‘I’m over working mom guilt’

Working moms are often consumed by feelings of guilt for not spending enough time with their little ones. Most of the time you’re at work and the child is either with a nanny, day mother or at crèche.

I used to be consumed by feelings of guilt when my little one was younger because of the many hours spent away from him. I tried to find different ways and means to lessen the guilt I was feeling.

Weekends were his time and would often decline any invites that meant spending time away from him. I shared the bed with him so that he can at least get to spend time with me even if he was asleep - big mistake because getting him off my bed has been the biggest struggle ever, but I am getting there.

The fast food apology

Let’s not even go to the number of toys I bought him and some notorious fast food restaurant meals to show that Mama was thinking of him. Of course this is not the way to show love to your kids but it did help ease the guilt then.

One day I actually realised that I was being unfair on myself, for allowing guilt to consume me like this. It’s not like the hours I spent away from him are wasted. Either I am at work, studying or spending time with my friends. I need to work so that I can provide for him and all the necessary things he needs. I’m studying so that I can improve and better my life, which will benefit him too, and mom needs her ‘me’ time as well - even though this has been cut down drastically.

I know of a lady who used to leave at 5 in the morning to catch a train to work and would be back from work close to sleep time for her kids. She used to leave chips, sweets, money under her son’s pillow so that when he woke up he could see what mom bought him. She was doing all of this to ease her guilt because of the little time she had with him.

It’s not easy being a working mother and I have gone the route of over-compensating for the time spent away from him. In reality all that I do is for him at the end of the day. One day when he looks back hopefully he will get to understand why Mommy was not spending more time with him. Some mothers take time off when they have their little ones but for single parents this is not possible so being envious is not going to help.

I would rather get used to my situation and make it work for myself minus the guilt. I guess if you know very well that all you do is for the benefit of your family then you can lose the guilt. You can only do so much and I am sure are already doing your best.

Are you ready to ditch the working parent guilt?

Read more by Masanda Peter

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.
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