Remove the Guilt and Celebrate Being a Working Parent
Being a working parent can be physically challenging and emotionally complex. It takes an extensive amount of planning and preparation to keep your work and home life both running smoothly. It also takes a lot of emotional wherewithal to be present in both realities. Without ample support this volleying between worlds can lead to feelings of emotional exhaustion and guilt.
You have important reasons for choosing to be a working parent, and you are certainly not alone. There are so many of us who have made the same decision. Your kids are counting on you to make good choices for them, and you are doing just that.
Your decision to work will yield a lot of great benefits for your kids. As they mature, your kids will be proud of your professional achievements and accomplishments. You are modeling professionalism for your kids. And this will serve them well.
Undoubtedly, you’ve done the legwork to make sure that your kids are getting excellent care. You should be getting the emotional support you need too. You deserve it just as much as they do.
Find your Village
Talk to other parents, or ask your colleagues in human resources and see if your workplace has any professional groups for working parents. If such a group exists, join. If not, see if you can start one.
At my former workplace we had a great moms’ group that started in our lactation room. The space we were given was a cold and spartan room that looked like an abandoned classroom. We papered the walls with inspiring quotes about parenthood and pictures of our kids. We took turns bringing in snacks so the room felt more inviting.
It became a very supportive place. We grew our moms’ group into a parents’ group so that dads could also participate. We started regular lunches where we discussed the challenges faced by professional parents at our company. Our group was a wealth of support and information.
Research Flexible Options
Flexibility rivals salary as a key component of compensation for many employees. Telecommuting and flexible work hours can make a big difference for working parents. When my daughter was born I was able to negotiate two days a week that I could work from home. A year later when my son came along I was able to do a four-day telecommute schedule. This was a new offering for the company I was working for, but it was willing to give it a try because there is such a demand for flexibility, and writing jobs work well as telecommuting jobs. It was a huge help to my family and me.
If your company is not open to such an arrangement but you would like to examine telecommuting options, you can use Simply Hired to search telecommuting jobs by doing an advanced search and selecting the job type “telecommute.” While working as a telecommuter has its own challenges, it’s also a great way to balance the demands of work and family life.
You work hard for your family. Today that looks different than it did in the past, but the love and commitment is completely the same. Don’t let self-doubt or guilt erode your confidence. You are making great decisions for your family.