Working mom guilt is common among new moms, and overcoming it may be a little challenging, but with the right help, you surely can get through it.
So, you have given birth to a healthy baby. You feel like every moment spent with your little darling is priceless. You can’t take off your eyes on your little human. So adorable and so lovely. But time is running, sooner you will be back working again, and guess what? Working mom guilt starts creeping in.
Have you been in that very same situation?
Did you feel exactly the same?
You thought it was just imaginary, but you are starting to realize that working mom guilt is real.
Being a mom is the best feeling ever for most women. Some had to wait a little while before becoming one, while others had it earlier than expected. Whatever the timing was – it gives us the same exact feeling. It is super priceless!
Do you still remember the very first time you saw your baby? How was it? Did you tear up because of joy? For sure. We really find it ironic how a simple glace to our baby makes us all forget about the physical pain of giving birth – oh, and the emotional too.
Now, you go home, and here you are starting to face the reality of motherhood/parenthood. You no longer have nurses and doctors to help you out. It is just you and your husband, sometimes family members who are coming over.
It is exhausting, yes, but carrying your baby in your arms, and seeing how comfortable he or she is in your arms makes you forget everything. Your baby. Oh, dear! It’s just magical how he or she is able to take everything away and replace it with bliss.
So, the days went by, and you realized, your maternity leave, which is a privilege you get under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is almost over. You only have a few more days to spend with your baby. A few more days to take care of your baby, and be with your baby exclusively.
Suddenly, you feel like why do 12 weeks seem to be very short?
You hate it, but you got to face it. You are a career woman too. Apart from being a mom, you wear another hat. Work is waiting for you. As much as you want to spend all your time taking care of your baby, you also need to help your husband out to ensure your baby gets a bright future.
We know exactly how it feels — working mom guilt is probably one of the feelings we hate the most. But don’t worry, if you feel like it is just you, well, you are wrong. You are not alone in this journey. In fact, there are so many moms out there who are going through the same thing as you do, who is battling working mom guilt like you.
With that said, we want to help out. That is why today, we are going to share with you some tips on how you can get over with working mom guilt.
But before that, let’s discuss what working mom guilt is all about first.
WHAT IS WORKING MOM GUILT?
Working mom guilt is a feeling that a working mom feels whenever something happens that makes you feel guilty of working instead of being beside your son or daughter.
Some instances when moms feel working mom guilt is when they leave their babies crying with a babysitter or at a daycare center because they need to be at work, or when the mom forget about a school activity of their child because she has been busy with work, or when she needs to leave for a business trip, and have to leave the baby behind in someone else’s care.
Working mom guilt creeps in or sometimes it just hijacks the mom’s thoughts – it makes her feel like she’s a bad and irresponsible mom when in reality, she’s not. While it is tempting to burse the feeling, working moms need to conquer it and win the battle against working mom guilt.
HOW TO OVERCOME WORKING MOM GUILT?
As we said a while ago, while it is tempting to nurse the guilt, we highly recommend not allowing it to. Otherwise, it may just hinder you to do well at work, which in return will help secure your baby’s future.
Before we move on, learn first-hand from working moms themselves about conquering working mom guilt through this video by The Real Daytime. We can say that after watching this, you will surely feel assured that you are not alone on this. Needless to say, you will get insights from these working moms on how to balance work, family, and everything else.
So, to help working moms against guilt, here are some tips for you to help overcome working mom guilt:
Keep in mind that you are making or have made the right choice.
Sometimes the guilt makes you feel like you made the wrong decision. But honestly, whatever your choice is – whether you work or be a fulltime mom – it’s always the right choice.
You know better. You know what’s best for you, your child, and the whole family. Of course, ideally, you hoped you could be beside your son or daughter all the time, but as they say, we live different lives. Your destiny is different from the other – it just so happen that you were destined to work rather than stay at home.
Please know that there is totally nothing wrong opting to ask somebody’s help in taking care of our child or leaving your baby to a caregiver, a childcare provider, or to a relative while you work. It’s just part of the decision you made. You are not a bad mom and you should not be guilty about it. In fact, you should be glad for making the right decision according to your situation.
Leaving your child to somebody’s care allows them to grow as a person.
It is part of a child’s psychology – they act differently when mom is around. Notice that babies are clingier or that they have more tendency to act out when mommy I with them. It’s a different story though when mommy s out of sight.
Children are able to form their feelings and thoughts when the mom is not around. They are able to grow without the need of somebody else’s affirmation. It may be too early, but leaving them to other people helps hone their personality, characteristics, and even their individuality. It also helps mold them to become more independent.
Do not let the pressure get into your system.
A lot of people can say so much. The society even dictates what a good mom should be. But you know what? Nobody can really tell whether or not you are a good mom but yourself. After all, nobody knows how much sacrifice you make for the love of your child, right?
In a mom’s world, there is so much pressure. You go to work, you are pressured to meet a deadline and deliver. You go home, you are pressured to do home stuff. When you talk to your friends, you are pressured to show up on parties and get together. And the pressure list goes on.
Now, imagine if you will let your working mom guilt get into your system? You might just explode. So take it easy. Keep in mind that at the end of the day, you are doing your best and that you can only do so much.
It is okay to let things go from time to time.
Moms, you may be heroes in the eyes of your children, but let’s be real here. You are not Wonder Woman. You do not have superpowers. You are just human – just like anyone else around you. You have limitations too.
That said, know that it is okay to skip team gets together at times. It’s okay to hire someone to clean the mess at home. It is okay to call a restaurant and have food delivered at your doorsteps. It’s okay to decline a friend’s birthday party celebration.
