Updated: Sep 1, 2022
Becoming a mom is a wonderful, terrifying, and challenging experience. Caring for a tiny human being is not always easy. Plus, everyone can’t afford to give up their careers to become stay-at-home moms. Regardless of whether you’re a single mom or not, the costs of raising a child are steep. Kids constantly need new clothes, new toys, medical care, and so on. You might not have any other choice but to return to work so that you can provide for your child. Or you might simply be a career woman who loves her job and doesn’t want to give it up. Nevertheless, even though lots of moms manage to balance work and childcare successfully, guilt still manages to creep in. Here are some tips on how to manage mom guilt as a working parent.
Understand that you’re not alone
The first tip on how to manage mom guilt as a working parent is understanding that you’re not alone. Lots of moms transition back to work after having a baby, and it’s as hard for them as it is for you. They all have moments when they feel guilty for the choice they made. And some of the most common causes of this guilt are:
· Missing out on your child’s firsts;
· Not spending enough quality time with your child because of your work schedule;
· Not being able to prepare home-cooked meals because of your hectic schedule;
· Feeling that your kid loves the kindergarten teacher or the nanny more than you;
· Feeling relieved to be able to escape your mom duties for a few hours a day;
· Feeling proud of the work you do.
In other words, you feel like you’re doing something wrong and that you’re a bad mom. And this couldn’t be further from the truth. First, there’s no such thing as a perfect mom since no human being is perfect. Second, those tiny humans understand more than you realize. So, they won’t hate you for having a job. But if you’re still not convinced, just talk with other honest moms who have gone through the same thing as you. Knowing that you’re not alone in this can provide you great comfort.
Go easy on yourself
The truth is that you are your biggest critic. Even when the people around you are assuring you that you’re doing a great job, you still don’t believe them. And readjusting to your work life after having a baby is stressful enough as it is. If you also set standards that are impossible to achieve, you’ll make things even worse for yourself. You have to accept that you’re only human and you can’t do it all and have it all. Sometimes, doing your best is enough. So, stop beating yourself up about every little thing and be proud of all your small achievements.
You’ll likely forget things when you have a hectic schedule and many responsibilities as a mom and a career woman. It doesn’t matter if you forget to buy supplies for your kid’s project or you forget to prepare a presentation for work; you’ll still feel guilty. So, to avoid this, try to be organized and rely on reminders. Use every tool at your disposal. Set alarms and write down all your tasks on your phone, in a planner, and on post-its. And if you still forget to do something once in a while, don’t be too hard on yourself. It happens to everyone.
And while we’re on the topic of staying organized, this also applies to your home. Once you have a kid, you’ll be amazed by how much space that tiny human can take up. Clothes, toys, and child accessories can easily take over your home if you’re not careful. And this, in turn, will trigger your mom guilt because you’ll feel you’re not providing a clean and safe environment for your kid. So, to avoid this, you should de-clutter regularly. And consider renting storage if you need extra space for your items.
A great tip on how to manage mom guilt as a working parent is learning to be present. You have to set clear boundaries between your work and home life. For example, turn off your work phone when you leave the office. This way, you’ll avoid answering work-related phone calls and emails while you’re at home, and you’ll be able to focus on your child. Plus, you should know that it’s not about the time you spend with your kid but the quality of that time. That’s what will have the most significant impact. So, try being 100% present in those moments and having fun.
Take good care of yourself
Many moms tend to concentrate so much on their children and their work that they forget to take care of themselves. Or even worse, they feel guilty about making time for themselves. But this is a big mistake. If you’re not well from a physical and mental point of view, you won’t be able to take care of your kid or do your work properly. So, make sure you make time to eat healthily, sleep well, and exercise. After all, having a healthy lifestyle sets a good example for your kid.
Now, if you feel that the guilt and exhaustion are becoming overwhelming, you should consider seeking some professional help. Don’t listen to all those misconceptions that people have about therapy. Just try it for yourself. On the one hand, unburdening yourself of your troubles without feeling judged will provide you great comfort. On the other hand, a therapist can teach you various coping strategies. And all of this will make you a better mom and a better career woman.
Being both a good mom and a successful career woman is hard but not impossible. So, don’t get discouraged. You can do it! And you should never feel guilty for wanting both or having to do both. But in case you do find yourself feeling guilty at times, just use these tips on how to manage mom guilt as a working parent.
Author: Miami Moving Guide