How to Get Over Working Mom Guilt
If you are a working mom you’ve probably experienced working mom guilt. Some moms experience it more than others. Some moms have felt it and made peace. It’s not easy keeping all of the plates spinning, that’s for sure. But, what do working moms feel so guilty about and why? Furthermore, how can a mom get over her working mom guilt?
Working Mom Guilt and Societal Roles
Women are more likely than men to feel guilt over working outside of the home because in our society men are expected to earn an income that will support their families. Traditionally woman have stayed home and men have left the home to earn money.
Of course, we all know that our way of looking at how a family earns income is long overdue for change. If you feel guilty for working outside of the home because your family doesn’t fit some 1950’s stereotype, you can let go of that guilt. As it turns out, 71% of mothers work outside of the home. (source) You’re in good company.
This particular cause of working mom guilt involves “having a case of the shoulds”. Only you and your partner can decide what’s best for your family. No one else has a voice that matters when it comes to your decision to work outside of the home.
Working Mom Guilt and Lack of Time
Since my oldest child was born in 2001 I’ve worked both at home and outside of the home both full time and part time. Some years I even worked full time outside of the home AND had a few side hustles that I did from home. I know all about the struggle to find time to spend with my kids. I know all about the guilt that surrounds it, as well.
My solution during the the years I worked outside of the home was to find ways to spend quality time with my children when I didn’t have a large quantity of time to spend with them.
Here are seven simple ways to spend quality time with your children. In addition, find out how to connect with your children when life gets busy.
Remember that the quality of the time spent with your children is what matters most. The few years I spent working full time outside of the home made me appreciate every single moment spent with my children.
Working Mom Guilt and Child Development
Many moms are worried that their children’s development is hindered by not having a stay-at-home-mom. This worry is unfounded. (source)
The circumstances that hinder a child’s development include poverty, lack of nutrition, parents’ poor mental health, the community in which the child is being raised and the opportunities the child is given. In some families mom has to be employed in order to keep these negative influences out of a child’s life.
If you are able to provide your child with better nutrition, housing, community and opportunities and keep yourself from the mentally and emotionally taxing effects of poverty, your children are better off in the long run. You should feel nothing but pride for taking responsibility to give your children the best life you provide.
Overcoming Working Mom Guilt
The first step to overcoming working mom guilt is to make sure you are spending quality time with your children daily. You may think this sounds like another daily project to add to the to do list, but it’s not. Quality time doesn’t have to be added to the to-do list. It can happen spontaneously. I’ve found it often better when it does.
Spending just 10 minutes per child listening to their stories about the day, reading a book with them, or wrestling on the floor will provide enough quality time to make memories and forge bonds.
Enlist their help with dinner and simply listen as the conversation happens naturally. This was one of my favorite ways to connect with my children after being at work all day.
Keep a workable afternoon schedule or routine so that you aren’t wasting time on electronic devices or stopping in front of the TV when you have other things to do.
Spend time outside with them at least once per month, exploring nature and giving them a safe and peaceful place to talk freely with you about any thing that is bothering them.
Stop trying to be supermom. Learn to say no.
For example, even as a work-at-home-mom, I don’t have girls’ night out, I don’t talk on the phone unless it’s business related (and only during business hours), I don’t volunteer during the busier seasons of the year and I don’t let anyone make me feel guilty about it.
Let go of the “shoulds” and start doing what works best for your family.
If you feel guilty for working, you’re probably a good mom. Not that you should feel guilty, of course. It simply means you want what’s best for your children and you want to be sure the decisions you make provide balance and security for your kids.
Now, release the guilt and get on with your life. Enjoy the freedom that comes with being guilt-free. Enjoy the time you have with your family.
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