Young mum Linda, who got pregnant when she was 17, gives her advice to working mums and dads for managing stress and the importance of taking time for yourself.
Dealing with ‘working mum guilt’
Following her vlog of top tips for juggling parenthood with work, college or university, Linda’s now sharing her advice for dealing with the guilt that naturally comes with being a working parent…
Here’s what Linda says in the videos if you can’t watch them:
Managing stress as a working parent (transcript)
Another important part of being a working mother is having a break. Taking that time out for yourself. I know it sounds impossible but if you have a trusted family member or friend that can have your child for even a couple of hours – a weekend would would be great – but a couple of hours, then let them do so.
I was very overprotective of my son when he was younger, but I’ve since learnt that I need that time out for my own sanity. And don’t listen to negative comments; don’t let them get you down. In my role currently, because I have flexible hours I leave earlier than most of my colleagues and they will leave little snide comments in a jokey way about how I leave early and about how I’m a part-timer. Even though they’re not intended to be cruel, sometimes you do kind of get that they do feel a way about it.
But I just focus on my priorities, I focus my goals and my aspirations. I know why I’m doing it, I know what I’m doing it for. Don’t beat yourself up. There’s no perfect parent; we’re all striving to be perfect parents. But realistically there is no perfect parent.
We all do what we can do and we do the best for our children and that’s enough. And so it’s a great thing, being a working mother. It is tough, but I often feel down at times and I just feel like I wanna quit. But I’ve come this far and I almost feel like a superwoman to be fair!
And you are, we are superwomen; there is a lot on our plate but just think about the end goal; think about what you’re doing it for; think about how it will benefit you and your child.
Dealing with ‘working mum guilt’ (transcript)
If you’re a parent who’s thinking about going into work or thinking about going back to work, you’re naturally going to feel grumpy and a bit frustrated about getting into the routine of being a working mum, but that will slowly die out.
Another thing is, feeling this overwhelming amount of guilt; I know I did when I started university. And even sometimes now, not being able to attend certain school plays or a sports day;
sometimes I do feel guilty, but what I do to eliminate those thoughts is just think about why I’m doing it.
My motivation for going to university and for going to work was to build on my career path and to help towards a better life for me and my son, and I had to come to terms with the fact that I would have to make sacrifices. But I also wanted to teach my son core values and core principles such as working hard for what you want and striving towards your goals and your dreams, and so that’s what I think about to get rid of that guilt.
It’s natural you’re going to feel that way. But I feel like a lot of us parents beat ourselves up more than we should do, and as long as you’re a loving, caring parent who gives your child enough attention, then there’s nothing to feel guilty about.
More advice from Linda for working parents
- How to manage child care as a single parent
- Dealing with ‘working mum guilt’
- How to establish a schedule and get more done!