Advice from One Working Mother to Another

by Claire Minnaar

working mother advice

A friend of mine recently had a baby. She took maternity leave and due to financial reasons, she had to return to work after 2 months. She emailed me and told me the heart ache she was feeling and how she cried the whole way to work on her first day back.

It breaks my heart to hear about people being sad and when it’s someone who is particularly special to you, it makes it even more heart breaking.

I know this isn’t an uncommon scenario where Moms find themselves having to return to work earlier than expected or simply due to the reason that they HAVE to work. And, man, it’s hard! It’s really hard!

Here are 5 things I would like to share with Moms out there who are working, are going through the turmoil/heartbreak like my friend or are dealing with some form of Mother’s guilt because I too can relate:

  1. Your child will NOT love you less because you aren’t with them 24/7.
  2. Mother’s guilt will always be there – I’ve asked Moms with kids young and old about whether they experience/experienced mother’s guilt. The answers are all the same. YES! Therefore, if you’re feeling with it, learn to deal with it and know you aren’t alone. It’s part of being a Mom!
  3. Your kids will not be worse off than ones who have been with a SAHM.
  4. Balancing work and life can be tough, but you can do it. Don’t underestimate yourself and / or your abilities.
  5. Focus on the positives and not the negatives of working. This is something that will get easier over time. Remind yourself why you are working and what benefits you have from being a working Mom. Also, worrying and stressing makes no difference at the end of the day.

Here are 5 ways to make things a little easier:

  1. Leave work at work and focus on your kids. If you run your own business, this may be challenging, but just keep trying.
  2. Phone throughout the day. Keep in touch with your children via telephone. If they are still very young, they sleep quite a bit and won’t necessarily understand you, but perhaps ask your caregiver to send a photo every day to you.
  3. Find out from your employer if you can work from home on alternative days. Here’s another blog post I’ve written which covers this:
  4. Find yourself a caregiver who you child is happy with and YOU are happy with. This is so important for your peace of mind.
  5. Be gentle on yourself. You are only human and you are most likely doing the best you can, so stop being so hard on yourself.

I hope this has helped in some small way. Please consider sharing this blog post if you know of someone who is struggling with being a working Mom.

If you have some additional tips or advice, please feel free to leave a comment below.

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