In this day and age most moms work, and in our society just because you work, it doesn’t mean you get a ‘get out of jail free card’ from being the perfect mom. Our society seems to have given women the OK to go out and be successful, but you better also have it all together at home, as if you’re Mrs. Cleaver with the looks of Kim Kardashian. The result for me? Constantly feeling guilty that I’m not good enough because I work and I’m away from my kid.
I’m a working mom guilt-aholic!
Maybe it’s because I’m Catholic, or that I have an incessant need to please everyone. But let’s face it, guilt is a waste of energy. So I have been on a quest to rid myself of the guilt of being a working mom. In doing this I have discovered three guilty admissions and solutions.
3 Guilty Admissions
1. Missing the ‘mom’ gene
I wasn’t born with the ‘mom’ gene. I love my son more than anything but being a mom is not my favorite job. Who likes potty training, temper tantrums, and timeouts? How awful does that make me sound? Guilty, guilty, guilty! But being a career woman makes me appreciate the little things, like cleaning up mac ‘n’ cheese off the floor.
2. My identity is important
I love to work / travel, be around adults, and feel as though I have my own identity. It makes me feel selfish though. In comparison, my best friend stays at home with her two kids, and let me tell you I admire the heck out of her. I just couldn’t do it…I would end up in a strait jacket.
3. Not doing all the right things
My son has a lot of little issues. I feel they stem from the fact that I work and didn’t do all the right things early on. He doesn’t eat much, he is still not fully potty trained, and bedtime is not consistent. Everything wrong is my fault…more guilt.
When it comes down to it, I’m a goal driven woman. I like to have a lot on my plate; sometimes too much to even realistically accomplish. Maybe I have the ‘cave man’ gene instead; the hunter attitude but with a female body. So how do you balance the hunter-gatherer instinct and not fall apart? Think about it, most men do not feel guilty when they go off to their job. It’s in their nature to provide. They probably feel more guilty about not working. As a woman, we can choose to feel guilty or we can face the facts and find ways to relieve the guilt. Here are a few things that I have found to be most effective.
3 Tips to Handle Working Mom Guilt
1. Face time
No, not the app on your iPhone. My son is an attention hog. He loves me in his face and being in mine. So as much as I can (at least once a day) I give him 15-30 minutes of uninterrupted face time. I call it our special time. We pick a game, such as blocks or play trains. I give him positive feedback on how well he plays and refrain from asking him questions. This time has proven a huge relief for me and he gets so much out of it.
2. No phone zones
My son hates my cell phone; he smacks it out of my hand constantly. So certain areas of my home are considered, no phone zones. Such as the dinner table, bath time, and when I’m putting him down for bed. The result has been positive, and my cell phone takes far less abuse now.
3. Put mommy on timeout
Just like your kid(s) need face time… you need time for yourself too. Whether it’s a bath, reading, watching TV, exercising, or something else; make the time. And, don’t feel guilty while doing it… you work hard and deserve it! Changing guilt into something that is deserving is hard, but a recharged mom is a better mom.
Your job provides for your kid(s). So instead of feeling like you’re bad for working, think of what your child gets out of the fact that you do work. Stop the guilt and enjoy your kid(s). You being the best you, is teaching your kid to be the best them.
About the Author
Tiffany Duplissea is a career mom with a background in marketing, business development, and event planning. She was born with a tan and raised by hippies in California. Her love for her husband, baseball, and good barbeque brought her to Overland Park, Kansas City where she currently lives. She is the better half of a man that works for the Kansas City Royals, and has a son who is a 3 year old Tasmanian devil. She is known for her irreverence to being a mom, and her signature look which is wearing the highest heels she can possibly get into. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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