07 February 2017

Why I Don't Feel Guilt as a Working Mom

As women and as mothers, we naturally carry guilt. Some more so than others, but we all do it. At one time or another, we all have something that creeps up into our lives to make us feel guilty as parents.

My biggest battle with guilt comes in the form of being a working mom. While I enjoy working and wouldn’t have it any other way, from time to time, I have this little voice in the back of my head that says, “You should be making the sacrifices necessary to stay at home with your child.” That little voice isn’t always so nice.

For a while when we lived in Colorado, I was only working part-time which you would think would be a great compromise but really, I think it was worse. If I was at home with my child, I’d be thinking about work and if I was at work, I’d be thinking about my child. It all became mentally and emotionally exhausting. It was time to conquer my mental battle once and for all. 

Why should I feel guilty for wanting to work when in all reality, being a working mom is what makes me happy and in return, makes me a happier and better mom and person for my partner? Just because we have children, it doesn’t mean that all our own happiness, wants, and wishes should be flushed down the toilet. True, we put our children’s happiness first but that doesn’t mean that we should completely set aside our own happiness.  

I found myself becoming more confident in my choice to be a working mom when my mentality of what being a working mom actually means to me began to change. Instead of thinking of my career as a burden that sucks time away from my child, I started to look at it as an opportunity to grow and culture myself personally and professionally which in return, reaped benefits for me in the home. I started thinking of day care tuition as an investment towards my career which in turn, would ultimately provide a better life for my family instead of thinking of it as money flying out the window as I earned it. I began to feel true fulfillment in my choice to be a working mother and gave myself permission to have both – work and family life. 

So, for those of you who still struggle with the guilt of working or still wrestle with your purpose in the working world, here are all the reasons I love being a working mom.

For those of you who still struggle with the guilt of working or still wrestle with your purpose in the working world, here are all the reasons I love being a working mom.
ONE. The Kids Are Alright
Really, your kids who are in day care are just fine. Don’t believe me? Then just look at the evidence. The NICHD estimates that kids who are in high-quality day care score much higher on cognitive and verbal comprehension tests. The social aspects alone are amazing. Now, this isn’t to say that day care centers are far superior than SAHM’s or in home child care providers. Every family is different and so are the families’ circumstances. There are pros and cons to everything. This is just to simply say that you don’t have to feel so bad about all those hours your child is in day care. Rest easy behind your desk, momma. The kids are just fine.

TWO. Girl Power!
The only thing that’s going to make it easier for women to get into, stay in, and advance in the workforce is by having other women in the workforce. By being a working mom, you’re adding one more fabulous female to the workforce who understands what it’s like to juggle being a working gal with being a mom. Strength in numbers, ladies! Let’s embrace and show solidarity.

THREE. All by Myself
Being a working mom also means having alone time in the bathroom, running errands alone during lunch breaks, and before day care pickup in the afternoon, and eating your lunch completely uninterrupted without having little hands all in your plate or crying because you don’t like what’s being served. Y’all, I can’t even lie. Some days, these benefits outweigh everything. #truth.

FOUR. Poppin Tags
While we have a monthly budget, have bills to pay, and try to save as much as possible, when I want to, I can buy my own things {relatively} guilt-free. It’s nice to know that I have access to my own money and when I see a reasonably priced shirt that I want to buy, I do it without guilt {For the most part} because I work hard and contribute to our family’s finances. This wouldn’t necessarily be the case if I wasn’t working. The purse strings would be much, much tighter. For me personally, there is satisfaction in knowing that I’m doing my part to help make our family run and that I’m not dependent solely on another person for everything. Because I work, we have the flexibility to purchase “wants” on top of “needs” too. 

FIVE. Monkey See Monkey Do
No, I’m not home with my daughter but I feel that in being a working mom, I’m the example that she can do it too, if she chooses. She may take another path in her life but at the very least, I’m showing her that all things are possible and that she can enjoy the best of both worlds. My choice to be a working mom doesn’t make me any less a good mom and it’s important to me that she understands this concept as well. 

What are your thoughts? If you’re a working mom or dad, how do you deal with the mental guilt?
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup

Courtney is a published author, mom, taco enthusiast, and a Star Wars and Tennessee Volunteers fanatic. She's never met a piece of sushi she didn’t like and enjoys an amazing glass of wine and a great cut of meat. You can read more of her wine-induced, sleep-deprived adventures on The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy.

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