Mothers have a tendency to act like martyrs. They’ll save the smallest piece of fillet for themselves, take the broken fried egg and dish up the burnt piece of toast onto their own plates. For most mums – this is the norm, constantly putting everyone before themselves. And when they don’t, they feel a sense of guilt.
For working mothers, this guilt is elevated to an entirely new level. There are a thousand reasons working mothers find to feel guilty – they feel like they should be spending more time with their kids, but when they are away from their office, they feel guilty about neglecting their work. The reality is that finding a proper work-life balance is not just important for working mums (their health and their sanity), it’s important for their families. Here are some tips for working mothers to help let go of the guilt:
Accept that there will be compromises
Unfortunately, for working mothers, this is just the way it is. If you want to maintain a career and have a family at the same time, there are going to have to be compromised. The important part is not allowing yourself to feel guilty about that – but accept it. One way to help you do this is to be very clear about WHY you are making those compromises or sacrifices. Jot down the reasons why you work and remind yourself of them when you have to miss a recital or have to send your husband to the parent teacher meeting alone.
Be careful of the word ‘should’
‘Should’ is a pretty dangerous word, and working mothers should do their best to avoid it. This tiny word makes you have expectations of both yourself and those around you. Do what you can when you can but don’t live by society's ‘good parenting shoulds’. Half the time, in the modern world we live in, they are just not reasonable or possible, and that’s okay.
Undivided attention is key
It’s important for working mothers to practice being present with whoever they are with or wherever they are. If they are at work it’s vital to focus their full attention on that, and similarly, when they are with their family work needs to be left at the office, and undivided attention should be given to the family.
Just let it go
Elsa from Frozen was onto something when she said ‘Let it go’ (yes, we all had it on repeat). While this might sound ridiculous, there’s something to it. Working mothers need to practice acknowledging the thought/feeling of guilt, and consciously decide to just let it go.
The reality is that feeling guilty can become a habit and can just keep you stuck. Be aware of what is causing the guilt and learn to make an action plan to deal with it and then let it go. Guilt leads to anxiety and stress and serves no one; not you, your family or the quality of your work.
If you are looking for more information on how to juggle a job and your family, then take a look at our guide: Finding a Work-Family Balance. Alternatively, to get away from it all and to ensure you spend some quality time with your family, you can contact us directly. Our gorgeous family-friendly Costa Blanca hotels are perfect for your family holidays by the sea.