There is nothing people love discussing more than the parenting styles of others. Whether you choose to stay at home with your children or return to work, people will judge you. If you let the opinions of others get under your skin, you will have a long road ahead. An opinion that is harder to ignore, however, is your own. If you regularly berate yourself for sub-standard parenting then you can assure yourself you are human. However, if these little guilt-mongering demons are in your ear everyday, they can wear you down.
When it comes to parent guilt about going back to work it might be time to take the emotion out of it and look at the evidence.
Five reasons parent guilt is not worth-it
Science says so
New research shows that babies born since the millennium suffer no ill effects from their mother going out to work. The study looked at children’s cognitive, literacy, emotional and behavioural development. (Prof Joshi Institute of Education; Presentation to Academy of Social Science, June 2013).
You’re showing your children they will have choices too
Studies have also shown that girls in particular actually gain from having a working mother at home, growing their own confidence and aspirations.
You can only do your best
If you have to work, then there is no point in feeling guilty as you have no choice and are doing the best thing for your child.
It might improve your marriage
If you have returned to work because you want to, rather than for financial reasons, your kids, not to mention marriage, will benefit if you are fulfilled and happier. (Former Golden Sachs Managing Director, Sharon Meers explains in her book ‘Getting to 50 50’ that a study found that the more hours a women worked the more sex she was having at home).
It’s your choice and if it doesn’t work out, you can make another choice
If you parent guilt out weighs the benefits you and your family get from you going back to work, and you don’t have to, don’t. There is no right or wrong way.
This may not completely alleviate your parental guilt, but it is worth remembering that parent guilt is unnecessary. Life is too short.
Employees Matter resources
If you still feel unbearable guilt, you can learn practical ways to conquer your demons and enjoy your family at the Employees Matter free webinar on parent guilt on Wednesday 2 Oct at 1:00 PM – 1:45 pm BST.