7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty As A Work at Home Mum
It’s a given that as parent we feel an enormous amount of guilt. Are we doing a good enough job? Will our child ever forget we missed a sports day? Are we too strict, or too laid back?
But what about work?
We feel guilty about going out to work, we feel guilty when we stay at home; but what about when we do both?
There are numerous studies and articles written about the benefits (and pitfalls – just to make us feel extra guilty about our life choices) of being a stay at home mum or a working mum, but when you’re a mum working from home, you are both of these things. Does this mean double the guilt? We’re not quite a working mum in the respect that we leave the house in the morning and return later in the day, but then we’re not quite a stay at home mum either because we’re often having to work when the children are around.
Here’s 7 reasons why you should not feel guilty:
- Entrepreneurship: You’re teaching your children a valuable life lesson; that they are in control of their own destiny. Established business owners will probably be familiar with the little money- making enterprise ideas their children start to have too – your entrepreneurial streak can rub off of them. Children of entrepreneurs know to never miss an opportunity and that persistence and determination will get you what you want in life.
- Money: By working, you’re contributing to the general economy (small business is the backbone to the local economy) and your household income too.
- Time: You may not be giving your child your undivided attention 24/7 and there are times when you’re having to reply to emails right on bedtime, but you are giving your child so much time just by being there. Children love the security of having a parent around them, so even if you’re snuggled up next to your son researching your latest blog post on your iPhone whilst he’s watching CBeebies, you are still being a loving parent. Don’t beat yourself up about having to work when they’re around. It’s worth having some agreed digital downtime at mealtimes/weekends so they know that they come first.
- Self-Esteem: Being a mum can knock the stuffing right out of you and your self-esteem often takes a nose dive. Running your home business can do wonders to help you feel like the old you again. It makes you feel professional, organised and efficient and let’s face it, we don’t often feel like that as a parent. Work can provide a great outlet for us and help us feel better when we’re feeling like a crap parent.
- Future: You are making a path for your future dreams. Most employed jobs won’t have the same potential as your own business has. You are in the driving seat of creating the life you desire.
- Work Ethic: You are teaching your children that having a good work ethic doesn’t necessarily mean you have to work 40 hour weeks in an employed job. Flexible working around children or people you care for is fundamental to our happiness and well-being, even if you are only working a few hours a week. In fact a study by Harvard University found daughters of mothers in work have better careers, higher pay and more equal relationships than those of stay-at-home mothers (sorry SAHM’s – DO NOT feel guilty!).
- You’re doing a great job: It’s hard being a parent. It’s hard working at home and it’s even harder to do both, but you ARE doing it. Celebrate your successes and learn from your failures both in work and in parenting.
And to anyone working mums or stay at home mums reading this, we’re so quick to beat ourselves about the guilt we feel and about the mistakes we’ve made as parents (and there will be lots more along the way) but we all need a reminder that we are all doing the best we can, working in a way that suits us and our families whether we’re working full-time, staying at home with our children or running a business.