Thank you to BBVA Compass for sponsoring this post; all opinions are my own.
These days, moms can’t win. Society says that stay-at-home moms obsess over their kids, and aren’t living up to their potential. On the other hand, our culture shames moms for working (whether they choose to or not) because they apparently don’t focus enough on their kids. Either way, moms work hard, moms are tired, and moms feel guilty.
I stay home with my two boys, so I feel the anxiety that comes with that. For me, it means feeling guilty that I’m not contributing more financially. I also wonder if it would be better for me mentally, emotionally, and socially to work than to stay home. I can feel a lack of fulfillment and can get lost in the day-to-day of motherhood.
Furthermore, I respect working moms so much. They bond with their children, take care of the house, and work hard in the career world. It makes me wonder: am I doing enough? Can I do more?
I’m sure it’s the same for working moms – wondering about the alternatives and if they are making the right choice. Having worked for a day care previously, I remember how hard it was for many parents to drop their kids off at the beginning of the day. And how much joy they had when they saw them at 5:00.
Finally, I also work from home by way of blogging. I keep up with it because I love it. It’s such a great way to connect with other women, and a great creative, productive outlet for me. BUT OF COURSE – the guilt remains. It happens when I spend time finishing a post while my little puts together puzzles in the other room. If they’re both napping (hey, a girl can dream), I wonder if I should be focusing on more household tasks.
Mamas, we have to stay together on this. No matter what job we have – one in the workforce or one on the home front – it comes with it’s own challenges. And most of us feel guilty, no matter our choice.
That’s why BBVA Compass (a leading retail and commercial bank) initiated the Working Moms Mean Business campaign. Their goal is to encourage working moms, fight against misinformation, and provide resources to dispel that guilty feeling. Most Americans believe that it’s better for one parent to be home with their child; in real life, 71% of moms are in the work force (see graphics below). What we believe as a culture and what is reality is not the same, and that gap is where the guilt happens.
One of their resources is the Free From Guilt: Balancing Life As A Working Mom e-book, by finance blogger Emma Johnson, which is absolutely free. It shares statistics, helpful tips, and personal experiences from working moms. I found it to be eye-opening into the world of moms who work. We can accomplish such amazing this as moms, ladies! And our kids are the better for it – gaining more independence and responsibility, and a role model in hard work and achievement.
They also are sharing 10 podcasts on various topics helpful to moms that work hard. I particularly love the Mompreneurs podcast, because that’s my dream – to be able to continue to stay home with my littles while also pursuing career goals. This episode was so encouraging (ambition is okay!), but also realistic – for example, map out your budget for your first year, and be prepared to live with less. Also, network well, and ask specific questions! Such great points.
While I’m happy to be able to be at home in this season of my children’s lives, I know the future may be different. I may not always have the option to stay home with them; and even if I do, I look forward to being able to work again. Work is challenging and fulfilling, and I want to set an example to my boys of being industrious and achieving your goals.
How do you combat guilt in any form, whatever the reason?