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Working Mom with SonYou work and your child is in daycare or with a babysitter – is that something to feel guilty about? Lots of women experience what’s called “mom guilt.” In a Pew Research Center survey about 40% of working moms said they regret not spending enough time with their children.

Guilt can be nature’s way of saying you’ve made a bad choice, but is guilt about being a working mother mean that you’re a bad mom?

If you’re feeling guilty, ask yourself why you are working. For many women it’s not a choice because they need to work to support their family. For some it’s the feeling of having a job that they enjoy or accomplishments that can make a difference. And it’s not just one or the other, because working can be an obligation that’s also satisfying. 

Whatever the case, “mom guilt” should not be your default reaction. Unreasonable expectations about motherhood are all around us, from stinging social media posts to judgy in-laws. You can’t change these but you can choose how to react to them.

Do your best to separate yourself from things that cause “mom guilt.” That may mean dropping a Facebook friend or avoiding groups that shame your approach to motherhood or simply stepping away when someone begins lecturing on why moms today are doing it wrong. Empathy can also help you. Ask yourself, “Did she put her career on hold to be home with the kids or hate being dependent on her husband for money?”

Accept that as a working mom you may miss out on some things in your child’s life. That’s a lot to ask in our FOMO world, but life is about trade-offs. Technology might ease these feelings. For example, some daycare providers let you use an app to be connected with your child during the day.

If your mood is tipping toward depression, ask your primary care provider or employee assistance program for a referral to professional mental health services. Denial won’t make life better for you or your child.

You may still feel some guilt but remember the old saying, “This too shall pass.” The way life is now won’t be forever. Children change as they grow and so will your situation as a working mom. Stay hopeful that those changes will be for the better.

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax