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The very fact that you worry about being a good mom means that you already are one” - Jodi Picoult

Working moms are chasing the balance of working a job, household chores that they want and being the mom that they envisioned. They feel bad about letting their kids, team, or boss down, and also feel guilt about practicing self-care, remorse for not helping aging parents enough, or embarrassment about admitting their stress. If you’re a working mother, you must let go of this guilt.

Consider these tips:-

  • Forgive yourself: Letting go of guilt has to start with a commitment to stop beating yourself up over your choices and circumstances. Guilt gone awry turns into shame. It is emotionally painful to constantly feel like you are a bad mom, a bad employee, or a bad friend. Every time you think to yourself, “I feel bad about __” replace that with, “I made that decision because ___” and then move forward.

  • Ask for help: One of the hardest things for many women to do is to ask for help. Instead of asking for help, a working mom may just be fueling her stress by trying to do it all herself. Asking for help takes practice, but once you take a vulnerable step in doing so, others around you will start doing the same. Reach out to neighbors, personal friends, parents of your kids’ friends, your own parents, your in-laws, the aftercare program at school, or carpool parents. Before you know it, no one has to feel bad for asking, and it becomes a reciprocal relationship in which everyone benefits.

  • Be “good enough” at home: Lower the bar from the perfect mom who can do it all, who does everything she “should” be doing, and is praised for her selflessness to the mother who reclaims her own life. Rather than putting additional pressure on yourself, remember the basics. Be emotionally present, to comfort your child, attune to your child’s feelings, show delight when seeing your child. Realize the connection you can still have with your children by simply being “good enough.”

  • Be realistic: Create realistic deadlines so that you don't set yourself up for failure. The lines between expectation and reality become blurred when you make a to-do list a mile long, thinking it should all get done immediately.

  • Be willing to put yourself first: Carve out a little more “me” time. This may sound selfish but it's just the opposite. Selfish is being so exhausted that you can't be the fun and attentive parent you want to be. Selfish is ignoring your health and well-being to the point that you lash out and lose patience with those you love. Your family will appreciate and understand your need for time to work out, spend with friends, and enjoy a little romance with your partner.

  • Be as organized as possible: Lists are your best friend. We tend to unnecessarily consume energy by worrying about what we need to accomplish. It may be tempting to leave your car keys and shoes where they fall, but when you waste precious time frantically searching for them you'll see it differently.

  • Be open to change: You may have once had a vision of growing your business with your children happily at your side. Or, you once believed that putting your child in day care was the best option. If your original plan no longer feels right, sit down with your spouse and create one that does. Accept that it's perfectly fine to veer from your original plan if it's not getting you to where you want to be.

  • Unfollow those that bring you down: Watching other people vacation, share their family photos, or publicize their latest promotion on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram is enough to drive a working mom to tears. If you find that a person or group’s posts consistently bring you down, unfollow them.

  • Spring clean your trusted circle: There’s nothing wrong with avoiding people — even relatives — who make you feel guilty or judged. Narrowing the group of people with whom you discuss important decisions can help reduce unsolicited input: Keep this group to your partner, a trusted family member, your pediatrician, and a judgment-free, trusted friend or small group of friends.

  • Guard your truth against invaders: There will be invaders. It sounds dramatic, but it’s realistic to expect others to push against your beliefs and decisions. Don’t be surprised when someone challenges your choice. Instead of second-guessing it, move away from defense and towards the expectation that it’s healthy and OK to disagree.

  • Encourage your tribe – Where does mom guilt come from? Other moms. Take care when you yourself are making social media posts that could seem like bragging or pushing an agenda on other moms. We can dissolve mom guilt by not spreading it, and instead encourage each other to follow our own mom hearts.

  • Stop comparisons – Comparing yourself to other moms and to idyllic standards of motherhood only sets yourself up for feelings of shame and disappointment. All moms have different situations and challenges that you don’t always get to see. Even the moms who appear perfect could be completely different behind closed doors.

We may get to the end of motherhood and realize we missed so many sweet moments worrying about what we aren’t doing right. We may regret not listening to other women and supporters telling us we were doing a great job. Most importantly, we may see how amazing our kids actually turned out and realize that the guilt didn’t contribute a single ounce to that person we raised, but rather just inhibited our ability to enjoy the process. So love your kids — on your terms, in the amazing way we know you are — and don’t let what others are doing (or saying) put out your parenting fire. So stop worrying and enjoy the journey. You are doing great.

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