Being a working mom, have you ever encountered this situation when you forgot to pack something for your kid’s school because you were too busy getting ready for work, or your kid’s assignment is due at school, and you have your work deliverables timelines too? As a mom to a 3-year-old son myself, I can say on behalf of every mom that this is very common, and you must also be familiar with that strong emotion that entails such situations, which is guilt.
Yes, along with the purest feeling of Motherhood comes guilt. This guilt is more in working mothers who are chasing their dreams in their professional life and simultaneously trying to give their best as mothers. There is always a deep-rooted question that are doing justice to our kids and with our job?
After becoming a mother, I realized that I was becoming affluent in multitasking and learning and growing daily along with my son. I was extremely bad at storytelling. Even my brother never used to listen to any movie story from me. He used to say, “I’ll prefer watching it after a year, but you, please don’t kill the story. But then, with my son, I became a good storyteller. I used to do a lot of experimental cooking (Please don’t ask my husband about it….), but then I became more conscious about the nutrition portion. Similar to these, there were many other changes that I was and still am going through with him. I was filled with many emotions like love, care, joy, patience, compassion, understanding, and laughter. Along with it also came fear, worry, and guilt.
No one would have ever thought this could be a problem, and it needs to be addressed and solved. During our WIT ERG meeting, I was discussing it casually with my team about it, and then we realized there must be other colleagues who must also be going through a similar roller coaster of emotions. As I seek help and suggestion from my family and friends, many mothers must have already mastered being a working Mom for a long time. This is how we stumbled upon the agenda of our next initiative under WIT, WORKING MOM: STOP FEELING THAT GUILT !!!
Selecting a panel for this discussion was very difficult as every mother is special, every motherhood is unique, and everyone has different experiences. Our search was completed on three extremely talented women colleagues with immense experience in the IT industry and as mothers.
When a woman embraces motherhood there’s her partner who becomes a father too. The thought of adding men to our conversation was to add another dimension to our discussion about overcoming the working mom’s guilt. As their counterparts, men do observe their working wives and the challenges they face in trying to achieve that work-life balance.
All About Working Mom’s Guilt and Ways to Overcome it!
While a mother cherishes various big and small moments of her journey, the guilt is always there that they are not giving time to their family and especially to her kids. The FOMO, or “fear of missing out” and not being there, is always invoking, whether in personal or professional life. One tries balancing it, but it is more like a seesaw.
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To this thought, our panelist Tina Guha responded, “The best way to overcome this is: Stop taking this as a guilt. Your maternity journey is all about growing along with your kids”. This sounds simple thing, right? However, it is not as simple as it looks… Identifying the problem area, we were keen on the solutions as we went over the conversation with our panelists, who wonderfully shared below tried and tested tips that will definitely help you to overcome the guilt:
“Suvar Irunthal Than Chithiram” Tamil Shloka, meaning – you can paint only if there is a wall.” Saraswathy Kalyani, Perficient, Chennai BU.
- Only when your cup is full can you give it to others: Primary step is Selfcare, so first rejoice in yourself. Give yourself proper time to rest and rejuvenate yourself. “To keep the body in good health is a duty. Otherwise, we shall be unable to keep our mind strong and clear”: Gautam Buddha.
- Communication is the Key: Start conversing with your kids and giving them dedicated time. May it be telling them how your day was and in this way you sum up your day and you can plan for the next day along with them. Simultaneously you understand how things are at their end as well.
- Learn to manage your time: Have a to-do list. This will always help you in prioritizing them and planning your time accordingly.
- Plan your day: It is very essential to understand your potential and what you can do smoothly vs. what will need more effort.
- Take help: Talk to elders and your partner. This gives you positive energy and inspiration. Also, you will observe many solutions automatically coming out of those conversations. Believe me, learning from our elder’s experiences will always come in handy.
- From Waterfall to Agile: If you feel you are not meeting the timelines, learn to delegate the work and responsibilities.
- Failing is not falling; it is rising: We always learn from our experiences. If you are failing in something, write down the problem with all possible solutions; how vague it could sound at that moment however, I bet you are sure to find the solution out of it
- Stop comparing yourself: Trust me, you are your best and are playing both roles perfectly.
“Understand the fact that this needs to be taken positively. This guilt will always make you, but it will never break you”. Srividya Cheetla, Perficient, Bangalore BU.
From the Men’s corner:
Our male panelists, who are experienced husbands of working wives and experienced fathers too, also shared some very important points. The following tips are for men from men and will help our working moms strike a balance in a better way.
“Being a working woman itself is a big challenge and working mom is even more challenging” Mangesh Mohatkar, Co-Panelist, Perficient, Nagpur BU.
Self-confidence is the key to success. Building confidence is a must to prepare oneself for all challenges. Ashok Palani, Co-Panelist, Perficient, Bangalore BU.
- Being there as additional support at home whenever possible will help moms focus on their job roles during their working hours. After all, if a man becomes the biggest help to his lady, what can stop her from achieving her goals?
- Equalizing the work and family situation for both is what will help women have time to relax and self-care.
- Always have open communication. Talk with them about their day and share yours, and check if they are facing any challenges or need any additional help.
- It is all about equal and participative parenting. As with motherhood comes fatherhood as well.
Alike women, men also have the same guilt of not being able to spend enough time with family. It is all about how you perceive it. # Magesh Udayasuriyan, Co-Panelist, Perficient Chennai BU
It is ok to have guilt but do not let this guilt take over the beautiful phase of motherhood. Do your best, and if you miss anything on a particular day, then there is always a tomorrow. With a new day comes new opportunities to make things right.
Take pride in being a working MOM, and STOP FEELING THAT GUILT!!
Well, while the live event over the topic has ended, the conversation that started can still be continued as we all can learn from each other’s experiences today and every day. Please go ahead and share your experiences in the comments below. Happy parenting, everyone!