- Accept that you can’t be all things to all people. It might not make you feel guilt-free, KathyHowe says, but it’s a start.
- Feel grateful instead of guilty. “I have always felt grateful that I was able to work and look after our daughter the way I wanted to,” KatieK says. “I don't believe that there is an ideal way to do anything, so I don't have to beat myself up for much.”
- Focus on the positive. Nan says that she tries to be very aware of the positive things in her lifestyle that are possible because she’s a working mom, and then makes sure to capitalize on them.
- Talk it out. Venting lets off steam, and it also lets you find out how other people deal with similar situations.
- Let your kids help. “Since I work and want to be with my son after work, he sometimes helps me fix dinner,” Lee says. “We have a lot to talk about at the end of a day!”
- Have Dad join in the juggle. Writeonmama shifted her schedule around, so her husband handles childcare while she’s at work. “I have to get up at an unholy hour to go to work, but I'm home by 2:30pm. I feel hardly a twinge of guilt because I could ask for no better caregiver when I'm at work!”
- Remember what you're working for. “I have enlisted my family in helping me with the guilt,” says fhhc. Her family’s "Dream Board" is a wish-list of things they want to have or want to do -- things that are possible because mom works. Added bonus: She finds that her family is more respectful of her at-home office hours because of it. “The board reminds them, when mom is on the phone, she is working,” she adds.
- Figure out what’s making you feel guilty. It may not be work itself, cautions AmyBow. “I feel the most guilty for being a person with my own needs,” she points out. Taking time for yourself may not alleviate the guilt, but it might help you cope with it more easily. Also, you may have set unrealistic expectations for yourself; don’t focus on what you think you should be able to do, focus on what you have to get done. You’re probably better off than you think.
- Do the best you can with what you have. “It's gotten easier over time -- honestly, I think that's from getting older myself AND seeing how my kid has turned out,” says Florinda.
- Just say no. “If I were not a working mom, I would not be able to provide for my son the way I want to be able to provide for him,” The Tattooed Mommie points out. “I may not be there to coddle him during the day, however I feel that by working now, I will be able to form our future to work in a more positive way.”
No matter whether you’re working full-time outside of the home or freelancing an article a week from the computer in your family room, as a working mom you have to deal with something that most men don’t: Guilt. Our members took a moment to talk about the ways they did – or didn’t – cope with it.