Curb those feelings of insecurity, panic and guilt, which working mothers commonly face when they have two full-time jobs – work and motherhood
Sixty percent of all mothers today work, either part-time or full time outside their home. Moreover, statistics show that the No. 1 emotion working mothers struggle with is guilt – guilt because they are not home when the kids get home from school, guilt because their son does not like his sitter and guilt because they cannot be a room mother. “Working mothers suffer from two major ailments: guilt and role strain,” says Devika Singh, psychologist at International based in Dubai Herbal Treatment Center.
A universal mom problem
Guilt and parenting go hand in hand. Every mother experiences it, as she somehow believes if something is wrong with the children it must be her fault. In addition, because a working mother is not physically present with her kids 24 hours a day, she naturally blames herself even more when there is even the slightest of problems.
Working mothers face challenges all the time. Mixed with the responsibilities they have as concerning their children are the commitments of their careers. Devika adds, “Women who must work, may feel guilty that they do not spend sufficient time with their children and worry that their child-care arrangements are inadequate, but they find some comfort in the fact that their working will provide the best for their children.”
“Women who choose to work in order to develop their own potential and to prevent boredom or even depression, which may result if they feel forced to stay home, feel guilty that they are ‘abandoning’ their children. Professional women also feel guilty that they are not devoting themselves as thoroughly to their careers as they ought to in order to move forward. These women struggle with their anger at children who present extra, time-consuming demands.
Whatever the reasons why they work, few working mothers do not feel a constant undercurrent of guilt about the effects of their working on their children. The guilt is usually most intense for mothers of infants and preschool children,” she says.
Affects On Moms Guilt On Mental And Physical Health
“Role Strain’ is the somewhat euphemistic term for the chronic fatigue, anxiety, sense of always being behind, and near panic that working mothers so commonly feel from trying to manage their separate and often conflicting roles. Working mothers of small children who need them in the night may suffer as well from sleep deprivation, which leaves them less alert, less productive, and somewhat irritable on the job. Even those rare few who seem to manage both work and mothering without suffering stress may face periodic exhaustion, lack of private time, and neglect of exercise and appearance.”
“A crucial conflict in professional women today is between achievement and the fear of loss of love. They worry that men will be put off by their competence or their interest in their careers may present conflicts in their marriages. Most women do not realize that these conflicts may underlie their anxieties, disappointments, loss of meaning, lack of ambition, frustrations, or boredom in their working lives.”
“It is important for working women to recognize the internal obstacles that they bring to the situation. Then they will be freer to recognize and deal with external limitations that society continues to impose on women in the workplace. Most working mothers keep their guilt and role strain within tolerable limits, although some may need professional help to deal with the stress and self-criticism. Most try hard to focus on the quality of the time they spend with their children rather than its amount. Many try to compensate with special activities and material benefits they are able to shower their child with. They cope with role strain; most often by lowering their career ambitions or slowing down, at least until the children no longer need them as much, and by teaching their children earlier to be self-reliant and independent.”
Tip For Moms To Ease Their Mommy Guilt
A mother should recognize that her feelings are trying to tell her to change something and the change always requires at least a two-step process. First, you have to learn to let go of the things that are causing you problems. Sometimes it is just a matter of looking at a situation in a new light. Other times it is a matter of getting the training of handling your parenting job differently (like learning yell-free discipline techniques or meal-planning tricks). Second, you have to replace the old ways with new ones, which is not hard. Once you begin prioritizing the enjoyment of your parenting experience, you will want to create even more ways to do so. You will be modelling for your kids what it means to be a happy, balanced, well-adjusted parent, so your whole family will be better off.
Moms, View Your Career In A Positive Light
You do not have to be there every second; most children will obey and act accordingly. Even if you are not around all the time, they instinctively know when they are loved.
Set your priorities and evaluate them often. Focus only on what is truly important, not what that stereotype in your head is saying.
Do not be slack on the rules for discipline and routine give them a sense of security no matter how much they rebel and complain about it. Your children want to know that you are there if they need you.
Remember when you leave your child at day-care that nonworking parents may also use childcare help even though they are at home. If your child is having a particularly rough time with separation, it is most likely a phase that he/she is going through rather than something that she would really want to change.
Working Moms Can Benefit Their Children, Too
They encourage independence and cultivates a sense of responsibility in children. Kids of working moms are with adults who are not their parents for at least part of the day. This separation, which makes moms feel guilty, can actually breed a kind of self-reliance that improves self-esteem. Children with working moms get used to starting homework on their own; watch their siblings and help with dinner preparation.
For children, having two working parents can go a long way in shaping their understanding of men, women and families. This means boys may be more likely to have supportive attitudes toward the woman being equal in his future household. For little girls, the idea of achievement in a career outside of mothering can be stimulating, and encourage them to do the same.
Seeing a mom as a working person often confirms for children the sense that people, especially women, are multidimensional. Best of all, their feelings of pride in you doing your job well can carry over into feelings about their own self-worth and give them encouragement about their own capabilities in the future.
Many working parents see the benefit of having caregivers, who offer more opportunities for socialization and a wider range of activities for children than they could at home.
Read all the issues of InnoHEALTH magazine:
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InnoHEALTH Volume 1 Issue 2 (October to December 2016) – https://goo.gl/4GGMJz
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