Therapist Anastasia Pollock tells us how to get rid of the guilt when it comes to being a working mom.
Being a working mom may make a woman feel that she is somehow inadequate as a parent and that she is somehow failing her child(ren). There are ways to address the many guilty thoughts that often enter the minds of working moms.
1. Understand the purpose of guilt and decide whether your guilt is valid.
The capacity to experience guilt exists in the brain in order to help us to identify when we have done something wrong so we can correct actions that may be harming others or ourselves. Sometimes guilt is valid and sometimes it is not. Decide whether your guilt is valid by asking yourself 'Have I done something to harm someone else by making the decision to work?' The answer is likely quite the opposite. The reason moms work vary but the intention is more often than not to better the station of the family and the lives of their children. Even if a mom decides to work not out of financial necessity but because it helps her to feel better about herself, she is doing something for herself which helps mood and confidence, and therefore puts her in a better position to be a present and attentive parent when she is home.
2. Realize that that the grass is not necessarily greener
I have seen this on both sides: working moms who think it would be so much better and easier to be a stay at home mom and stay at home moms who think it would be so much better to be able to have more adult contact and to be part of the workforce. The reality is there are pros and cons on both sides. Both sides have their challenges and rewards and neither is better than the other. What it comes down to is what works for each individual and family.
3.Quality over quantity
Yes, we miss out on some time when we are at work and not home with our kids. However, focusing on quality time once we are home has a significantly positive impact on the mother child relationship. Many a child has had a working mother and has turned out great.
4. Don`t let working mom guilt get in the way of self care
I have heard many times from working moms that because they are away from their children for 8-10 hours per day, they do not have time for self care. The thing is, I hear similar things from stay at home moms who also seem to have difficulty to find time for self care because they have so many tasks to complete at home and are chasing kids around all day. For both, self care time MUST be built in and when that mom guilt creeps in, remind yourself that you can only give your children the best version of you if you are rested and taking good care of yourself. Think of mom self care as doing them a great favor.
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