As a working mother who also travels every few weeks, it is a constant struggle and internal battle reassuring myself that I’m doing the right thing. I know that the “right thing” is different for every family, and working is definitely the right thing for us right now. But I wanted to get another perspective, so I asked a fellow blogger, Rene Brooks at Black Girl Lost Keys, to share her thoughts. I love the advice she gives:
How to Deal with Working Mom Guilt
When most of us pictured motherhood, we had very rosy glasses on. It is so easy for us to imagine perfect PTA luncheons, guiding our littles through life without a hitch, and being their very best friend. Now it isn’t that life doesn’t go according to plan, but we maybe were a little less than accurate in our imaginings.
One of the main things we don’t plan for as working moms are the quandaries that will come into play for us. See, we want to do everything that a stay at home mom can do, PLUS enjoy the benefits of being a working mom, out conquering the working world by day, smoothing brows of sleeping babies at night.
As work hours make their demands on our time and energy, we slowly realize we can’t do it all, or we begin to resent the level of effort it takes to do it all. Both of these can lead to us feeling a huge sense of guilt as working mommies. Here’s how you deal with that mom guilt:
Take a deep breath
For starters, relax. Say “I am a really good mom” to yourself ten times out loud. The main thing children need to know as they are growing is that they are loved, and you love your children very much.
I promise you, they will not be emotionally scarred because you had to fill in and you couldn’t be at library day. It may seem like the end of the world to you, but it is one day in thousands that you will spend guiding them through this life.
Right beside you are mothers who are facing the exact same challenges that you are facing, so you are not alone.
Stop the comparison game
If you are looking for someone who is doing better than you, you are always going to find it. The mom who looks like she has it all together could be struggling just as much as you are, so stop playing the comparison game.
Just like everyone else, the mom who you are envious of has her struggles, her triumphs, and her tragedies. If you see a mother who looks like she is kicking butt in an area you would like to do better in, try something new. Instead of eating your heart out with jealousy over her “better” parenting skills, reach out for advice.
You never know, you may be the mom who has it all in her eyes.
Do your best
Just like you teach your children, doing your best is the most important thing. That can look differently for every mom. Does that mean that you can switch around your work schedule to be classroom mom, but maybe you can’t be at every dance recital?
Does that mean that your cookies are store bought instead of baked? Whatever it means, you are doing the very best you can, and that is admirable.
There is no right or wrong way to be a mom. We are all working this path out for ourselves as we go along.
The path of motherhood is loaded up with reasons to feel guilty. We as women constantly struggle with the idea of needing to be the best at everything, but we need to remember that motherhood, like the rest of life, is not a competition.
We are here to do what we can for the people we love. You are rocking it as a mom, and don’t let anyone tell you any different.
Thanks again Rene for sharing your thoughts!
René Brooks is a passionate advocate for women with ADHD and the Mental Health Community. She is the founder of Black Girl, Lost Keys, a lifestyle blog that brings attention to the conversation around race, mental health and womanhood. That project has led to features in Healthline, PBS’s Roadtrip Nation, Additude Magazine, and Kaleidoscope Society.