One of the questions that I get asked over and over again is, “How do you deal with working mom guilt?” It’s not only a common question, it’s a common feeling and a common challenge that most working moms go through. You may be feeling that same guilt when your kids are with somebody else for the majority of the day while you’re at work, or the guilt you feel when you’ve missed one of their major milestones, or even an activity.
I want to share with you a few of the strategies that I use myself and that I share when I’m asked that question, in hopes of helping you at least minimize the guilt that you may be feeling as a working mom.
What better way to start that than by removing myself, not being there with them 24/7? So even as my kids were little and they were off with their daycare provider during the day, they had to learn to stumble, fall, make mistakes, find new solutions, without mom being there; they had to learn that either from another adult, other children, just discovery, trial and error, on their own. At that young age, it was starting that foundation of a sense of independence, because I wasn’t always there.
And then I have this dream, this hope for my children, that as they become independent adults, that they will have their own professional success, whatever that looks like for them. But what better way to show them how to get there than by me being that role model; instead of somebody else always showing them the way of success or how to work hard and the discipline, they get to see firsthand in their home that mom is doing it. That I’m waking up early, that I stay focused on my success and my dreams – I want to serve as that role model for my kids.
Then if I raise them to be independent adults, they’ve got their own success, that means they’ve left me at some point. And I want to make sure that after I am no longer that primary, full-time parent, that I have something left for me. That I have experienced wins and successes, that I have my own sense of financial independence. I don’t want to be at a place in twenty-five years that I don’t have my own independence and my own success.
Know why you’re doing this day in and day out, even if it’s not for the reasons I shared. Uncover why you are working and own it, feel good as often as possible. There will always be naysayers, there will always be reasons that you would want to stay home. Acknowledge that. But then feel good about the choice that you’re making; live in those moments, and know you’re making a positive impact for your children today.
Leave a note in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you. Do you have questions about working mom guilt? Do you have a way that you’ve overcome it? Have you seen something new? Please share.