You find out you are pregnant. A plethora of emotions washes over you as you receive this news. You spend (approximately) 40 weeks incubating this tiny, new person. You give birth. You spend X number of weeks/months postpartum at home with baby. You spend time. You bond. You face hormonal and emotional upheaval unlike any other. Then…maternity leave ends. You go back to work. Why? Because you are a working mom now.
You worked before, so it only makes sense that you return to work after. In fact, it makes MORE sense than ever because you now have an extra person to feed, clean, house, etc. You also have inherited many new expenses, such as diapers, formula/supplement, child care, baby clothing, toys, swaddles, furniture, and so on. I’m sure you know the list, mom.
Are you happy? Of course you are. Do you want the best for your tiny new person? Of course you do. Is it impossible to consider leaving this new life in someone else’s care other than you own? Of course it is. Do you have a choice? Most likely the answer is no. This is a reality a lot of us as mothers face.
So, how do you balance time, take care of you and your family financially and emotionally, while also caring for yourself on all those levels? IT IS HARD. Mom guilt is real and working mom guilt is real, too. You are torn between wanting to earn a living for your family and having to leave them on a daily basis to do that. You are torn between staying home to care for your family or returning to work to make money and interact with people who count age in terms of years rather than weeks or months.
So, how do you get through that working mom guilt? Everyone is different. Exercise can help because it gets those positive endorphins moving around. Make time for yourself because you need time that doesn’t belong to baby, hubby, wifey, work, or other things. Talk to someone. Sometimes saying things out loud can be the biggest source of catharsis. Find a fellow mom, co-worker, neighbor, friend, and get out all those guilty notions that run through your mind.
You are not a good mom because you work. You are a good mom. And if you don’t know of anyone you can talk to, I’d love to listen.