Have you ever had an attach of the dreaded ‘mum guilt’? Many of us have but here author businesswoman and busy mum Hira Ali shares her tips for sending those feelings to the naughty step! Over to Hira:
Mum guilt, or that nagging feeling that you aren’t doing enough for your children, can be very pervasive. Sometimes working mums have it even tougher as society often judges them and their so-called ‘abandonment’ of children. They are constantly under pressure and worry about missing out on not only the responsibilities and duties that are an integral part of being a perfect mother and professional but also the fun!
Much of the stress is because there aren’t enough hours in the day to fully dedicate to either work or family. For many mums, it’s not just about the fear of what they are missing by choosing career over their children or vice versa but they also have a major FOMO for their kids. These mums will often sign up for every extra-curricular activity and every play date that comes their way.
Here are some tips to banish mum guilt:
Your Child Can Benefit extensively from a Professional Day-care centre:
I was primarily a stay-at-home mum for many years but my son still joined a playgroup at 18 months. I don’t regret taking that decision at all. Day-cares and playgroups often have better resources and knowledge and the expertise to provide your children with rich sensory experiences and interactions, many of which you may not be able to provide on your own.
Seek out the support of whoever you can count on without remorse or worry. Often the more people your child interacts with, the more it helps him/her build their confidence. There are several studies out there which evidence that children of working moms are more independent and confident.
Join Working Mum Networks:
It’s also a great idea to join networks that include people who not only share similar interests, but also similar challenges. There are many others who are experiencing the exact same feelings and dilemmas as you are; sometimes it’s enough to know that you aren’t alone.
Let Go Of Perfectionism:
Know that for your children, perfectionism is an unknown dimension. Even if you are doing a good enough, but not perfect job, that’s typically all that matters to your kids. Stop being so harsh on yourself and allow yourself to recognise your own successes and that of your children.
Don’t Give In To Guilt:
When you combine motherhood with a career, there will always be trade-offs and compromises. It is crucial for own your peace of mind to reconcile those trade-offs and be crystal clear about why you have made those choices in the first place. Is it money, satisfaction, sanity? Whatever it is, know your reasons and preferences and then focus on the benefits of the choices you are making– not on what others are doing. No choice is 100% perfect, but some choices yield better benefits and that’s where your attention should be.
What other mothers are doing should definitely not be your focus. Ultimately, what matters most is doing what works for you and your children and ensuring that your family is as happy and connected as possible.
You Will Always Will Be Mummy:
The emotional connection and influence you have over your child is incomparable. Your little cheeky monsters will always hold you close to their heart and consider you the most important person in their life well into adulthood!
About the author
Hira Ali is an author, executive career coach, leadership trainer and keynote speaker. She is Chief Executive Officer at Advancing Your Potential and Founding Director of The Career Excel for Trailblazing Women and International Women Empowerment Events-IWEE. She is also the author of the new, revolutionary book Her Way To The Top (Panoma Press, £14.99) designed to empower women across the world to work together to overcome barriers towards success.