Nelly from San Francisco feels guilty about her children while she works. The family needs her salary but she feels terrible leaving her children in daycare.
Working mothers very often feel guilt over the fact that they think they do not care well for their children the way they should. Guilt is the most useless emotion we can feel: it serves no one, it does not help anyone. Therefore, it is the first emotion we should all plan to get rid off.
Have you read “I don’t know how she does it all” from Allison Pearson? Please do so if you have not, you will see a working mom going to extremities in order to be the perfect mom. There has been a movie made out of the book. You will laugh, and ultimately you feel better.
This guilt stems in the belief that a mother is to be 24/7 with her kids to be a good mom.
I have said it before and I will repeat it again a mother who is all the time with her children can develop a very toxic relationship with them. Children need space to experiment and grow; their mom needs space too to remember she has a life outside her kids.
Please know that in France, rare are the kids who don’t go to daycare from the age of 3 months old. Then they go to school from 2 or 3 years of age from 9 to 5pm. The day at school is divided by one hour lunch break and one hour nap for all the small kids. They all survive! Then dinner is a family dinner where everybody share their day.
Women in France are not in their gym clothes all day because they work, and their outlook matters.
A mother is first and foremost a woman with her own desires and her own needs that children will not be aware of before they reach adulthood.
It is therefore the mother that should make sure she has time for herself. No job is as demanding emotionally as children can be. A job gives a sense of value beneficial for the whole family. It is a fantastic role model for the children, especially the girls.
Stay-at-home mothers rely on someone financially: their independence is limited. And this can be a burden on their relationship on many levels. For instance, at the end of the day, she is looking for an adult conversation, and all he is looking for is to unwind. If you have read me before you know that unwinding for a man is certainly not talking.
A job is rewarding
1. Self-esteem is boosted by being part of the working (contributing) crowd
2. Financially her salary is a great addition to the family’s needs
3. It gives her the opportunity to get adult talks outside of her husband
4. It gives a sense of independence that can only benefit her relationship with her husband
5. It forces her to bring pragmatism in her schedule
Children do not suffer: they are better adjusted!
1. They learn that their mother has a life of her own. That is a valuable life lesson.
2. They have the opportunity to learn from other adults; it expands their world.
3. They learn to value the time they spend with their mother instead of taking it for granted
4. Ultimately they learn respect for themselves and for the others.
If you still doubt about the fact that it is good for you to work, please read the article from the Economist that reveals a study done in the UK with 19,000 British households to see how working mothers affected their children’s development.
What matters is quality time with your children
Make sure you give them undivided attention even if it is for 15mn
Have your evening meal with them
Have one day off a week where there is no outside commitment so you can have some time off, and enjoy some time as a family.
You are setting a great example for your children. Relax!