One of the most common types of Mom guilt is the ‘Working Mom’ guilt. Maybe you can’t afford to be a stay at home mom (SAHM) because one or no income won’t do. What about those of you who can afford not to work, but you really enjoy the career you’ve built.
Even if you’re working from home, you may not be spending that quality time with your child because you’re a one woman show caught up in work details and demands.
Whatever the case, you’re a working mother and you may feel guilty because the time spent with your child is limited… more than you would like.
Tradition says you should be at home, raising your kids, being their primary teacher, and witnessing each stage of advancement. You’re the mom, they’re your responsibility.
A hat off to the Mom’s who are able to stay at home. Can I be honest? I get jealous, and sometimes I feel less than because I can’t measure up to that ‘perfect SAHM world’; whatever that’s supposed to look like. Even though, I don’t think I could be a 24/7 SAHM, I do wish that I had that option. I’m just not there yet.
I feel guilty that my son spends on average 9 hours a day under someone else’s care, then only about five waking hours with me. And let’s be honest. Those five hours are split between morning routines to get out of the house, and evening routines to end up in bed.
Let me not even begin with how bad I feel most mornings dropping him off. He tries to break the hold of his teachers, to run after me crying, as I close the door behind me (he’s 2 years old).
GOD! That crap hurts! But logically I know, he’ll be fine within a couple of minutes, playing with his little friends. Then I tell myself, I’ll pick him up early or at least “on time”. Even then, I know it’s not likely, because something at work always holds me back. At work I’m thinking of him. When I clock out I’m thinking of what I didn’t get to do for work, and what needs to be done at home.
Ok enough venting. I just had to get that off my chest! But I just know there’s another mom reading this who gets where I’m coming from. You feel it too!
So how do we pull ourselves up from drowning in working mom guilt? How do we fight this conflict to bring income into our household but wishing we were spending more time at home?
This week I have reminded myself of these 5 truths to set me free:
You love your child and there’s nothing that can change that. Remind them daily.
- Being a working mom does not make you less of a mom, or discredit your love for your kids. Let your children know often that you care about them, and you love them.
You’re working so that you can provide more for them. That’s an expression of love!
- Safe homes, healthy food, clean clothes, extra-curricular activities, or saving up for family related experiences they’ll never forget.
Be present in the time you have with your kids. Quality over Quantity.
- Slow it down, put down the phone, leave the house chores, eat a meal with them. Push back the bed time even if for just a few minutes to read with them and reflect about their day. Quality also doesn’t equal toys, money or letting them get whatever they want. Your attention is what they need and want most.
You’re building their independence and expanding their village.
- Hopefully they’re in a place where they get to build on their social skills, by interacting with other children, and learning new things daily. Think of that caregiver as being part of your village. I believe the more positive influences a child can have in their life the better. After all, The African Proverb says, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’.
The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
- As frustrating and irritating as it can be, remember there’s another mother out there who get’s where you are. There are also some SAHM’s wishing they could switch roles, even if just a couple of days a week. They could be longing for a break from the kids and some adult interaction. Be thankful for the opportunity to be employed. Count your blessings.
You are a phenomenal mother and don’t you forget it! Love yourself, love your kids, and enjoy the little things. What may seem like a small gesture to you could mean the world to them. Grace yourself!