Whether you work because you love your career or you need the salary, it's not unusual to feel guilty for leaving your child with someone else. Returning to work can leave you feeling bad about not spending time with your little one, but getting past that guilt is important for your workplace success.
1. Understand the Cause
Many things play a role in guilt, including worries about a lack of quality time with your child and leaving her in someone else's care while you're at work. Figuring out why you feel guilty can help you accept your choices and even get help if you need assistance working through the issues. Voicing your guilt can help you find a support network of other moms, so you can remind each other that your children are likely just fine, even if you have to work.
2. Follow the Research
Research indicates that your child benefits from day care and isn't as bad off as your might think. A study led by Heather Joshi, of the Center for Longitudinal Studies at the University of London, indicates that day care kids don't lag behind their stay-at-home counterparts when it comes to math or literacy. In addition, a 2006 study conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development found that parenting style has more to do with your child's development than whether or not she goes to day care.
3. Find Quality Day Care
There might be a day care center on the corner of your block, but that doesn't mean it's the right choice for your little one. Finding a quality day care for your child can help lessen the guilt you feel when you drop him off. Knowing that your child is happy, secure and well-loved while you're at work can make it easier to leave him behind. Whether you choose a home day care or a center, find one that offers your child loving care and meets the needs of your little one. Home day care centers tend to have fewer kids while centers are more likely to have a larger space and structured activities, notes the Family Education website.
4. Tips for Easing Guilt
Making the most of the time you do have with your child can help assuage the guilt you feel by going to work. This might mean you only get to chores after your little one goes to bed, but spending quality time with your child gives you the chance to interact and form a relationship. Talk to your boss about work from home options or flexible hours so that you can be available for big events, such as field trips. This also makes it easier to take a day to spend with a sick child or to get her to doctor and dentist appointments. Throw in lunch together and you can ease some of your guilt by enjoying an afternoon off with your child.
- Baby Zone: Overcoming Mothers’ Guilt
- Centre for Longitudinal Studies: Children’s Cognitive Abilities Relatively Unaffected by Having Working Mothers, Latest Analysis Shows
- Southern California Public Radio: Working Mother Guilt Reducer: Study Says Your Kids Won't Suffer Academically
- Daily Mail: Majority of Mothers Admit to Feeling Guilty for Working and Constantly Question Whether They Are a Good Parent
- NBC News: Working Moms: Don't Feel Guilty
- Forbes: Letter To Working Mothers: Stop Feeling So Guilty
- Family Education: In-Home Care vs. Commercial Daycare Centers
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