Do you feel guilty because you actually like working instead of staying home with the kids? Here’s why you’re not a bad mom for loving your job.
This post is brought to you by Activia. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Sleeping Should Be Easy.
We hear about working mom guilt, that feeling of being away from the kids, of handing their care to others, and the pull to be home instead of at work.
We don’t always hear about the other kind of the guilt, one where you go to work—and like it. You feel accomplished for being able to provide for your family and find time for yourself.
But within all the perks of working, you still feel like you have to keep justifying your work, especially if you don’t need to work financially. Maybe the guilt is strongest when you’re working long hours all on your own choice.
You’re not a bad mom for loving your job
A few weeks ago, I shared how Activia wants you to forge ahead with your goals, despite the negative thoughts trying to convince you otherwise.
Don’t listen to that inner critic or hold yourself back from achieving all that you hope to. After all, loving your job doesn’t make you a bad mom. Here’s why:
You’re a better mom because of your job
For a brief time, I debated whether I should keep working or stay home with my first baby. It’d drive me crazy when others would say anyone can do my job in the office, but no one can do my job as a mom.
As if I wasn’t a mom because I was in the office.
Instead, I learned that having a job and that time away from my baby made me a better mom to him. I was able to contribute in ways in addition to raising a child. I could interact with other people and spend long stretches of uninterrupted time to myself.
All these perks made me not only a happier person but a better mom. I was able to come back from work refreshed, not drained. Were I to spend all 24 hours of the day with my baby, I’m not sure I would’ve been as patient or understanding with him.
You’re providing a better quality of life
A misconception of working parents is that we work to maintain an extravagant lifestyle. That any extra income goes toward expensive cars, outsourcing household tasks or countless activities we sign our kids up for.
But for many working moms, we work to afford a better, not always an extravagant, quality of life. The extra income allows our families to choose healthy homemade meals over junk food. We can save for our children’s college funds or provide them with simple craft supplies to do at home.
Sometimes it’s all we need to have that breathing room, to know we’re not one paycheck away from missed bills. We’re able to provide our families with a quality of life that, without our income, could feel quite miserable.
You’re making a contribution to your community
Moms who love their jobs often do so because they enjoy contributing to their communities and to society. We all do important work as mothers, but we can also make an impact through our work.
I’m not talking about jobs that save lives, either (although kudos to you if you are!). We all contribute in our own ways, from helping other businesses grow to providing education to making things other enjoy.
Don’t feel guilty for finding pleasure in your work, even if it means spending time away from home. You’re able to contribute in other ways in addition to being a mom.
You’re breaking stereotypes
Unfortunately, women continue to earn less than men, despite our abilities and performance. Working at a job you love shows your children that women are as capable of working outside the home as men.
Activia is dedicated to supporting the future generation of women by donating $250,000 to Girls Who Code. This foundation is on a mission to close the gender gap in technology, giving girls and women a chance to change their communities.
Choosing to forgo a job you love for the sake of the guilt you may feel sends the wrong message to your children. Instead, show them how women and mothers are able to contribute to and find meaning in their work as well as support their families as well.
Whether it’s your inner critic or outright comments from others, don’t feel guilty for enjoying your job. Consider yourself fortunate for the opportunity to work and provide for your family. You’re able to do work you love and spend time in an environment you thrive in.
Not all work is a burden or a second choice. Own it. And don’t let that inner critic—and the working mom guilt—hold you back any longer.