You’re caring, you’re nurturing and you have all the right qualities of a great mother. Many working mums instinctively know this, yet still deal with mum guilt about going back to work after their maternity leave has ended.
If you’re dealing with the guilt of returning back to work after having a baby, your emotions may feel pulled in different directions.
For example, you know you have to work for financial reasons or you may want to work to help keep your own self-identity, but you also feel bad about leaving your child and missing out on moments of their early years. Feelings of guilt about returning to work will be different for each person.
Why some mums feel guilty about going back to work after having a baby
Guilt comes when we feel like our actions are having a negative impact on others. This may not always be in our control and we may feel powerless to make the situation better.
For example, it could be that a mother has to work full time to support her family but when she comes home she feels tired and has other responsibilities like cooking and cleaning, which means she’s not spending as much time as she’d like to with her child.
4 tips for overcoming mum guilt going back to work
1. Remember that you’re doing the best you can as a mum
You shouldn’t worry about trying to be the “perfect mum”. You’re caring for your family in the way that you know how and not all families are the same.
Don’t compare yourself to other mums and how they choose to carry out their role as a mother because all mums have different qualities. And remember that by working, you are providing security for your child.
2. Childcare can improve the social development for infants and toddlers
An important thing to remember is that children need to get used to being around other people. Spending time with other people will develop their social skills and encourage their independence away from us.
In the long run, seeing more of other people helps young children to acquire the skills needed to build relationships and broaden their knowledge of the world. Spending time at nursery helps their development and can increase their creativity with games and activities that help them to learn.
3. quality time with kids outweighs quantity
Research has shown that quality time with our children far outweighs the quantity of time. Spend your free time together doing things which you will both enjoy rather than forcing yourself to enjoy something you just can’t stand. Trust me, your child will love the activities you do together more if you’re enjoying them too.
We also shouldn’t feel guilty if we don’t spend every minute of our time doing activities with our children. It helps to build their independence when they are encouraged to play by themselves while supervised by us.
4. Statistics show you probably spend more time with your child than you think
The fact is that statistically on average, we as parents actually spend more time with our children now than our ancestors did in their generation according to a study.
This is because technology has made daily life tasks far quicker and easier to complete which frees up some of our time. So, it’s probably likely that you are spending more quality time with your child than you actually think.
The conclusion – Enjoy every moment!
So, the bottom line is you should not feel any mum guilt about going back to work when you know you’re working to give your child the best life. A study done in America shows that there have been no common effects on children’s behaviours or academic achievements over recent decades since more mother’s have entered the workforce.
What’s the most important thing is that our children are happy and healthy physically and emotionally. Feeling guilty and sad only robs us of the joys of motherhood and the happiness of spending time with our children.
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