“I don’t know why, I mean there’s no rational reason behind this feeling, but I can’t stop feeling guilty about my time away from home, from my kids, even if that’s for work. Doesn’t make any sense, does it?” – Rachel, a working mother of two kids.
“I know it sounds crazy emotional, but wait until you become one, and you’ll see my point that you cannot simply ignore your true calling, which is your kid once you become a mom.” – Lisa, a mother of a toddler, Carrie. Lisa feels strongly about her occupation stopping her from being there for Carrie round the clock.
It doesn’t matter how many kids someone has or for how long one has been handling these issues, a working mom is rarely free from the guilt she feels for not being able to stay with her children as much as she would like to.
It gets worse. But it shouldn’t. Mothers shouldn’t feel guilty for leaving behind their children as they are at work. Here’s a set of reasons that will get rid of that guilt.
They indirectly help their children earn more
Here’s an interesting research finding. In the U.S., daughters of working mothers earn 23% more than daughters of stay-at-home moms. There is probably some noise in the data, but intuitively this makes sense. Daughters of working mothers see first-hand how difficult it may be to raise a family. A daughter learns directly from their mother’s perseverance, focus, and grit. They develop the same strong work ethics when they grow up, which naturally translates into higher incomes.
They have more caring and responsible children
The children of working moms tend to be more caring and responsible. They take on early responsibility, tend to be more mature and more adept at dealing with social situations. Research has found that 33% of the kids of working moms tend to take responsibility and rise to the occasion, while only 25% of the children of working moms are comfortable to do so.
They help their children prioritize
Your children may want you to stay with them all the time. You may wish to do the same thing. You want to follow your heart. However, there are some wants that have no valid merit to them, which you need to understand too.
On the other hand some needs require fulfillment whether you are home or not. For example, it’s essential to feed your kids in time, send them to school and pick them up from there, as well as allowing them enough time and opportunity for studies and fun. Identify and categorize these things accordingly. Prioritize whatever is required to keep the needs dealt with, and the wants set aside for when time allows.
The best part of this process is how your kids learn from seeing you prioritize. They idolize you and imitate you unknowingly. In doing so, they too learn how to prioritize and balance things in life from a young age.
They spend more quality time with their children
Whatever time they have for their children, they try to make it count. As a result, they plan everything well and do each thing with a purpose. Time well spent is more memorable than time spent but wasted. Their children learn to appreciate each moment they have with them, and in turn appreciate them more.
They learn to stop comparing
One of the biggest mistakes we make while parenting our children is to compare ourselves with other parents. The best parents I have seen so far are never really bothered about how other parents raise their kids. They simply try to do what they can do best. As Warren Buffett says, the best measure of self-worth should come from within.
The bottom line?
Stop feeling guilty. Too many working moms weigh themselves down with the word “should”. I should have gone to his graduation ceremony, should have taught her how to bake cookies, should have bought him that air purifier… the list goes on and on. The reality is, your kids may well be better off because you are a working mom. There is no room for “should” in your vocabulary.
Featured photo credit: PASQUALE VITIELLO via magdeleine.co