{Working Mom} Breaking Guilt's Grasp

I happen to have a propensity for guilt.  Although I am not sure of the origins of this tendency to own every hiccup in life, I battle it daily.  Add that I am a working mother of two small girls and this doesn’t help with my guilt ridden personality.

When it comes to being a working mom, I often cannot quite tell what exactly I feel so guilty about. Do I regret not having as much time as I would like with my girls?  Or am I feeling badly about the fact that I like my job,  that it satisfies a core part of my personality? If the latter, what kind of mother does that make me?

I would like to think that every mom feels just like I do but the fact is they don’t.  I have some amazing women in my life who are strong and confident in their choices to excel at work and raise really likable children.  These women are wonderful examples to me and their advice helps me curb the guilt.

Recently I had coffee with a girlfriend who is not only successful but is raising two adorable boys. I asked her to share insight on how she gets through the day without nagging bouts of self-reproach.

  • Stop apologizing for your choices. Yes you work. Yes you like it. Yes you love your kids. All of these things can go together without competing (well most of the time-perhaps not when you have to call in sick because your 2 year old caught some awful version of the stomach bug). Change your perspective and focus on what a great example you can be to your children by modeling work ethic, passion, and drive.  These are important traits to possess and who better to teach your children than you?
  • Be true to who you are. Follow your own path and not a prescribed path you think is correct.  There are so many ways to “mommy” children. Do it your way and you will feel better about it.  I spent the first year of my oldest daughter’s life trying to prescribe to every sleep ritual out there. None of them felt right to me and none of them worked well for my daughter. Once I accepted the fact that the

About the Author

Maggie Tomas

Maggie Tomas works at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota as Associate Director and Career Coach in the Graduate Business Career Services office. Her background includes teaching and career counseling at the college level, namely at the University of St. Thomas, University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), and Brooks Institute, a well-known film, photography, and design school where she served as Director of Career and Student Services. She is a contributing writer to several blogs and publications including Opus Magnum, Women of HR, and Job Dig.