Working mom guilt, where do we begin? As mothers, we have the tendency to have pressure on ourselves to be there for our children and provide them with the best, all the time. We constantly question and doubt if we are “qualified” or “good enough” to be a Mother.
Parenting is something that’s hard to prepare for, so perhaps it’s to be expected that we repeatedly question ourselves especially as working moms, since we had to spend most of our time away from our children.
As a working mother myself, I too have had my fair share of struggles with mom guilt. There are some tips which I have learnt to better cope with it.
Let go of your ideal image of what a good mother should be like
We all have an idea of this perfect mother that we want to be for our children. We love our children so much that we set impossible standards for ourselves. Cooking every meal for your child, witnessing all their milestones, picking them up and dropping them off at school and being able to attend all their school events. We are living in an era where women are participating in the workforce and enjoy success in career. At the same time, as women, we tend to think that we need to be there for our family physically, emotionally, mentally; we want to do it all.
This can lead to burn out and resentment towards your job, your kids or even your spouse. It is really important that we let go of the image of a perfect mother and focus on what works for you and your family. Every family is unique and you need to stop comparing yourself to other parents. Don’t be so hard on yourself; you are doing your best and that is enough for your child.
Practicing asking for help
Society has so much respect for the ones who are doing so much and doing it all, mothers or not, which made us develop a mindset of having to do it all. However, the reality is, you can’t pour from an empty jar. Getting help should not be something you are ashamed of. If you are stretching yourself thin, consider getting help. Practice asking for help. Get help from a Nanny, day-care or even your in-laws or spouse. Create a support system that works for you.
Find your people
Community is everything. Finding people that are in similar situations as you is important, as they are able to relate, share experiences and normalize your challenges. Having this community of people that you relate to, make your journey less daunting, as you know there are people that feel the same way and have overcame the challenges you are currently facing.
Make the time count with your kids
Your kids don’t remember the duration of time you spent with them, but they remember the memories you created during that time you spent with them. Make that time count. I recommend setting aside 1 to 2 hours a day for family time, where you put away your phones and give your full attention to your child. Quality over quantity.
Communicate with your kids that you are working and why you are working
When you let your kid know that you are working with gratitude, joy and purpose, it inspires them. Instead of complaining that you have to leave them to go to work, communicate to them that you choose to work and why. This helps them to create positive association with work where they portray mom and dad going to work as a positive thing. With this positive association, your child will react positively when it’s time for you to leave for work, as they now know why you are going to work.
All in all, mom guilt is a mindset. The next time you hear that little voice in your head, take an active decision that you are not going to fall into the guilt trap. Instead, focus on the things you can do and control at the moment. Don’t miss out on the sweet moments worrying about the things we aren’t doing right.