Being a mom comes with a lot of responsibility and it’s often hard to turn “off” mommy-mode and accept that being a mom is part of who you are but not ALL you are.
If you feel guilty when dropping your kids off at daycare while you go to work, know that you’re not alone, and while this feeling is all too common, there are ways to cope.
Often, the pressures that working moms face are very different than the ones that working dads face. Moms are often expected to know everything about their child’s lives and be around for every event. It can be easy to feel guilt over not doing enough or find yourself in a mommy guilt spiral.
If you find yourself stressed and sad because you had to miss a recital or ball game because of a workplace obligation know that this is a common reaction and one that you should acknowledge, accept, understand and overcome.
But, as hard as it may be, it’s important that you stop getting mad at yourself and beating yourself up over this. You are doing a great job, and there is no shame in being a working mom.
Whether you work because you want to, because you love to, or because you need to, you’re doing what is best for you and for your family, and there is much to celebrate about that.
These tips can help you get perspective and get rid of some of that working mom guilt.
1: Remember that you made the right choice.
It’s okay to feel anxious about leaving your child with another person. While it can be difficult to leave your child at a daycare or with a family member or friend, trust that you made the right decision for your family and your child. Your instincts are good (after all they’ve gotten you this far) and you are being a responsible parent by looking out for your child’s well-being.
2: Accept that compromise sometimes has to be made.
When you’re working and a mother, you aren’t going to be able to do everything (and be everything) to all people all of the time. And that’s ok. It’s important for your own happiness that you recognize this fact. Try to recognize that working outside of the home has many benefits for your family, your kids, and also for yourself. It’s ok if sometimes there are trade-offs that have to be made.
3: Be happy with your best and don’t give into perfectionism.
No parent is perfect. This is true whether you are working outside of the home or not. It’s best for your own health and happiness that you realize that no one is the perfect mother, and you’re never going to be the perfect mother either.
You don’t have to be perfect at this parenting thing to be good at it and to take care of your kids. By working outside the home, you are also showing your children that women, and all people, can pursue their goals and work hard. You are modelling many skills and traits for them that are important and admirable.
4: Don’t let haters get to you.
Sometimes people might criticize your parenting style or that fact that you are a “working mom”, but don’t let it get you down. Remember, there is no single “right” way to raise kids. Each parent has their own style and differing lifestyles and circumstances to deal with. Perhaps you are working to save money for your child’s future education, or simply to keep the lights and water on.
While judgmental comments can be hurtful, don’t let the ignorance and insensitivity of others bother you. It’s alright to feel angry or sad about these comments, but don’t dwell on them for too long.
5: Create a support system
Having a support system of friends and family is very important. You need to have people around you who support your decisions as a mother and who lift you up when you are feeling down. While it might be difficult, it’s important to spend some time with your friends and socialize. Going out somewhere that isn’t related to work can help clear your head and remind you that you are working hard and you do deserve a break.
Also, make time for memory-making activities with your family. While taking care of kids and working can be exhausting and busy, taking time to spend quality time together as a family makes a big difference.
Mommy guilt doesn’t do you or your kids any favors. You’ve got this, and you’re doing a great job! Keep your eye on the prize, and your family and kids will thank you.