Getting Real with Shadra Bruce
My grandmother worked full time. She had to, as a single mom with four kids ten and under. It wasn’t a choice. My mom hated that her mom always worked, so when she had kids, she stayed home full time. While it was nice having our mom at home, we could sometimes feel her sacrifice, and before she died, it was clear that she had perhaps wanted more from her life than to be a stay-at-home mom. Neither my mom nor my grandma were ever without mom guilt. Whatever choice you make as a mom – whatever choice you need to make or have to make, the one thing you need to know is that your kids are going to love you anyway, and they’re going to be just fine.
If you want to stay home full time with your kids and you can afford to do so, your kids will benefit from you being there with them all the time. But they may also make you feel guilty when you’re trapped at home with them every day and it becomes boring and routine. If you have to or want to work full time and have to leave your kids every day, your kids will benefit from the experience of daycare and they will also miss you and you will feel guilty for not being with them.
Mom guilt is just a thing we have to deal with, through every decision to work or stay home, let them go to the party or keep them from a drug-infested dangerous place, let them graduate early or hold them back. Mom guilt is part of everything we do.
So here’s the thing. Whether you have to work, want to work, or need to work for your own sanity, it’s ok. It’s the right choice for you. I’ve done both the working mom thing and the stay at home thing, and now I’m the work full time from home business owner. They all made me feel guilty at times, and they all were what kept me sane at times.
No matter where you’re at with it all, these 4 ideas may help:
1. Talk To Your Boss About A Flexible Work Schedule
Did you just have a baby and it changed the way you feel about work, at least in the short term? Talk to your company about a flexible work schedule. Can you work from the office a few days a week and work from a home for the other days? Having a flexible work schedule can enable you to be there with your child when it matters most, say during family emergencies, first smiles, and still maintain your professional connections and career path.
2. Don’t Bring Your Office To Home
If you do work full time, leave it at the office as much as possible so that you can truly be there engaged with your kids when you are home. Spend quality time with your kids, and try to have dinner with them each night. Put your phone away. Listen to them.
3. Use the Middle Finger in Your Mind
When someone judges you for your decision to work or stay home, mentally flip them off, because it’s none of their business what choices you make for your family. You know what you need and want and must do to care for your kids – and no one else should have the ability to judge you or make you feel guilty for your choices.
4. Take A Break
If you work, use your vacation time. Take your paid medical leave. Go on vacation with your family. If you stay home but need extra money, work part-time from home or babysit for someone else who has to work and hates to leave their child.
Mom guilt invades our every decision…but in the end, your kids will survive, thrive, and love you no matter what path you take.