me. Heck, USE your bluetooth, call someone and talk about it all the way home.
Don't bring it in the house. Your kids are more important than your bad day at work. While you're busy wallowing (wow this is really starting to sound mean, and I promise, I don't mean it as harshly as it's coming out) in how horrible your day was, how poorly you were treated, how tired you are.... your kids are in the background (unless you're like me and you work until midnight) saying "Mommy look at me."
Too many times our kids hear "Not right now" or "Mommy's busy" or "In a minute" but that minute never comes. Too many times when we hear "Mommy play with me" or "Mommy watch what I can do" we say "I can't" or "I'm too tired, you'll have to show me later". Since when did work become more important than our kids?
A woman that I work with shared a story with my training class back in January of 2009... she called her husband up excited one day about the fact that her son started speaking. His response? "I know... he's been saying that for a while." Few days later she called him up jumping for joy saying "He's walking!!!" His response? "I know... he's been doing that for a while." She had been so busy bringing her work home with her that she was MISSING everything that was going on around her. Her son had been walking and talking and she wasn't around enough or present in mind enough to pay attention.
When she told me that I realized... too many times I had heard "Mommy, can I play with you" and being tired I said "No not right now." Or, "I just got home from work, give me a minute".... but the minute never came.
Don't be so wrapped up with work, so upset about something that happened at work, that you can't see what's going on around you. These are precious minutes that you CAN NOT GET BACK. Your children need you to notice them. They need you to love them. They need you to make them a priority. They DESERVE it. You can keep telling them "Give me a minute".... but how many minutes have you LOST doing that?
Don't lose anymore.
When you're home.... BE at home. In body AND in mind. Leave work at work. Or at least at the doorstep. Pick it back up when you leave the next day if you have to.... but don't bring it inside with you.