Are your shoulders heavy from carrying the weight of all your Mom guilt? Especially if you’re a Working Moms, guilt may feel like a part-time job. Can’t make it to a meeting because your kid is sick? Guilt! Or the reverse – what if you can’t be home with your sick kid because you have a meeting? See, either way you lose. Learn the truth about guilt so you can finally let it go.
Below is the podcast version of this article. The podcast explains things so much better than a blog post. I invite you to listen and also hear some examples and enjoy some laughs! You can subscribe to the Podcast by opening your favorite podcast app and typing “Balanced Working Moms” into the search or click here for a link to the podcast on iTunes.
I used to bring my kids to school in their jammies. True story. I’d wake my baby up at 6 am, change her diaper, throw her in the car seat, and off we’d go! I didn’t do her hair in a cute barrette. She wasn’t wearing an “outside” outfit. Just whatever jammies she’d worn to bed.
At her daycare and there was this adorable kid. Let’s call her Madison. Madison also got there early (but not quite as early as us!) and was always dressed to the 9’s. She had a cute matchy baby outfit. Her hair was in pigtails, in little ribbons that matched her outfit. It was so adorable, words cannot even describe. And she wasn’t wearing Wal-Mart’s finest. Trust me, her wardrobe budget must have been 3 years of mine, put together.
And then there was my kid. At least I’d changed her diaper, right? No diaper rash on my watch!
How could I do this? How could I be so blasé and chill about how my baby looked?
It’s because I didn’t feel guilt about the fact that she was in daycare!
I wasn’t trying to impress anyone. I wasn’t trying to prove anything. Instead of spending my time dressing her, we’d get to daycare and I’d use those extra 10 minutes to woo the staff. We’d chat. I’d make jokes, we’d laugh. I’d find out what was going on in their lives. And I genuinely cared because I wanted to get to know the women who were taking care of my child.
And Imagine how my kid was treated at daycare.
She was spoiled beyond all recognition.
Why? It was because of my attitude.
Stop the Guilt
If I’d felt guilty about the fact that she was in daycare, I wouldn’t have embraced it and found ways to make the experience better for all of us.
I would have instead tried to PROVE that I was a good enough Mom. For Madison’s family, that may have looked like a $5,000 clothing budget. Or maybe for them, dressing their kid was important. I don’t know why they spent so much time and money on it.
But do you see my point?
If we’re feeling guilty, we don’t make our best decisions.
Here are some thoughts that working Moms can have. Do any of these resonate with you?
- I’m a bad Mom for working outside of the house
- A good Mom would raise her own kid
- I’m not spending enough time with my kids
- There has never been and there never will be another Mom as bad as I am since I have to go to work
- My child will be permanently messed up because I work outside of the home
Yuck. It’s so sad that many Moms truly believe those statements.
But do you see how these thoughts are not helpful?
Tell me what good things can come out of these thoughts because I sure can’t think of anything.
The only good thing is that if you truly believe these thoughts, they may help you figure out how to be a stay-at-home Mom. And if that’s what you believe and that’s what you want to do, I 100% support you.
I’ve said from the beginning of this blog that we do not participate in the Mommy wars in our community.
You do you, and I’m happy for you. If being a SAHM is what you want to do and it honors your value system, please do it. Find a way.
Be aware that this article is geared towards Moms who really WANT or NEED to work but feel guilt when they shouldn’t feel guilt. When the guilt doesn’t serve them in any positive way.
Problems that Mom Guilt Causes
So here’s the problem with Mom guilt. They often cause us to do these things.
I used to do to overcompensate, too. For me, I’d do this by never leaving my house if I wasn’t going to work.
I thought that since I’m not with my kid already during the workday, during weekends and evenings, I shall never leave my home.
Forget date night. Forget going out with a friend. I was a hermit.
I was overcompensating and it was seriously unhealthy.
Other people may overcompensate by buying too many toys. Or enrolling their kids in too many after-school activities so their kids don’t miss out.
Oh when I think of all the days and nights I wasted by worrying. If I’d used that energy to clean, maybe I’d have stopped worrying because my house would be sparkling beautifully.
But what can you do. Worrying is the worst, isn’t it? It takes so much energy and doesn’t improve anything.
We Lose Our Joy
I think this is actually the worst thing that happens. When you feel guilty, you can’t be happy. They’re two opposites.
Example…. I love my life. Except for the fact that my kid goes to day care and I’m therefore the worst Mother who ever was. So I guess I don’t really love my life.
See, it’s not possible to be filled with joy if you’re also filled with guilt at the same time. It’s eating away at you.
Doesn’t Help Anything
The purpose of this blog post is to make you aware that feelings of guilt aren’t going to help you on this Working Mom journey.
You may think a good Mom should feel guilty. But this isn’t true because if you’re feeling guilty, you’re actually causing a landslide of other problems.
Any time you have negative energy about something, positive results generally do not ensue.
I invite you to consider this question:
Imagine if you felt joy and pride about being a working Mom instead of guilt. How would that change everything?
Guilt Doesn’t Do Any Good
In this article we dipped our toes into this topic.
It was just about awareness. I wanted to show you that guilt wasn’t doing you good.
We’ve talked about guilt in other blog posts and I’ll continue to bring this up because it’s like a black thread that’s wound throughout the fabric of being a working Mom.
It’s time to pull that thread out and live joyful lives where we’re PROUD of what we do.
Here’s the picture I’d like to leave you with.
I want you to picture your child about to have his or her first baby. Your grown child comes to you and thanks you for being such a wonderful example of what it meant to be a working Mom.
Your child knows how to juggle this responsibility with joy and love (and lots of practical skills) because you showed him or her how.
And your child is so thankful to you.
Picture this any time you start feeling guilt.
Because we teach more than anything else, through example.
Continue being that beautiful example for your child and hold that image in your mind.
With so much love,