by Udita Saklani
Top 7 ways how a working mom can overcome mommy guilt whenever she is on a guilt trip! Decoding overcoming mommy guilt, a special post this Mother’s Day
Very often as a working mom, I get overwhelmed when I get back to the day-care to pick my little one and I see her crying due to some reason or the other. Of course, no mother can see her baby crying, but the guilt of working all day long and then coming back to see your kid crying in the daycare can get stressful at times. Personally, I feel that the so-called ‘Guilty Gene’ gets embedded in our DNA as soon as we deliver our babies. A new-born’s mother feels guilty for not expressing enough breast milk on the other hand when she resumes work, she seems to be in guilt mode for most of the time when she is at her workplace. As mothers, we always try to put our family and our kid’s demands, and well-being over ourselves, even if it means putting our own self on the back burner. I often myself go into guilt mode many times when my toddler falls sick or anything of that sorts happens in the family. Mothers have this inherent thing of taking up the blame of everything and anything on themselves. There have been cases across the world, where women gave up on their spiralling career as they felt that they weren’t doing enough for their families. Guilt also starts getting to us to when we start comparing ourselves to other moms. Working moms feel that Stay at home moms are the best, while a SAHM (Stay-At-Home-Mom) feels how is the working mom managing everything so smoothly. Presenting some of the tips which I follow in my day to day life to overcome – A working mom’s guilt.
1. Start journal or planner:
Trust me, I swear by this. I used to write my weekly tasks in a diary just like that. But now, I have taken up journaling quite seriously. Try and maintain a journal where you can record your weekly tasks, appointments or meetings. I also write down things I am grateful for and do some doodle on the journal. The journal helps me to organize my present, rectify mistakes of the past and work for the future. Personally, speaking, journaling has helped me a lot, as I get to spend some me time with my diary. You can also start on a Planner-Just buy a simple diary which will help you keep a track of the daily things you do, and will make things smooth in the long run.
2. Be prepared for the next day well in advance:
If you are a working mom, you know how planning well, a night before the next day makes things effortlessly easy for you. If you have to drop your child at the daycare, get the diaper bag ready a night before. Try to think what you will be serving in the breakfast next morning (You can always make the batter of pancakes or idli ready a night before). Make sure you have ironed and decided on your clothes for the next day (I personally hate to just stand and stare at my open wardrobe, thinking of what to wear). You need to be sorted on your front, so that the kid is not left to take care of himself, and you end up being in guilt.
3. Kick that guilt down the drain:
This is one of the most important tips I swear by. I always think that if I have to leave my daughter to the daycare, it is because both of us must grow. Identify things which make you want to go back to work with each new morning. I don’t feel guilty that I have left her at the day care, instead, I feel that she is growing and getting groomed in the best of environments. It is all about the attitude in the end). This way you will end up feeling less guilty and will develop a more upfront attitude towards your daily activities of overcoming mom guilt. Try cutting out negative energy and people who make you feel guilty. In other words, there will always be a section of society who will make you feel guilty for whatsoever you are doing. So just ignore them!
4. There will be mistakes/challenges (accept them):
The first step in overcoming mom guilt is the acceptance of the fact that we are humans in the end, and mistakes are bound to happen. Each day will not be the same – so there will be days of joys as well as sorrows and always remember that- ‘Every cloud has a silver lining.’
5. Spend time with your kids as and when you have time:
There need not be a fixed schedule for spending time with your kids. Of course, putting them to bed at the correct time is important, but you can always look for alternatives to have some sweet moments together. I generally read aloud stories to my toddler at bedtime. Before going to work I spend maximum time with her by engaging her in a game of blocks or better still, an easy art and craft session which does not consume much time either.
6. Stick by your decisions:
Now that you have decided to work, and leave your toddler under a supervisor at the day care, there will be many times when you might miss on your toddler/baby’s milestones. Instead of whining and putting yourself into guilt mode and thinking of whether to leave the kid at the day-care at all or no, concentrate on the current scenario and stick to the decision which you took to work after having a baby.
7. Take a personal day or time off:
Take a day off from your daily routine once a week or at least fortnightly. Spend some time at the spa or better still, enjoy a long and a warm bath and try to de-stress and overcome that mommy guilt. This will help you to rejuvenate for the coming week and help in developing a better frame of mind.