Sometimes it feels like working moms and guilt go together like peanut butter and jelly. Only they are a much less delicious combination. And even if you know working is the absolute best choice for you and your family, sometimes the guilt starts creeping up anyway and there are days when it becomes gut-wrenchingly unbearable. Take a deep breath, here are some ways you can manage your working mom guilt.
1. Remember why you work
Take a notebook and make a list of all the reasons you work. Better income means a better school for your kids, a new pair of shoes or an extra trip to the ice-cream parlor. But money is not the only reason to work. maybe you work to feel fulfilled, for the satisfaction of watching your career advance, to reach your goals or even to feel sane. Those are all great reasons, no matter how “selfish” they may look for someone else. Think about it like this: When you are on a plane, they tell you to secure your own air mask before trying to assist someone else with theirs. Life works the same way: take care of you first. If you are not happy and satisfied with your life, how likely are you to raise children that will be happy and satisfied with theirs?
Your extra income might mean that you can hire someone to help you out around the house. Even if you can’t afford a full-time maid, even someone to come in three hours a week to do the deep cleaning can be of help. If you live with a partner, figure out if they are doing their fair share of the chores or if they could help out more. Less chores to do means more time to spend with the kids. Find quality childcare that will make you feel safe and more at ease with leaving your children at home.
3. Be fully present
The moments you have to spend with your children are fewer than if you were a stay at home mom. But it is possible to spend every second of the day with your kids and still not be fully present. When you do have time to spend with your kids, minimize distractions. Turn off your phone, stop writing an email while you talk to your children and don’t try to do the laundry while you put together that jigsaw puzzle. Multitasking will work against you. Set up at least one day a week or every few weeks when you can take time off and really be with your children. if they are older, they can even help you pick the activities for the day.