By Louise Fandino of Mommy Practicality
I receive a number of messages from fellow working moms telling me that most of the time they feel guilty about being away from home for most of the days in a week, that how they wish they could take care of their kids themselves. To make them feel better, it’s easy to say not to feel that way because honestly, I get guilt pinches once in a while too. But when that happens, I carefully think things over and find the real reason why I do what I do and that reason is – it’s for my children’s future.
While it’s true that the best caretaking of the children only comes from the mother, how blessed are those who get to work or stay at home to be able to do that, not all moms get that privilege. Working moms I see and talk to everyday wish they could spend more time with their growing children, I included. They feel that they lack quality time and that they’re not giving what’s best for their family and that they are not doing enough and will never be able to because they are away from home. They all share the same feeling of GUILT.
If you’re feeling that way too, as a working mom myself for 12 years, I want to tell you this – Mommy, don’t worry, you’re doing fine.
It took me notable amounts of life experiences and wisdom before I could say that. It’s not that I already perfected a working mom lifestyle because we all know there is no such thing as perfect. It’s not that I am exaggeratedly career-oriented nor had become a little heartless. I can say that now because I learned to accept that motherhood and parenting is unique to each family unit, just as how God created each one of us.
If there is one thing that’s similar between all mothers in the world, it’s the immeasurable love that we have for our children. That alone should negate the feeling of guilt and here’s the good news, there are more reasons why you should not be feeling it:
- NO MOTHER IS PERFECT. As there is nothing perfect in this world, so is for a mother. Every mother has different situations in dealing with their children like teaching values, preference of schooling, lifestyle orientation and many more. There’s no point in comparing yourself from another because each motherhood experience is incomparable.
- YOU WANT TO PROVIDE THEM A GOOD FUTURE. We all have choices, true. But for now maybe, the choice that works for your family is the choice that you made, which is to have a career outside home. Whatever choice we make as mothers, it all boils down to this one reason – to be able to provide them a good future.
- EVERY MOM NEEDS SELF-LOVE – Loving oneself doesn’t mean you’re being selfish. If you’re working out of home it partly means you’re also pursuing a dream or a professional ambition and there is nothing wrong about that. If you fill your tank with self-love, you have tons of love to give to everyone in the family. More love, more happiness!
If those aren’t enough, here are some ways you could try doing if you want to be MORE present for them even when you’re busy earning a living for their future:
- TIME MANAGEMENT – The reason why journals and calendars are made is for moms like us to make use of it for proper scheduling of life events, work priorities and plotting our leaves. As working moms, we are entitled to vacation leaves, let’s make use of it. Come to work and leave on time, do what you can do for the day and if rendering overtime could be avoided, come home soon. Don’t forget to consistently call home every now and then to check on your kids.
- KNOW YOUR PRIORITIES AND LEARN TO SAY NO. – If there are work or outside work activities that are not value-adding to your job and would take away time for the family especially for the kids, you could always skip it. What you’ll miss in those events you will gain a hundredfold at home.
- PLAN AN AWESOME WEEKEND/VACATION/TRIP – This is what “Work hard. Play hard, “means to us working moms. It doesn’t necessarily mean you always have to go out. You could plan an awesome lunch or dinner or do some arts and crafts activities during the weekend with the kids or if budget permits, have a memorable weekend getaway. Every weekend becomes special and memorable to the children.
- BE REALLY PRESENT – When you’re home, having dinner, playing with the kids, doing activities with them make sure you are REALLY PRESENT by disconnecting from work and by putting your gadgets away. When they tell you something, LISTEN and be really interested in what they are sharing. When you’re together with the kids after work, shower them with your hugs and kisses. Remember to always keep your promises. In the most important days of their lives, be PRESENT.
It’s easier said than done, but it can be done. Motherhood, just like marriage, is a continuous work in progress. This holds true to any mothering situation one could be: work-out-of-home, work-at-home or stay-at-home moms. So relax, take a deep breath, don’t stress too much nor pressure yourself in trying to be a superwo-MOM, because there isn’t one. Stop comparing yourself to other moms who rock it in homemaking or to those who have the pleasure to home-school their kids, because you are a rockstar mom yourself in your own momma stage.
You know why? It’s because there can only be one superstar mother for your children and that is YOU!
So dear Mommy, don’t worry, you’re doing fine.
Have you ever felt like you weren’t doing “enough” to be a “good mom”? How have you dealt with this issue? Can we help? Let’s talk about this in the comments.