One of the questions that I get asked over and over again is, “How do you deal with working mom guilt?” It’s not only a common question, it’s a common feeling and a common challenge that most working moms go through. You may be feeling that same guilt when your kids are with somebody else for the majority of the day while you’re at work, or the guilt you feel when you’ve missed one of their major milestones, or even an activity.
I want to share with you a few of the strategies that I use myself and that I share when I’m asked that question, in hopes of helping you at least minimize the guilt that you may be feeling as a working mom.
What better way to start that than by removing myself, not being there with them 24/7? So even as my kids were little and they were off with their daycare provider during the day, they had to learn to stumble, fall, make mistakes, find new solutions, without mom being there; they had to learn that either from another adult, other children, just discovery, trial and error, on their own. At that young age, it was starting that foundation of a sense of independence, because I wasn’t always there.
And then I have this dream, this hope for my children, that as they become independent adults, that they will have their own professional success, whatever that looks like for them. But what better way to show them how to get there than by me being that role model; instead of somebody else always showing them the way of success or how to work hard and the discipline, they get to see firsthand in their home that mom is doing it. That I’m waking up early, that I stay focused on my success and my dreams – I want to serve as that role model for my kids.
Then if I raise them to be independent adults, they’ve got their own success, that means they’ve left me at some point. And I want to make sure that after I am no longer that primary, full-time parent, that I have something left for me. That I have experienced wins and successes, that I have my own sense of financial independence. I don’t want to be at a place in twenty-five years that I don’t have my own independence and my own success.
Know why you’re doing this day in and day out, even if it’s not for the reasons I shared. Uncover why you are working and own it, feel good as often as possible. There will always be naysayers, there will always be reasons that you would want to stay home. Acknowledge that. But then feel good about the choice that you’re making; live in those moments, and know you’re making a positive impact for your children today.
Leave a note in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you. Do you have questions about working mom guilt? Do you have a way that you’ve overcome it? Have you seen something new? Please share.
I walk into after school daycare to pick up Ethan and Reese, and I’m so excited to see them because I’ve been traveling a lot and working really long hours in the office. While I’m eagerly waiting for them, one of the daycare workers looks at me and simply says, “Oh, I didn’t expect to see you here.”
Oh! Are you kidding me?! Like I don’t already have enough guilt, being a working mom and having my kids in daycare. Whether or not there was ill-intention with her comment, it still struck me like a dagger. The truth is that I love after school daycare, and my kids do too! I know I cannot possibly be alone; in the U.S., nearly half of kids are being raised by two full-time working parents.
There are clear winnings with daycare – one being the friendships! There were so many friends that Ethan and Reese made just because of after school daycare. Because they never had classes with these kids, so they would have never interacted. There are also the friendships that we as adults, my husband Matt and I, made.
Matt is notorious for picking up our kids, scanning to see what parent we might have something in common with, and approaching them to build a bond. Some of our best friends have been made that way. Can I say Homework Club, right?! The fighting us parents have to do to get homework done with our kids can be draining. Homework Club at daycare offers another adult to help them with that, as well as peer support buddies.
I love being able to review the homework after they’ve already fought with someone else to get through it, and be able to give them that extra support and reinforcement at the end of the day. Then finally, independence.
What better way for my kids to learn about independence than when they’re away from me? There is so much they will have to learn to do on their own, without mom being right by their side every single moment. Now this isn’t to say that I don’t think there are benefits to kids being home – I see that when I have the opportunity for my kids to come home after school.
But I want to share with you that there is no longer a daycare dilemma. Get over it! Think about the positives, and the things that your children are walking away with. Love and embrace the fact that your kids are getting things outside of just within your own home.
If you are struggling, feeling like you’re a crazy, busy, working mom, I also have a free download for you here on my website. I invite you to take a look, and see what other tips could help you through this journey!