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The guilt of the working parent

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by Catherine Kennedy

over 1 year ago

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I write this on the long commute into our city office. As I’ve had time to sit and stare out the window, my mind inevitably drifts to how guilty I sometimes feel being a working Mum. This morning I left home before my babies were awake, and I will be lucky to get an hour with them at the end of the day, before bedtime. Being a working parent is tough, and unfortunately there can be a perception amongst employers that parents, especially mothers, won’t work as hard or be as committed as other members of the team. In my opinion, this is completely untrue! Instead of wallowing in guilt this morning, I’ve come up with a list of why going to work is the best thing for me, my kids, and my employer. 

I am happier I enjoy my work and I am a happier for doing it. Sure, there are days where I want to pull my hair out, but on the whole my work is challenging, interesting and rewarding and I am happier for doing it. 

I have never been more focused or organised With 2 kids under 3, my life is very busy, subsequently I have no choice but to be   focused and organised. I am more targeted in my client activity, spend less time procrastinating and manage to fit more into my day.  I tackle problems head on, with less hesitation than I ever used to, I just don’t have the time to waste! 

I work harder Perhaps because I have so many balls in the air, or because I put pressure on myself to perform at ‘pre-kid’ levels, I work harder and smarter than ever before. I login late at night, I take calls on my day off and I am more focused when I’m in the office. 

I am setting a good example for my kids I want my daughters to grow up to believe they can be and do anything they set their minds to. I don’t want their gender to play any part in whether or not they think they can do something. With my engagement and commitment to my work, shows them that it is normal for women to play an equal role in the workforce. 

I appreciate my family more than ever I adore my kids, and I appreciate everything about them all the more when I have had some time away from them. I am more patient with their questions, more willing to join in their games and more in awe of their creativity and endless curiosity. So, I think it’s pretty clear that I can drop the Mummy guilt, being at work is good for me, good for my kids and good for my Boss! Now, back to staring out the window….

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