Working and being a mom can be hard. It can be stressful. It can take a physical and emotional toll on you. When you work, you feel responsibility towards your job and you want to do your best. It's the same situation when being a parent. You have a big responsibility to your child to nurture, care, and spend time with them to the best of your ability.
So, where's the balance? Can there be a balance? Is it wrong to go back to work after you've brought a child into the world? Is it okay to feel guilty? Should you feel guilty? All these questions and more constantly circle around in mothers' brains all across the world. But what's the solution?
Change your mindset.
One of the biggest reasons for feeling guilt is that when working, it feels as if you are not being a mother. You are not physically with your child, watching them, playing with them, or taking care of them. However, this isn't entirely true.
Most likely, you are working because you need to work. Why do you need to work? Because you need to help support your family financially. What does money bring? It brings clothes, food, a home, toys, education, and everything else you child needs. This is the way you need to start thinking. You are working for your child or children, so that they can have what they need to be successful in life. In reality, you are still taking care of them, even though you are not physically present 100% of the time.
This reasoning is also true if you do not absolutely need to work, but want to. Whether it be to help save some extra money, because you love your career, or simply because you know you need time to yourself and to keep busy, it's all the same. You are still contributing as a mother, and since working makes you happy, in turn your life and those around you should reflect that happiness.
Instead of feeling guilty, you should feel empowered, especially if you are a single mother. If not, know that if anything should happen to disrupt your family life, you have the ability to make it work without having to rely on someone else. It's all how you look at things. Combining all these thoughts and reasonings will easily take those feelings of guilt away.
Cherish the time you do have together.
There can be a balance. Although it may not seem like it, you can find a way to balance work and being a mom. It can be difficult, but as long as you have a job you like, change your mindset about working as mentioned above, and enjoy motherhood, it can be done.
The key is to make the most of the set times you have together with your child. At the end of a long day, this may seem impossible, especially if you have household chores to take care of. These are not the set times that are being referred to. Set time aside on the weekends, or whenever you have a block of free time. These are the times you want to make the most out of. Do something fun. Dedicate that time to your child. Go to the park, read books together, anything that will engage all of you as a family.
It's important and will be very satisfying to be fully there with your child during these times. Some parents who are with their children 24/7 are never actually in-tune with what's going on thanks to distractions like social media, technology, and running errands. Your child will feel loved, wanted, and cherished no matter what, and this is the gift you can truly give them with the time you have, in addition to the benefits that having a job brings.
Be stronger than societal implications of good mothering.
One of the biggest problems with today's generation of parents is that we have been ingrained both consciously and unconsciously of what makes the ideal mom. This is done by the media, other parents and friends, and even professionals in the field. They make it seem as if your life needs to revolve around your kid 24/7, and what you should or should not be doing as a parent. The stress of it all can be overwhelming and a lot of guilt stems from this.
You cannot do it all. No one can, not even the people who say they do or appear like they have it all together. Everyone is different and raises children differently, doing what's best for them. Put yourself in this category and be stronger than what others tell you or imply what you should be doing. Don't let yourself tell you that you should be doing something that is not possible because of your work schedule either. Otherwise, it's a never-ending circle of guilt.
Tell yourself you are a good mother, believe in yourself, and do what's best for you and your family. You should not feel guilty for working, and when those doubts start to creep up, list the reasons you do what you do. Write it down and hang it up if you need to. It'll serve as a reminder that you are a great mom and always doing your best.