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Working Mothers Topics..

You are here : home > Working Mothers > Related Articles for Working Mothers > Overcoming a Working Mother's Guilt

Overcoming a Working Mother's Guilt

Working mothers are always filled with guilt. But rather than being overwhelmed by guilt, you should focus on the positive aspect. How can you have fun with your child without having guilt? Read on to know.

I find I feel overwhelmingly guilty at work since I think I am neglecting my baby.  Then I feel guilty at home because I feel I am neglecting my work.  How can I cope with this guilt?

It is the misfortune of working mothers that they must always feel overwhelmingly guilty.  The day you go back to work is the day you sign up to lead a life consumed with guilt.  When you go to work, leaving your child home you feel bad.  When you leave your work early to be with your child, you are full of self reproach. The cause of this guilt is partly, yourself.

Try Accept the Reality to Overcome the Guilt

You feel the need to give yourself wholly to your child and be there for him through all the little illnesses, accidents, trials and successes.  You also want to give your job all you have got whether it means travelling out of town or working late to finish your projects.  You must first and foremost recognise this:  that your life will always be one of compromise.  You simply cannot be at two places at once.  Only when you accept this can you try to alleviate some guilt for the compromises you have made.

Be Strong about Your Decision

Another reason for this guilt is the attitude of other people.  Everyone you know, and even strangers sometimes, will have an opinion on whether you made the right choice and whether your child is being well brought up.  Each child in the neighbourhood may run through your neighbour’s flower beds, but YOUR child is doing so only because you are at work.  You need to develop a thick skin to withstand the criticism of some judgemental people whilst retaining the counsel of those whose opinions you can trust.

All Mothers Feel Guilty at Some Point of Time

All mothers, working or not, believe that they are at fault when something goes wrong with their children.  It is almost as if we feel so omnipresent and omniscient that any bad thing can only have happened due to our neglect.  This is ridiculous and just because you feel guilty does not mean that you are guilty.

Develop a Support Group

It is a good idea to befriend other mothers who work.  You may not only develop a wonderful support group, but you will also realise that you are not alone.  Every mother has, at some time, gone to work leaving a sick child at home.

Dwell On the Positives

As a working mother, you are providing your children with greater economic security.  You are a great role model for your little girls and your little boys will grow up to be much more supportive of women who work.

Time Spent with Older Child is Comparatively Less

If you have older children, recognise that the amount of time you spend with them is not too much different from the time spent with a stay at home mother.  Take the number of waking hours a child has in a day.  Minus the time the child spends in school.  Take away the time spent with friends and in activities.  The child is really not available for very long in the day.  You will find that there is not an overwhelming difference.  In any case, the key to happy parenting is not to compare yourself with any other mother and never to compare children with one another.

Avoid Compensating for Guilt

Do try and avoid the tendency to compensate for the guilt by becoming a ‘super mom’ capable of achieving a countless tasks in a day.  You will just become exhausted.  We sometimes try to balance the guilt by showering our little ones with gifts galore.  Instead, consider whether you are really in any way short changing either your family or your job.  Then try to remedy those areas where you feel you have been wanting, whether with more family outings, by not volunteering for additional jobs at work.

And finally, make the time you do spend with your children count for something.  If you all have wonderful times together, you will feel less guilty.  Have some fun, and let go of the guilt.  Free of it, you may be a better, more relaxed mother.

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Ambika.5 years ago
Right now i am going through this phase. i have a 9 months old baby, haven't started going to office still. managing the office work at home only, thanks to my company for this :) now i need to start going to office, so many thoughts are going through in mind, like how will I be away from my son for ~10hrs a day, whom i have left away from me not for more than 1hrs :( Thanks to my mother-in-law, she is taking care of him very nicely. Now i need to become strong and take a next step. thank you for some of the tips given here. Some more tips will help me to take next step smoothly.
Divya.5 years ago
I agree with Aradhya, Indian mothers-in-law are truly great. It is because of the mothers-in-law that Indian mothers can go to work without any tension. It is 100% safe to leave your child at home with mothers-in-law. It is almost impossible for me to work if my mother-in-law wasn't there to take care of my baby. She takes care of my baby as if it is her own baby.
Aradhya.5 years ago
Working mothers surely do a great job. I am a working mother too. I rely on my mother in law for taking care of my daughter. I will be completely impossible for me to manage everything without the support of my mother-in-law. It is because of my mother-in-law that I can go to work without any stress.
Seema.5 years ago
It is very difficult for a working mother to leave her children behind and go to work. There are lot of women who compromise because of their financial situations. However, I have noticed that working mothers raise good children.
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