When You Need a Working Mom Pep Talk

Do you feel guilty for working or struggle with balancing work and home? Here is your working mom pep talk to get you through the day.

Working Mom Pep Talk

It seems like you only have five minutes to cuddle with your child before you have to leave for work every day. Or perhaps you work from home and wish you could give her your full attention instead of sitting in front of a computer.

What do you tell yourself to keep going during times like these? How do you brush aside the working mom guilt?

However overwhelmed you might be, know that it’s normal to feel this way. You might second-guess your decisions, from going to work when your child was sick, to being a working mom at all.

Whenever you feel down on yourself for working, tell yourself a few important reminders to change your point of view:

1. Your child is with a trusted adult

Feeling confident about working starts with trusting your childcare. Whether your child is with a nanny, at a daycare, or with your mom, she’s with a trusted adult who knows how to care for her.

On the flip side, if you don’t feel confident about your childcare situation, perhaps that might be the reason you feel guilty. Dig deep and ask yourself if you like your childcare situation, as well as whether you need to pull back and learn to trust them a bit more.

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2. Your child will likely get over it soon

Leaving your child as she’s crying is never a good feeling for any working mom. You assume she’s miserable all day or that your childcare provider has no idea how to handle her tears. And it’s easy to think she feels this way when the last thing you saw and heard was her crying for you.

But more than likely? She was fine within minutes. Ask your childcare provider how she did the rest of the day, and you’ll probably hear that she stopped crying soon after.

Still worried about how she’s doing? Call the nanny or daycare when you’re at work. See if there’s anything she needs that you can buy during lunch or on your way home. And follow up during the day so you don’t feel detached or out of the loop.

3. Your child is going to be fine

Take a step back and imagine the long-term consequences of going to work. Let’s face it: being at work is not going to scar your child forever. She’s going to be fine, whether you’re at work instead of at home with her.

It’s easy to assume the worst when you hear her cry for you, but she won’t grow up feeling neglected because you work. And remember, she’s still with a trusted adult who loves her, too.

Think about it this way: You don’t have to be there 100% of the time. And if you’ve ever doubted this, think about dads and whether they feel guilty for not being home. Dads don’t put that pressure on themselves as much as moms, and neither should you.

4. Focus on your child when you’re together

When you are together, make the times you’re with your child count even more. Know that it isn’t about how many hours you have together, but what you do with them. Let her know she’s been on your mind all day, and that you’re glad to be with her at this moment.

If you work from home, you might feel guilty for not playing with her when you’re on your laptop, but you also feel guilty for not answering emails while you’re eating lunch together.

Instead, focus 100% on the task at hand, knowing that you’ve set aside time for the other. That way, the times you are with her can be spent guilt-free.

How to Work from Home with a Baby

5. Remember the benefits of being a working mom

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Is the guilt still there? Take a deep breath, mama. Think of all the advantages of being a working mom. Remind yourself why you’re working, whether financially, for your community, or for your own joy.

The benefits of being a working mom extend to our kids, too. According to Francesca Gino, professor and author of Rebel Talent:

“The daughters of working mothers grow up to benefit from their mothers’ choices in their own careers, despite the old attitude that women who stay home to take care of their children are better, more devoted mothers than those who work. Women raised by working mothers are more likely to hold managerial roles than women whose mothers stay home full time, research shows. They also earn more money. In the United States, for example, the earnings of daughters of working mothers were 23 percent higher than those of daughters of stay-at-home moms. As for the sons of working mothers, their mothers’ choice of work had no effect on their employment, but, as adults, they were more likely than sons of stay-at-home mothers to share in the chores and child care.”


As much as I enjoy working from home, I’d be lying if I said I never needed a pep talk.

If you’ve felt guilty for working, remind yourself of the benefits of being a working mom. Look for alternative solutions and options, and be proactive and present when you’re with your child. And remember, she probably stopped crying a few minutes after you parted.

You’ve got enough weight on your shoulders, mama. Adding this extra weight won’t make either you or your child feel better. Instead, acknowledge the emotions you feel and let the mom guilt go.

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  1. I went back to work a month ago after being a stay at home mom for 2 years. I am away 30 hours a week and feel like I am missing out on all the moments I would otherwise cherish.

    This shift back to work is quite a shock. Sadly, I can’t change it due to finances. I try to stay positive but it is a struggle every day. I am aware that I remember my time at home much nicer than it was – the grass is always greener on the other side right?

    Still, this constant feeling of missing out gets to me a lot. I try to remember those “bad moments” at home, like the initial boredom I felt whenever he was sleeping and being pretty much stuck at home without adult company all day. I envied my husband for being able to go to work. But that was the case when my son was a baby. Now he is 2 years old and such a joy to be with all day. I feel like I got the wrong time at home. Now that things are amazing and day trips make more sense with him, I have to hit the office again.

    Can’t shake the thought of feeling like it’s unfair. I definitely don’t cherish the time apart. I don’t need the occasional separation that I yearned for at the beginning. It also doesn’t help to see it as a season because going back to work is permanent. Maternity leave is over and will not return.

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Hi Andrea, I can absolutely relate because for my maternity leave for both pregnancies felt so short short. And for both times, I definitely felt like I was going back to work right when they were getting easier and past the newborn stage. I also had to go back to work due to financial reasons. Thankfully this didn’t last forever, and after a few years, I was able to do what I do now and work my own hours. But yes, at that point it definitely didn’t feel like a season and I yearned to be home (or at least not beholden to office hours).

      Hang in there, mama! Know that you’re not alone, and if anything, try to find the good in your situation. Maybe it’s the financial stability you’re able to afford him, or the time to yourself without tending to a child, or even being able to contribute to society.