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Returning to Work and Dealing with the Guilt

Returning to Work and Dealing with the Guilt

Many first time mothers are forced to make the decision of whether or not they will return to work after the birth of their baby. For some mothers, the decision is not so much a choice, but rather a necessity as they are unable to stop working due to financial constraints or financial obligations.

Other mothers feel that their time will be far better spent working than providing permanent childcare, and they are not ready to give up their careers. Regardless of the reason why women return to work after childbirth – working mothers are constantly plagued with feelings of guilt, and often feel inferior to mothers who stay at home, providing around the clock care.


Feeling guilty?

Once a baby is born, a mother’s outlook immediately changes and the thought of leaving a baby in the care of another is extremely difficult. Mothers dread the day that their maternity leave comes to an end (even if the choice was willingly made to return to work). Mothers feel guilty that they are not able to the proper 24-hour care to their children and they feel that they are neglecting or even shirking their motherly duties and are disadvantaging their children.

With much gratitude to previous generations of assertive and forward thinking woman, woman can and do combine or juggle parenting with careers. Women are capable of doing both jobs equally well and to this end, guilt should not form part of the equation. Mothers have been contributing to the household income for many years and when opting to return to the workforce, women are simply affirming what the past generation of mothers  knew – woman can do both. Many women have worked hard at their careers, they have spent years studying and they feel pained to simply give it all up and swap their briefcases for a nappy bag. This is by no means an indication that the career-orientated woman is any less of a mother – it means, she wants to enjoy the best of both worlds and in this day and age, she is entitled to.


Stay at home vs working

There is no doubt about it, working mothers are faced with far more challenges than their stay at home sisters but these tough challenges usually make women more determined and they find the best solutions that will work for them, and more importantly that will work for their children. As long as a baby is being cared for and their needs are being met, the infant will be happy and content and as the child grows, the working mom will quickly find ways that will allow her to spend real quality time with the child.

Working moms can find many ways in which to interact with their children after working hours and they can use their time to have a positive impact on their children and still play an active role in their lives. Weekends are the perfect time to engage in fun activities with the kids, while evenings are the ideal time for nighttime stories and cuddles. It is important for working parents to leave work troubles at work and use their time at home to focus on their children. Often, working parents find that because time with the kids is so limited, these families use their time wisely and spend a lot more time with the children. There is no reason why today’s mother cannot concentrate on her career and raise a family – and most working moms do it each and every day with great success.

Fortunately most companies today are a lot more understanding when it comes to the challenges which are faced by a working mother and they have found ways to work with the working mom, rather than against her. A lot of companies are now offering flexible working hours or they even allow moms to work part of the time at home, and part of the time in the office. It may be that working moms need to work twice as hard to prove themselves in the corporate world; this will only increase their determination and their will to succeed.

Other moms may find that a half day or morning’s only job allows them to enjoy a perfect balance and with more -work at home’ opportunities, wise moms are also exploring this option, as working from home will provide them with the chance to generate an income, while at the same time, being accessible to their kids.

If you have made the decision to return to work after your baby has been born, let go of the feelings of guilt and inadequacies and remind yourself that you are entitled to make the choice. When juggling the corporate world and motherhood, there is little room for guilt. In the same vein if you have opted to be a stay at home mom – stand tall!


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