All Woman

Overcoming mom guilt

By PENDA HONEYGHAN

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

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MOST working moms, whether they are new to motherhood or not, can relate to that hollow feeling of guilt that settles some place deep in the bed of our stomachs each time we drop off our little ones at day care.

Unfortunately, we often find that this feeling doesn't only hit the stomach, it also hijacks our thoughts, which may significantly affect our ability to function at work.

Clinical psychologist Dr Pearnel Bell says that these feelings of guilt do not have to hold you captive unless you allow them to. How to get over it all? Dr Bell shares a list of tips below:

Being a working mom does not make you a bad mother

As a working mother, you had to make the difficult decision to work and this will take you away from your children naturally. As such, you will be unable to spend as much time with your child/children and you may have to sacrifice some important events, but it guarantees food on the table, that the lights stay on, and that your children are clothed and kept clean. These are obligations that a mother has for her child, and making the tough decision to work says that you love them enough to make providing for them a priority.

Establish a support system

As a working mother it would be difficult, and perhaps near impossible, to do it all alone. Therefore, it is best if you can round up people who you can depend on to be supportive — your mom, sister, husband, or the child's father, in-laws, and even a good babysitter or day care. You want to make sure you have a team of people who will provide a safe, happy environment in your absence.

Set realistic expectations for yourself as a mom

The truth is, even if you have a stay-at-home job it would be difficult to make all school events, especially when there is more than one child. While it would be good to be able to support your child at every event, if you are unable to, talk to your child about it, instead of making promises when you know you have prior engagements. What you can do is to coordinate with your child/children's father so that at least one of you can be at events, especially the ones most important to your child. You can also ask another family member, especially one that your child/children like, and ask them to do recordings so that you can still have the experience.

Make time with your children

Take advantage of all the time that you can spend with your children. Children grow really fast when you are a working mom. You will miss some beautiful moments, unfortunately. That means that you should capitalise on the moments spent together. So, when you do put away the phone, put away everything work-related, listen to your child, catch up on all that has been happening, offer guidance and advice and most important, show and tell them that you love them. Do this as often as possible and take personal days to facilitate bonding with your child/children if your work schedule is hectic.

Remember, there will always be critics

Some of the biggest critics are other moms. They will judge you for working too much and not making it to enough events and even for sending your child to day care. This is okay. They are entitled to their opinion, just don't let the guilt that they are trying to heap on you seep in. Instead, remind yourself of why it is important to work. You know what is right for you and your family, and that is what is important. Also, the critics have just put some space between you and them so you don't have to encounter them or their ignorant comments.

Join mommy forums

You are not alone. There are many moms like you who struggle with working mom guilt too. Finding a couple of moms who can relate to your situation can help to ease the anxiety and the frustration that tend to accompany the guilt. Not only will you have emotional support, but you can also ask questions, bounce ideas off them, ask for advice, and share opinions.


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