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Avoiding Mom Guilt (When You Work Full Time)
Can I be honest? I have massive mom guilt because of my job, I have blogged about how returning to work sucked and briefly touched on the guilt associated with being a full time working mom.
It’s been over a year and a half since I returned to work and I continue to have struggles with mom guilt…especially when on my day off I sometimes prefer to have someone watch my daughter while I go do something on my own.
To first understand how to avoid mom guilt we first have to understand why we even have it in the first place!
Society and Social Media has told us that if we are not with our child 100% of the time and keeping them actively engaged all the time, then we are failing at parenting.
I’ve fallen into this trap, it is such an easy trap to fall into!
Social media is constantly showing me the highlight reels of other people’s lives, they seem like they are always having the best time with their kids. A lot of the people I follow on Instagram are stay at home moms, so at work while I’m scrolling through my feed on my break I feel guilt ridden that I’m not capable of being at home with my child because I have to work.
Our partners can place that guilt there too. Mr. Pepper watches our daughter on the days I work and when he is off flight instructing I watch her. However, when we both happen to have the same day off we both want to have a few hours where we can do what we both like.
Of course, I feel guilty that I want to have something as selfish as a cocktail hour with my girlfriends, and even if your spouse is not projecting it you still actively feel like they deserve some “time off” too.
So how have I learned how to control this mom guilt?
It’s taken practice and in full disclosure I have days where I struggle with it more than others. I’ve recently started to pursue a career in real estate and this added business venture has made me start to prioritize time with my child, home and work life.
You Deserve a Life Too
You first have to realize that you deserve a life too! You can’t spend all your free time listening to the “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” theme song playing in the background, you’ll drive yourself crazy! Remember what it was like to have a life before babies? Well, you can’t go back to that BUT you can make time for yourself. Time that doesn’t involve play dates, snack packs, or diapers.
Be Fully in the Moment with your Child
Make the most of the time with your child. I don’t mean that every moment has to be magical or even memorable, but by actively spending quality time with your little one you won’t feel so guilty about *gasp* getting your hair or nails done, or getting wine with the girls. When I’m home I try to keep my phone out of sight and out of mind and be engaged with my child. Sure, there are times when I pull out the iPad and let her watch a movie so I can get some work done but then I make sure that I spend quality time with her.
Do an Activity Together
Take your child to the nearest playground if you can’t find a local gymnasium, or do an art project together. Check out your local library, our library offers a ton of different free classes that are geared towards children. I’ve recently enrolled my little one into a gymnastics course and we’ve started going once a week. We both get so much enjoyment out of this, she interacts with children her age and I get to watch her actively learn new skills.
Make the Most of Daily Tasks
Get your kiddos involved with the mundane tasks that have to happen every day, such as cleaning up their rooms. Or having them help around the house. In our household I am the “keeper of the bath”, and give our daughter her baths, this is a great bonding time for us.
Ditch the Mom Guilt
Don’t beat yourself up, I know you’re doing the best you can mama. Some days get the best of us but know that as long as your child is happy, fed, and love then they are thriving.