Do you suffer from ‘working mum guilt syndrome?’

Today’s topic; a question that comes from a working mother – “I am a working Mum and I feel very guilty about leaving my children at home and not being there when they come back from school.” And I’m sure a lot of you working mums feel the same way too. So, the five strategies to cope with this guilt, which actually doesn’t serve you at all…

1) Whether your working for the money, or whether you are working to fulfill yourself (something that you really enjoy, something that you’re passionate about). Your children see you going out of the house, even if you are a stay at home mum or whatever way you are serving, and they see that you are expressing yourself in a different way and just being a mum, or just a wife, there is another facet of your personality. And when they see this independent mum of theirs, it gives your children permission to also be able to express themselves more. So do remember mums, that your going to work, actually has an extremely positive impact on your children.

2) This is something my mother-in-law told me when I was struggling with this guilt, when my son was born (my second child) and I was thinking about going back to work after a one-year break. And I was really struggling with the same guilt. My mother-in-law gave me the most beautiful advice; she said, “Sunaina, you are the center of the household. The family revolves around you. If you are happy, then everyone will be happy. If you are fulfilled, then everyone around you will be fulfilled.” And this is the best advice any mother-in-law could give a daughter-in-law. And I went back to work, and realized what a positive impact that truly made to my family.

3) The amount of pressure we mums are putting on ourselves. So, as a woman, as a mother, you want to be the perfect mother. You want to be there for your child/your children, you want to be there present for every football match, every concert, everything. You want to make the best dishes, you want to be the most well dressed, you want to check out the most happening nightclubs and dinner places available, you want to be a good friend. There are so many things we mums want to do. So what we have to realize is, that there is going to be some letting go somewhere. We have to make a list of things that are important to us, to be able to prioritize and to be able to drop that level in a lot of things. Because we are trying to balance our work life with our family life. So a few things need to be let go off and you need to take the pressure off you and just be the best version of yourself that you can be. So take the pressure off mums and let go of the guilt.

4) When you are with your children, be present. There are stay at home mums also, and the children can be around them 24/7 but the mums might be irritable themselves, so its not necessary that if you stay at home you are fully present 24/7 with your children. Ask, have a conversation with a stay at home mum and see what they have to say. So, as a working mum, the one thing you can do to erase this guilt is ensure, that when you are with your child that phone, that laptop, thoughts about work and what you need to do are out of that zone. And you are present in that time with your child, seeing them, hearing them, and therefore making them feel loved, and making them feel understood. That “Yes, my mum understands me.”

5) Going to work does not mean, or does not equal to being a bad mum. Going to work does not equal to, that if you go to work you don’t necessarily love your children. You can love your work and you can love your children. And sometimes women who are passionate about their work, and the more fulfillment they get from their work, and I am a complete example – I am so fulfilled with the way I help to transform people’s lives that I bring this fulfillment into my relationship with my children and husband. So, I feel if you love your work, you can love your children, even more so. So mums, it’s not about working mums and its not about stay at home mums. Which one makes the better mum? The one that makes a better mum is: A happy mum; if you are a happy mum, that’s the best mum there can be.

So, I hope that helps you to get rid of any guilt that you have, and, the action that I want you to take is, take some time and figure out what it is about your work that motivates you? What it is about your work that fulfills you? And then the next time you feel yourself going down in the dumps and getting this guilt again, remember those motivating factors. And increase your zest for your work so it reflects back into your love for your family.

So the five strategies for today are:

1) You will be a very positive role model to your children because they will see that you are expressing yourself beyond the family.
2) When you, the center of the household, are happy and fulfilled, the whole family is happy.
3) Take that pressure off – don’t try to be perfect at everything. Relax.
4) Be present in those moment when you are with your child. Whether it is for one hour, or two hours.
5) Going to work does not make you a bad mum at all. A happy mum makes the best mum.

So I look forward to getting all that feedback and thank you, I’ve been talking to so many people who are enjoying my video blogs and all of you who keep sending me your feedback, it is so encouraging. If you have anything you want to be coached on, whether it is regarding guilt, or any adult life coaching programs, or children’s programs, you can contact me via email on sunainaathena@gmail.com or Facebook: Athena Coaching Solutions or  call me on (+971) 56 1399033.