Working Mother’s Guilt…
Reality or Really Big Scam?
Ginny Morgan, Senior Recruiter with Trinity Employment Specialists (a Tulsa staffing company)
Is Working Mother’s Guilt a real thing? Or, it is something moms who work full-time talk about to make themselves feel better? Personally, as a working mother, I believe it truly does exist. And, I don’t believe I am alone. Mothers across America are feeling the pull between devoting time to doing a good job at work and being a great mom who can truly focus on her children. It is this struggle to be Super Mom that many of us feel.
According to The National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) 71.3 percent of women with children are currently in the workforce. In 1975, that number was only 66 percent. According to the same research children five and younger are spending 35 hours in a childcare setting per week. That is 35 hours of the week away from the most precious gift, and that can be a hard pill to swallow for moms who need to work full-time. It sure was for me.
Only 10 percent of mothers working full-time give themselves the highest rating for their parenting, and just 24 percent of mothers working part-time give themselves a 10 as a parent, according to a Pew Research Center survey. That right there says a lot about how we as mothers view our ability to juggle work and home. We want to do it all, and when we cannot we judge ourselves. And, we are our harshest critic.
As a fellow full-time working mom I want to give all moms permission to feel guilty. It is all right to work. It is okay to not make it to every school party or show-and-tell. However, we do need to make time for the important things like Muffins with Mom and Christmas programs. It is good to take a PTO day to spend a day with your children and have some fun. If you can swing it can also be a great idea to surprise them and pick them up from school. It will make them feel special that mom wanted to spend some quality time with them.
Moms need to feel needed at home, but they also need to feel appreciated outside the home. Working is one way many mothers, including myself, have something to strive for independently. It is not only a way to generate income, but is also a great way to feel essential to something larger. Children truly are the best gift, and it can be hard to find the right balance between career and home. I’m really not sure the balance exists, but always working toward finding it will always be every working moms struggle. Keep up the fight ladies! It’s worth it.