It’s okay to miss out on some activities, dinners, get-togethers, or parties just to be able to make time and spend quality time with your child and the whole family. Don’t worry it won’t make you less of a person. You only have one body anyway, so it’s just about making the right choice accordingly.
Some people would be happy to take over.
You could either have yourself beat up by working mom guilt or you can share happiness with someone else by letting them be with your child.
You know, sometimes you get into situations when you have to make an important choice – like whether to attend a meeting or be with your kid at his or her activity in school. While both are important to you, you have to make a wise choice – and sometimes, you just have to go for work.
During these instances, you will look for somebody who is more than willing to accompany your child on your behalf – it could be your mom, your sister, your girlfriend or your husband! As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child – it doesn’t always have to be.
Let someone else feel the joy of being with your child from time to time. You just don’t know how much being with your child makes them happy. As for your own remembrance, you may ask them to take lots of photos and videos so when you get home, you and your child can watch or look at the pictures together, and relive the moment.
There is totally nothing wrong about enjoying being a working mom.
Hey mom, please know that there is nothing wrong about feeling good while at work. Go ahead – chat with your colleagues, sip a hot drink on your way to work, eat lunch with your workmates, etc.
Do not feel bad about being happy at work. You know, moms need that. It doesn’t always have to be your child or your family. You have so much more in life. And guess what? There is nothing wrong with that. It’s not going to make you a bad mom at all.
So, the next time you feel guilty having a good laugh with a colleague because of a funny thing, enjoy the moment. Enjoy simple pleasures that work-life gives you.
You are lucky and blessed because you have this kind of life.
Many people out there want a family or a life like yours, but unfortunately, they don’t. Please know that there are a lot of women who would have wanted to be where you are right now. So please, stop feeling guilty for your decisions.
Instead of letting working mom guilt take the best in you, take some time to step back and reflect on the life that you have. Learn to appreciate everything that you have. Not so many people are given the same chance that you have right now.
Always choose your battles.
You don’t always have to go into every single battle around you. Learn how and when to choose your battles.
If your child needs you a little more in the morning, then spend a little extra time on it. Go to work late, and stay at work a little late to make up for the time you were unable to come to work early because you had to attend to your child.
If you are asked to attend a class party at the same time when you have to meet with clients at work, then find a way how you can make up for the former. Because in this case, your work needs you.
Do not feel bad about not being able to do both at the same time. You can always make up for it anyway. You just have to deal with what’s more important at the moment.
Mom, it is okay to feel sad.
There are times when we can only do so much, and moments when we’ve done almost everything that we could but it’s not just enough. When you find yourself in these kinds of situations, it is okay to feel bad. It is okay to cry. It is okay to feel sad.
The reality is, you don’t always get everything that you want in life. But don’t worry. Know that in every negative situation, there is always a positive side to it. Learn to appreciate what you are gaining from working. That will sure help make you feel better.
Remember not to stay at working mom guilt depression too long. It won’t do you any good – not on your baby either. Take it one day at a time, and then you will be amazed – one day you will wake up realizing you have conquered it.
Take a deep breath.
Working mom guilt can really be stressful. It could break you if you will allow it. So, instead of allowing the guilt to create an inner monster in you, remember to take a lot of deep breathes. We bet you, it helps release the stress out.
It may be very simple, but it sure helps a lot to keep you composed, and stress-free. So, the next time you feel like the guilt is so much already, find a quiet place and take slow, deep breathing. We bet you, it automatically changes your mood.
Some people will always make you feel guilty of your choice, you got to learn how to deal with them.
Mommies are surrounded by a lot of people – and some of these tend to make moms feel guilty. It could be a fulltime mom from the neighborhood who insinuates that mommies should be taking care of their children and not strangers, or a family member who would rub the guilt in when he or she talks about dating your child at a nearby library.
You know what? That is totally normal. You can’t have a perfect life anyway. People will always find something not good about other people – all the more if you are a working mom.
How to deal with it? Well, first, shrug their comments off. They do not know how much you love your kid anyway. Second, as much as you can, stay away from this kind of people. There are far more important things that you need to deal with. They are not worthy of your time.
You can always find time to spend more time with the kids.
One thing is sure, you can always make time for your kids when you want to. So, when the working mom guilt is already too much for you to bear, go ahead and use some of your leaves in the office and allow a day or two to spend with your child.
Here’s an important reminder mommy, when it’s mommy and baby, you have to ensure nothing gets in the way with that. So, put away your phone so you get to enjoy each other’s company. After all, your baby and you also deserve this time together.
If vacation leave is too much, well, you have days off at work, right? Spend those days wisely. Again, put away distractions. Focus on your child. Be in the moment.
Be open to change, at the same time, go with the flow.
No one is perfect – not even mommies. You will always make mistakes. That’s a part of life. But do not let mistakes remain as it is – rather, learn from them, and if necessary, change. Also, learn to go with the flow. We bet, it will make life way easier and so much better for you.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON WORKING MOM GUILT
Working mom guilt can either make you or break you. The good news is, you are in control of everything. It is up to you if you will let the guilt run into your system, or you will counter it with a positive response.
Now, there are moms that find the guilt too much for them to handle. If you are one of these moms, you can always seek professional help like by talking to life coaches or psychologists, or you can also join mommy groups and learn from your fellow moms on how they handle working mom guilt.
In addition, we just want to say that whatever choices you make, as long as it will help make you a better person, a better wife, and most of all, a better mom, go for it. As we said earlier, at the end of the day, people can say as much, but the only opinion that matters here is yours and your child.