I was asked a question during a panel discussion about, how do you handle working mom guilt? That word “guilt,” I hear it when it comes to working moms, working parents, as well as when we’re talking about self-care. And if you really sit and think about it, how in the world could we possibly feel guilty about having a job? How could we feel guilty about taking care of ourselves?
When you throw it out there like that, it sounds absolutely ridiculous. But I know that you might be like many others, who do carry that guilt. The guilt when you can’t make it to every single thing for your child because you have a job, or the guilt you feel when you want to go work out or have a massage, or just sit outside with a cup of coffee undisturbed for a period of time. I know that that is reality, so I want to give you a thought around this, how to combat some of that guilt.
One of the best ways is to understand why you’re feeling that guilt. What is the source of the guilt, where is it coming from? With the working moms, is it coming from the fact you’re scared to ask for help, or that other parents are going to judge you? Are you feeling guilty because you don’t want to let your child down, or are you feeling guilty because you feel like you’re not doing your best job? Uncover the source of that guilt.
If it’s because you are concerned about what other parents think about you, you need to get over that! It does not matter what another parent thinks about your parenting skills or choices. In fact, that’s their problem. If they’re judging you, that’s on them. Get over it! Stop trying to please other parents, especially if you’re a working mom and you’re trying to please non-working moms because you feel like there’s some hidden competition or agenda.
Get over it! Just stop the silliness, stop the craziness right now. If you’re feeling guilty about not making it to everything, this is where I highly, highly recommend that you have conversations with your kids. I started years ago, when my kids were little, asking them, “Of the 15 activities that you have at school this year, what are the ones that are super important and that you know you want me there.”
Those are the ones that I do everything possible to get to, that I’m participating in, that I’m supporting them with. The other ones, if I can do them, I will. And oftentimes my kids have told me, “Please don’t come to this thing. I don’t even want you at this thing, it’s so ridiculous.” And if it’s your feeling like you’re not doing a good job, write out all the ways that you know you are rocking it as a mom; that you have got things dialed in, under control. Because I guarantee you, you are winning.
I know that there is nothing that is going to pull away from you taking care of yourself. You are doing an amazing job! I want you to ditch the guilt – it’s not worth it. It’s sucking out way more energy than it absolutely ever deserves. You’re doing an amazing job! Take care of yourself, kick ass in your job, and continue to be an amazing parent.