As a working mother in the United States, it's all too easy to fall into the trap of feeling guilty about every little thing - not spending enough quality time with your children, not being the "perfect mom," not having enough time for household chores or self-care, the list goes on and on. And with the constant barrage of unrealistic expectations on social media, it's easy to feel like you're not measuring up to your peers or the idealized version of motherhood.
But here's the thing: you're a good mom. You're doing the hard work of balancing a full-time job and taking care of your children, and that in itself is no small feat. So, take a deep breath, and remind yourself of that fact.
That being said, it's important to recognize that being a working mother often comes with its own set of challenges, including postpartum depression, negative thoughts, and feelings of inadequacy. To combat these struggles, it's crucial to prioritize your mental health and find ways to alleviate your guilt and stress.
Here are some tips for letting go of working mom guilt and taking care of your mental health:
1. Prioritize Quality Time Without Guilt
It's important to carve out quality time with your children each day without constantly feeling guilty about what else you "should" be doing. Engage in fun activities with your children or simply have a quiet moment together. Make sure they know that you love them and that you're doing your best.
2. Connect With Family Members & Support Groups
Reach out to family members or join a support group for working mothers to find support and camaraderie. You're not alone in this struggle.
3. Take Care of Your Physical Health
Make sure you're getting enough sleep and engaging in regular exercise and healthy meal choices. Your physical health significantly impacts your mental health.
4. Consider Professional Help
Don't be ashamed to seek professional help if necessary. Consider talking to your health care provider about mental health support options, or consider therapy to help alleviate feelings of guilt or depressive symptoms.
5. Give Yourself Permission To Let Go of Guilt
Make a conscious decision to let go of guilt. Remind yourself that you're doing the best you can and that you can't control everything. You don't have to be the perfect parent - just a good enough mom.
6. Practice Self-Care & Time Management
Allocate time for yourself and your own self-care without feeling guilty. Be mindful of your work-life balance and keep track of your to-do lists and household chores. Prioritize what's most important. Consider setting boundaries around screen time and other activities which may take away from the best care for your child.
Remember, being a working mother is hard work. It's okay to not always have it all together and to make mistakes. However, the key to overcoming working mom guilt is to prioritize your mental health and care of your children. Give yourself grace and the right to feel whatever feeling is present. Take life one day at a time and remain committed and intentional to providing the best versions of who you are to your family members.
It's time to stop stressing about trying to be the perfect parent and start focusing on taking care of yourself and your child. Letting go of working mom guilt may be the hardest thing you've ever done, but it's also the right decision for you and your family.