In the era of women’s independence and girl power, mums deserve the award for juggling the most hats. Working mums especially are one of a kind. They manage to keep their jobs and make sure dance recitals and swimming classes are never forgotten. Then why do we still suffer from working-mums-guilt?
Yasmeen Ghouse, Dental Hygienist
Yasmeen Ghouse, a Dental Hygienist from Adelaide, Australia; manages to work only 3 days a week and she still sometimes suffers from working-mums-guilt.
“Every industry has its own challenges and so does being a clinician. Being a working parent/mother it can get quite stressful at times. As I deal with patients every day, it’s not the kind of job where if I take a day off I can pick up from where I left off the next day. When the kids are sick it’s hard for me to take the day off as it involves calling nine or ten patients and cancelling their appointments.
The days I work, kids are at school or at childcare. Often my days are so busy that I don’t get to check my phone or texts until the end of the day, so I am not easily accessible by school or childcare staff if any issue comes up. But I’m lucky I have a supportive partner who fills in the gaps and picks up the load happily”, says Yasmeen.
The stress of having to work and being a great mum is personal and affects mothers in different ways. The guilt is the worst when there is an emergency. Calls from the day care when a child is sick or when there’s a storm and you have no way of holding your child or knowing if they are safe, are the worst times.
The guilt is only amplified when little hands come up to hug you and say they love you as soon as they see you after your day at work. Yasmeen sometimes finds herself busy working on a patient’s mouth and having to cancel on family time so she can make her patient comfortable and looked after.
The same goes for any mum in any industry. Its the way we are wired to be. Mums are “worriers” (and warriors) at heart. We worry for our children and our families. We worry because we care. Sometimes, keeping in touch with friends and family is a tall ask.
So, what can we do? Do we just up and leave our jobs to be the better mum or do we choose career over family?
Speak to Your Kids
Your own voice sometimes is not the best at encouraging you, so look to the little voices to give you hope. Spend time speaking to your children and encouraging them to speak to you as well. A conversation where you spend 95% of the time listening and 5% talking is a win! Ask them about their day and what they learnt. Paying attention helps!
Leave Your Work at Work
Yes, you have heard this over and over again. But, is it really possible to leave your work at work? Ask most mums and they’ll say “yes” but inside they know its really hard.
Here’s a tip to consider:
Take public transport to work and read a book, watch a movie or catch up on social media. The hour spent travelling will bring you back from the highs and stresses of work
The number of ways you can enjoy your personal freedom and be a great mum is plenty and different ways work for different mums. What innovative ways do you think can help mums with their working-mum’s-guilt. Share your tips!