Dear Working Moms,
I know that once you found out you were going to be a mother, you automatically began to envision what that would look like and mean. Most moms have a clear idea of the type of mom they want to be, what they want to be able to give their children, the lifestyle they want to live, etc. Then more often than not, the fairy-tale motherhood, parenting experience and role doesn’t unfold as such; you return to work after six short weeks of maternity leave, and mom guilt sets in.
You beat yourself up for not being supermom and always having everything under control. You know, dinner prepped for the entire week, always a hot, home cooked meal on the table, laundry never overflowing, dishes never piling up, zero dust bunnies, having the perfect balance of work, home, and social life, all while being involved in your community and finding time for yourself. Being pulled in a hundred different directions, you feel guilty because one area or another is going to get neglected, somewhere something will be lacking, and you’re worried crazy that your child(ren) wont feel loved enough, will turn out to be a horrible person, and will blame you for it.
Cut it out. Stop beating yourself up for working, for providing for the people you love. Stop beating yourself for having career goals and dreams, and stop beating yourself up for neglecting the laundry or dishes from time to time. All will be fine, you’re not the worst mother on the planet, and your child(ren) won’t grow up hating you because you weren’t a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom).
“Across the globe, millions of mothers leave for work each morning wondering whether their children will suffer from the absence of a mother at home… Relative to children whose mothers stay at home full time, children of employed mothers do as well, if not better, at school, both in terms of academic achievement and in terms of behavior,” write the authors of Harvard Business School who studied this very topic.
It doesn’t go to say that children of working mothers turn out better than those of stay-at-home moms or vice-verses, what it can validate is that working moms should be comforted in knowing that you’re not ruining your child’s life for choosing to have a career or “having” to work. The most important thing to a child and their development is to receive genuine love and quality attention.
Feeling guilty, constantly, comparing yourself to others, never feeling what you do is good enough, and constantly beating yourself up for it only stresses you out more than the bills, the work demands, and everything else. It’s mentally and emotionally draining when you could choose to accept imperfections and failures as apart of life, and truly cherish and live in the moment of everything that does go right.
Do your best and drop the guilt led stress. You’re a great mom.
From one working mom to another
Reach Tinita at firstname.lastname@example.org