I’ve written about working mother guilt countless times. And I like reading and commenting on posts and articles on that issue, too. I feel it’s important for women to stop beating themselves over choosing or having to work, as their contributions to the family are just as invaluable as staying home in my not-so-humble opinion. Finally if you have to work or want to work, guilt is just a waste of time and people who try to make you feel bad about it are a waste of time.
So in my typical fashion, I felt the urge to dole out advice. Since my concrete tips for not being bitter at work seems most useful to people, I thought it would be helpful to offer real suggestions for reducing motherhood guilt as well.
After re-reading my own post, I trashed it. I realized it seemed a bit sanctimonious, as if my way for guilt-free motherhood was the best way. I also realized that my concrete tips may not work for different personalities, nor should I dictate the best way to spend “quality time” with your kids (and kids all have different preferences and personalities anyway!).
So for now I am giving my best tip, which is not concrete nor necessarily easy to follow, it’s all really mental. If you create a mental image of perfect motherhood or set up some unattainable ideal, or compare yourself to a mom who seems to be doing it “right”, then you’ll feel guilt. If you truly believe you’re doing your best and your kid is fed, sheltered, loved and happy, then you’ll stop wasting precious time on feeling unnecessary guilt.
I dunno, we at grumpy rumblings are totes sanctimonious all the time, and we don’t mind it. 🙂 Some folks might, but whatevs. (But obviously you can decide what you do or don’t want to post on your blog!)
My advice on avoiding mother guilt would be: look at your kids. They’re awesome. They could not be more awesome. Therefore you must be doing something right.
My other advice would be to stop reading anything about parenting in the NYTimes!
Agreed on NY TImes. Somehow most of their posts (and comments) seem meant to provoke and induce guilt somehow.
Well said…that follows a couple of my favourite sayings:
Run your own race…….don’t focus on what everyone is doing!
If we each do what we truly believe is best than, in my opinion, we are doing a great job!
That is great advice.
My go to advice when I run into someone experiencing guilt about being at work vs being at home is to ask if they are sure that they are comparing to what being at home would REALLY be like. For instance, I know that my kids would get very little arts/crafts at home with me- that’s just not my strong suite. They get heaps at day care, and really cool, creative stuff I would never have thought of.
I’m not crafty either. Even now, I can see how my kids learn different things from different caretakers. Plus, I like to remind people that staying home is not just about playing with kids and enrichment activities. There’s a lot of grunt work involved too!