Beating Back Mommy Guilt

Oh, Mommy Guilt. No one told you that it came with the baby! Whether working out of the home or staying at home, “mommy guilt” manages to rear its ugly head. Think: Where is your guilt stemming from? Is the source of your guilt something that you can easily change? Decide what you can do to make a positive change to rid yourself of these feelings, take a step in that direction, and send that mommy guilt packing.

Stay-At-Home Mom Guilt

As a stay at home mom you may feel “mommy guilt” from a financial standpoint because you aren’t contributing money to the household. Or, maybe you feel guilty when you need to get stuff done around the house instead of playing with your child. You have a busy day taking care of your little one’s every need from sun up to sun down (and in between!).  Make the most of that precious time, and as for “mommy guilt,” beat it back!

Take Advantage of “Free Fun”

A financial “fun budget” may be small (or non-existent) as your income isn’t a part of the picture. What to do? Make the most of “free fun!” Here are some great ideas for enjoying quality time with your child on a small budget:

  • Town libraries hold fantastic educational programs and classes for children that you and your little one can take advantage of.
  • Get outside! Take walks together, hit up parks, and explore nature.
  • Find easy, inexpensive art projects to make with your child.
  • Cook with your kiddo! It is a fantastic way to teach him or her life skills as well as incorporate literacy and math skills! (Sound out ingredients together, count the number of eggs needed, etc.)

Schedule “Quality” Time with Your Kids

On top of entertaining and teaching your kids, you still have mounds of other things to get done each day. Stop the guilt you feel managing the home during time with your children by scheduling blocks of time dedicated to your children and nothing else. This way, when it’s time to tackle the chores, you won’t feel so bad sitting your little ones down for some alone time.

Find Support with Other Stay-At-Home Moms

Schedule play dates with other stay-at-home moms and join mommy groups so you have a cohort of moms to have outings and play dates with. Not only is this another great “free fun” idea, but it provides you with shoulders to lean on when that mommy guilt hits. It’s nice to know there are others who understand exactly what you’re going through.

Working Mom Guilt

Whether you work outside or inside the home, the guilt you battle as a working mom is tough. Anything that takes your attention and focus away from your children is going to make you feel guilty at one point or another. Learning to manage working mom guilt isn’t always easy, but it is possible.

Focus on Quality, Not Quantity

Even though the amount of time you actually spend with your children is less than your stay-at-home mom counterparts, that doesn’t mean that the quality of the time you spend with them is any less. You have an opportunity to make your children remember you for the great moments you have each day, not for the extent of the time you spend together. When you are together, even if it is just 2 hours in the evening during a workday, fully engage! Push aside all distractions and business and focus on spending high-quality moments with your little ones.

Make Up For Lost Time

Going right along with the “quality over quantity” principle, make up for the time you don’t get with your children by filling the time you do get with great memories! Pack weekends with lots of fun family activities and surprise your children during the workweek with memorable moments. Try a picnic dinner on the living room floor or letting them stay up extra late for a family game night.

Find Support with Other Working Moms

One of the best cures for working mom guilt is venting about it with others walking in the same shoes. If you have working mom friends in your office, talk about it with them! Just knowing others are struggling with the same feelings you have is such a relief. You can also turn to one of the many working mom support groups online.

Take a Look at the Research

If you fear that your lack of time with your children may result in a less successful future for them, rest easy in some new research. CBS News recently reported on a study by the Academy of Social Sciences in the U.K. that found that “kids’ literacy, math skills and behavior is not affected whether or not their mother works or stays home during the first years of their lives.” This study looked at six sets of data involving approximately 40,000 children over the last four decades!

No matter where your mommy guilt stems from, it’s important to acknowledge it so that you can move on. Understand that it comes with the “job” and that you are not alone in your feelings!
Check out our PARENTING category in NURTURE for more great advice!

Source: CBSNews.com, “Working Moms’ Kids Fare Just as Well as Stay-At-Home Counterparts, Study Says”
This post was a collaboration between Daily Mom writers, Ariel and Erin.

Erin, aka “Mommy” to a 5, 3 and 1 year old, is an adjunct professor, amateur photographer and sci-fi junkie, mostly in that order! She lives in northeast New Jersey with her much adored husband, kiddos and strange looking but lovable hairless cat and revels in baking pureed vegetables into muffins to trick her children into eating (and liking) them. You can find her capturing the beautiful moments of her life’s chaos and calm on Instagram and Twitter.

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Ariel

Ariel is a recently turned stay-at-home momma of three little ones to her high school sweetheart. When she isn’t busy playing with her young kiddos (or running around frantically), you can find her writing on her personal blog, Dreams To Do. Ariel is a lover of inspirational words, photography, coffee, reality TV, and of course, her family. You can connect with Ariel on Twitter and Facebook.

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