Yesterday, the multiple grand slam and Wimbledon winner and best black female athlete in the world, Serena Williams shared on her twitter page that she had missed the first steps of her baby, Olympia Ohanian. In her exact words, “She took her first steps… I was training and missed it. I cried”. She felt so guilty for not being there.
The truth is simple- mummy guilt is real. You will experience it from time to time regardless being a new mummy or not. About four in ten working moms said they don’t spend enough time with their children. The good news is that with practice mommy guilt can stop paralyzing you. Use one of these tips to stop guilt and get on with your life!
Decide If You Did Something Wrong
Your guilt could be brought on because you made a bad choice. Did your baby need you but you had an important business call first thing, so instead of giving them a five-minute hug you rushed them out the door? Then, yeah, you’re guilty of putting work before your kid, but it’s your call if what you did was wrong. What was your top priority in that moment? Was the business call that important or could you have cuddled for a few minutes?
Get Some Space From People Who Cause You Guilt
Did someone say something that made you feel mummy guilt? Set a personal boundary that says you’ll keep your distance from that person or you won’t bring up whatever subject matter that caused you guilt. Relatives can be trickier. If your mother-in-law makes a snide comment about you working, find an excuse to leave the room.
Consider the Other Person’s Perspective
When you come face-to-face with an anti-working mother comment, try to remember they speak from their own perspective which is based on their experiences. Ask yourself “Where is their comment coming from? What has happened in their life that would cause them to believe they are right?”
Take a Personal Day and Spend Time With Your Baby
Take a day off to spend with your child. You’ll reconnect with your kid’s daily rhythms, appetite, and personality. Here are some suggestions to make your day special.
If your child is little, you can indulge in activities that don’t fit elsewhere in the week like giving them longer baths and examining their little body for any rashes or checking out where their fine motor skills are at.
Remind Yourself That We All Have Our Challenges
When you’re feeling a work-family conflict, it’s easy to idealize the life you would have as a stay-at-home mum. The reality is that stay-at-home parents can have as much stress as working parents, if not more, depending on the age, temperament, and the number of kids.
Admit That You May Miss Out on Things
It’s a simple fact of physics that a working mom isn’t going to witness every single minute of her children’s day. It’s okay to be sad about missing out on the sweet moments and the fun. If you let yourself mourn the things you’re giving up by working, it may be easier for you to enjoy the things you’re gaining.
Life changes quickly. The choices may seem like they will last forever but they won’t. Your children will change! They may stop the tearful goodbyes and instead run off without giving you a second thought. You’ll stop feeling forgetful because you’ll start getting a full night sleep in a few years. So eventually you can remember the many promises you make to your children.
When you feel stuck remind yourself that things won’t last forever. Before you know it your child will be in school, making friends he or she may keep forever. You may get a different type of job with flexible hours so you can be home more. Who knows what will happen tomorrow! Stay hopeful that things will change and hopefully for the better. .