If you’re a mother, you are probably familiar with the term mom guilt by now. We want to give our babies the world and spend every precious moment with them, but it’s not always easy to do so. Like most working moms out there, we always feel that we aren’t doing enough for our kids and family. Working mom guilt can spring from anywhere and from the tiniest things, too.
Honestly, it is something that you can’t get rid of, but you can learn to live with it.
Ways to Deal with Working Mom Guilt
As a working mom, you can feel an overwhelming amount of guilt. So, learn why we feel guilt, how it works, and the best way to minimize working mom guilt.
It all starts when you get pregnant. Pregnancy is not an easy phase, but most women feel like they should be doing all the stuff like morning yoga, parenting classes, etc. This is when they slip up and become overwhelmed with mom guilt. “Take the Insta-mom photos with a grain of salt because a carefully cropped square leaves the rest of a person’s reality out of the frame,” suggests Leslie Anne Bruce, author of You Are a F*cking Awesome Mom.
You have to remember that it is impossible to be a perfect mom. You’re perfectly fine as long as you’re causing no harm to the baby. You must remember to meet your needs first and take care of yourself without feeling guilty. After all, if you can’t help yourself first, then you can’t help anyone else.
Going Back to Work
One of the biggest phases of mommy guilt is when you first go back to work. Situations will likely arise when you feel you have little choice but to leave your kid at home.
It is so difficult at first, but remember that everything you are doing is to give your baby the best future possible. Guilt may still creep in even when you try your hardest to look at the bigger picture. When that happens, talk to someone who has been in your shoes before. It may comfort you a little after seeing it from someone else’s perspective. Once in a while, talk to fellow working mothers about your guilty feelings. You will learn that you aren’t alone.
Leaving Your Baby With a Caregiver
When you’re busy keeping your home as perfect as you possibly can, it can get overwhelming. Buying yourself a bit of help is nothing to be ashamed of. It may offer you some valuable “Me Time!“. With some extra help, you will feel fresh and relaxed, which is exactly the ambiance a baby needs to be in.
Being On a Tight Budget
A new baby means a lot of new expenses like baby-proofing the house, buying a crib, buying baby essentials, etc. Making ends meet can be difficult, especially when trying to put something up for the future.
It is absolutely fine to be on a tight budget, even if it means cutting down on luxuries. Keep in mind that you are doing the best you can. Stop beating yourself up about the fact that you can’t give your baby more because it won’t make any difference anyway.
Having Some Alone Time
Don’t fall into a guilt pit when you feel like indulging in some blissful nights away from the kids. Parenting is a tiring job, and sometimes you deserve to let loose. Remember, your mental health is just as important as your physical health. A mother is at her best when her mental state is at its best, and that is the only way you can ensure your baby’s well-being.
If you decide to take a night for yourself, make sure your baby is in good hands, and be sure to check up once in a while so you don’t bristle in worry. One thing you can do is ask yourself, “Will spending some time alone harm my baby in any way?” If the answer is No, then you don’t really have anything to feel guilty about.
Not Being Able to Give Them Enough Time
For every working mom, this is the worst mom guilt feeling because you want to be there for your child’s every precious moment and be the one to tell the story about their first steps or first words. Unfortunately, with so many responsibilities, you may not find as much time as you hoped, and you end up blaming yourself.
Instead of blaming yourself, appreciate the good things about your situation because there are plenty of people who wish to be in your shoes. You can make up for lost time during weekends and holidays, so don’t get too worked up about being away.
Hang in there, fellow working moms! You are stronger than you realize and capable of overcoming this ‘working mom guilt‘ trap. Let’s go conquer the world.
How To Balance Life As A New, Working Mom
One thing that is a common struggle for working moms is finding a work-life balance for themselves. We spend our days working long hours, caring for the kids, and pouring into other people that we often find ourselves running on empty.
As a working mom, you can struggle to lead a balanced lifestyle because there would be more to do than you could handle on your own. Feeding your kids, teaching them, and just trying to manage responsibility as a parent, in general, would often leave you cranky and exhausted.
We have learned over the years that you must stay focused on your happiness, health, and a healthy environment for your child. If you run down and out of commission, that will not benefit anyone. Here is more on how to juggle a full-time job as a mom.
Make Time for Yourself
The first step in finding a work-life balance for yourself is to get an idea of what you would like to do. When you are a new mom, it’s easy to lose sight of who you were as a person. “Self-care needs to be included in what you should be doing. It is not a privilege. It is necessary,” words of wisdom from Jessica N. Turner, a Wall Street Journal bestselling author.
According to a study, the average mother ends up with a mere 17 minutes to herself a day, and still, they take on 78% of the housework. If you are carving out some “me time” during your day or week, here are some tips to get you started:
1. Write a list of all the things that you really enjoy doing.
2. Make a plan for carving out a few minutes each day for yourself that will help you recharge and be refreshed.
3. Use all the available resources to get some time for yourself each day.
Spend Quality Time With Your Baby
Spending quality time with your baby helps you and your baby connect emotionally. This could mean going to a local theater to see a movie or just walking down the park and talking.
Quality time is any time when you can help your baby feel special. You can also integrate them into your daily schedule. Try singing silly songs while cleaning, playing Eye Spy while running errands, or just doing anything to interact.
Be Serious About Your Boundaries
Being a working mom, you get to handle a lot of responsibilities. Sometimes, it can be stressful. This is the time when you need to set boundaries based on your priorities and obligations. Make decisions that work best for both you and your baby.
When you are working, make sure you are working and not thinking too much about your baby. When you are with your baby, be present and enjoy those beautiful moments. It’s important to learn to say no to things that are not beneficial to you and your little one. Be firm with your boundaries and obligations.
Build an Active Support Network
Being a working mom isn’t easy, but it is manageable. Don’t be one of those moms who try to do everything by themselves. Get support from your partner and family. Make the most of the resources you have. Eventually, everything will work out.
During this transition period, looking after your emotional health is also important. You may often feel lonely and depressed while going through some major changes. Family time, talking with friends, and connecting to others via social media is very important to boost your emotional resilience.
Find Quality Child Care
If both of you work full-time, finding a safe place for your child is your top priority. Don’t feel guilty for leaving them in daycare or in early education facilities. See the positive side of it. Your child will develop great social skills at a quality daycare. Be careful about hiring a babysitter. If you are lucky, you can let the grandparents take care of your baby while you are gone.
It’s very easy to get on that pity train and feel guilty. But just know that every moment you spend feeling sorry for yourself is a moment of your child’s life that you miss, and they grow up way too fast anyway. You don’t want to miss 1 second!!!