How to Deal with Guilt

One of the hardest things for a mother to do is leave her children every day to go to work. Whether for balance or necessity, you should'nt feel as if you are doing something wrong by having a career. Here are some tips on how to get past the guilt and enjoy your job and your family.

I've been a coach for moms for over five years now. Prior to that, I was a family therapist for seven years (and a full-time mom in between). I can tell you, after twelve years of professional work with moms and twenty years of research, that we are in an incredible age of anxiety.

Guilt is often the result of a disparity between how we truly feel and how we think we are supposed to feel. For example, I used to feel guilty when I didn't pick-up my children at school. I had moved to suburbia, and it seemed that picking up children from school was an unspoken rule of good parenting. My guilt was the gap between how I truly felt - that my own interests and self-care sometimes prevented me from picking up my children and that is perfectly okay - and how I thought I was supposed to feel - that I'm not doing my job as a mom if I delegate the pick-up from school.

What I have learned over the years is that working outside of the home doesn't create the guilt. Mothers feel guilty whether they work for pay or not. Regardless of work, countless moms feel guilty when they are not with their children. So it's not a "working mothers" problem, it's a pervasive cultural problem. The message is that you are not valuable enough to take good care of your self. Whether that care is self-nurturance or self-growth with a great job, the message is that you are not valuable enough to have it and feel good about it. Your children and your significant other are valuable enough, but you are not. Think about it. What message are you teaching your children? How are you going to ever be truly happy if you continue to deny your self-care and self-growth?

You can release your guilt when you learn to follow your own path and ignore the voices that lead you astray. You are liberated from the oppression of guilt when you understand that your growth and happiness matter too!

Much of my work with moms who feel guilty is helping them hear their own voice and then follow it. It sounds simple, but it is difficult work when, as women, we have been trained to please others and deny ourselves. Do yourself and your daughters or nieces a favor. Learn how to live authentically by honoring your innate needs for growth and self-care and teach the girls in your life how to do the same.

Happiness is found when we stretch ourselves to live authentically. If guilt is holding you back, hire a qualified professional to help you find and listen to your inner voice and stop the inappropriate guilt and negativity.

You deserve to live an enriching, exciting and happy life. Do the work you need to in order to get there!

By Bria Simpson

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