Being a working mother can be rewarding and fulfilling, but let’s face it, we all have moments that bring feelings of guilt and self-doubt. Guilt about not spending enough time with your children, or about the impact your career may have on your family, can be overwhelming and lead to a lack of confidence. But with the right mindset and strategies, we can overcome these feelings and build confidence in our abilities as both a working mum and an amazing career woman.
This morning my mum guilt was real. I am usually very balanced, I feel like I spend enough time with my children and still get to work too. My daughter had her first 3 day week at Kindy and she was exhausted. We got out the car and the tantrum started. She was kicking throwing her arms around screaming “I don’t want to go to school”, “I just want to go home with you”. I put her down to try and regain my grip and she bolted. So there I am chasing her around the school with an audience of other parents with her screaming at me to get away from her. It took me a good 10 minutes to get her into her classroom and another 10 minutes to calm her to a point that I felt comfortable to leave.
It was very overwhelming. I am usually very good at the drop and go even if they are crying. But today she got me good, and I left to go to work with a knot in my stomach of guilt feeling like I might start crying.
Here’s a few strategies you can use to help to combat those pesky feelings of guilt and self-doubt:
One of the key ways to overcome guilt is to shift your focus from what you think you should be doing to what you are actually doing. For example, instead of focusing on the time you’re not spending with your children, focus on the time you are spending with them and make that time count. Make sure the time you spend with them is quality time, structure your day so you have focused time with your children around all the jobs and chores we must do.
Another strategy to help overcome guilt is to communicate openly and honestly with your partner and children. Talk to them about your concerns, and work together to find solutions that work for everyone. Today when I was in “negotiation” stage with my daughter I agreed that I would pick her up straight from school and she didn’t have to go to after school care today. I don’t think either of us are ready for that this week. Scheduling in a set block of family time every week is also a great tool. We just know that Sunday mornings we do something all together as a family and we all greatly benefit from that.
Building confidence as a working mother is essential. One of the things I have found from doing mindset work is to focus on my strengths in every situation. Write down a list of the things you are good at, both in your professional and personal life, and focus on these strengths if you start to get the feeling of self-doubt or guilt. This can really help to boost your confidence and remind you of the value you bring to your family and career.
I know it’s sometimes easier said than done but taking some time for yourself works absolute wonders. Whether you take time to exercise, read, spend time with friends, go for a walk, it allows you some time for self-reflection and to regain your energy to thrive as a successful working mother and a positive role model for your children.
Finally, working mothers need to practice self-compassion. This means being kind and gentle with yourself, and being okay with making mistakes- we can’t be perfect all the time (although I think we get pretty close). Instead of criticizing yourself for not being the perfect mother or employee, acknowledge your efforts and celebrate your successes, no matter how small it may be.
Overcoming guilt and building confidence as a working mum requires a shift in mindset and a focus on self-care and self-compassion. If you follow these strategies you will find some balance and appreciate all the incredible things we manage to accomplish. Being a working mum is not easy so give yourself a pat on the back if you’re surviving and feeling like you kind of have it together and remember what a huge inspiration you are to those lovely children you have at home.
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