You are not alone if you are feeling guilty about going out to work every day and leaving your small kids at crèche or with other caretakers.
In an ideal world you would be able to work from home, but this is not the reality for most of us.
The guilt can be a sign that you need to make changes to your life. For me personally it would be to find a job that allows greater flexibility. Others may need to find a new childcare provider or ask their husbands to be more involved.
Beat the guilt by following these tips:
- Think about/write down the reasons you work. You may need the money or actually love your job. Once you have decided you are doing what you need to do, simply let go of the guilt. When the guilt feeling rears its ugly head on occasion, I remind myself that I need the money to give my son a better life.
- Take time off to spend with your children and reconnect with them.
- Remember that stay at home moms also face challenges and can have as much stress as working parents. Enjoy the opportunity to have a peaceful cup of coffee at your desk. I especially cherish these moments on a Monday, after a weekend with my busy little boy.
- Slow down for a cup of coffee with a friend and get your groove back.
- Arrange with your boss to work from home sometimes, if you have this option and an understanding boss. This is my goal for the immediate future and the holy grail I still hope to find.
- Make it clear at work that your family is your priority. Set boundaries and don’t take on other people’s work, especially if this means you would have to work overtime.
- Acknowledge that you are giving up things by working, but gaining other things in return. I can provide my son with a decent life and I am saving for his future education.
- Don’t try to go it alone as a working mom. Ask for help from friends and relatives and connect with other working mothers at your workplace or even online. Trying to be a super mom will just leave you exhausted and frustrated.
- Acknowledge that you are flexible and resilient. Super working moms have the amazing ability to respond to changing circumstances, such as the sudden ear infection or a bout of puking.
- Remember that life is always changing and your current work situation may not last forever. You may get the opportunity to work from home or part time.
Celebrate your life
Celebrate the fact that you are a good example to your children by showing them that women have a valid contribution to make to the workplace. Recent studies also show that working mothers actually aid their children’s development as they have better mental health and were able to have better relationships with their children.