Being a working mom is like riding a roller coaster. There are good days, okay days and some very bad days. Some days you can go off to work and feel great about yourself, and other days you feel like a monster. Sometimes mom guilt looms over us and we have no clue how to shake it. I've been a working mom for about 7 years now, and even I still battle with fear from time to time.
Here are some of the worst fears I've experienced:
1) I'm missing out on my kids' lives: I struggled with this when my daughter was a baby. I imagined I was going to miss her first steps, her first attempts at crawling or some very important milestone in her life. While I was at work, it was hard to concentrate because all I could think of was my baby.
It turns out I didn't miss any of her milestones. My daughter is now 5 and I think she's pretty well adjusted. What I've learned is it's important to make good use of the time we have together, rather than focusing on the times I'm away from her. On the drive back home in the evening I ask both kids how their days went. During dinner, as I'm prepping food for the next day, we have precious conversations.
2) People will think I'm a bad mom: The world of motherhood taught me that there are stay at home moms, work outside of the home moms and work at home moms. The best option is whichever one works for you. Now while there are some women who will judge you for working 40 hours a week and having someone else watch your kids, you have to decide if you've made the best decision for yourself and for your family.
I've learned to focus on my family's needs and to stand in my truth. I used to be a stay at home mom when my son was born because that was what my family needed then. When my daughter was born, I worked part time outside the home. When my daughter was almost 2, I transitioned to full time work. Now I work part time outside the home while building my business so that I can scale back eventually. I really don't discuss this with anyone as I know it works for me.
3) I won't be close to my kids: This fear nagged at me for years because all I want in life is to have a close knit family. Well, I think my kids are pretty close to me despite the hours they spend at school and at day care. The moments we spend together are precious and I take time to connect with them. That connection is not easily broken and I know it will carry us for the rest or our lives. Use busy time wisely. Play video games with your kids. Talk to your kids when you are driving them around. Read with them for 5 minutes before you put them to bed. Tell them that you love them often. These small tasks, although tiring, send a clear message to them- "My mom loves me and she's there for me."
4) My kids will love the daycare provider more: Way back when I was concerned that I was going to take a back seat to the daycare provider. I realized that was my insecurities talking. Kids can love their providers, but if you have created a secure bond, they will always know that you are their mother. It's not the quantitiy of time you spend with them, it's the quality.
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What is 1 fear you have about being a working mom?