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Working Moms Apologizing

Why Working Moms Need to Stop With the Damn Apologies Already

For many working moms, there's a common expression that they find themselves saying to their kids, oftentimes way more than they'd like, whenever they have a work conflict: "I'm sorry, I have to work."

Although there's nothing wrong with showing remorse when you have to miss something that's important to your child, some moms have noticed that no matter what, they are always apologizing to work for not doing enough and to the kids for not doing enough. No matter what, it can feel like a constant cycle of letting people down. This sense of pressure is understandable when you're trying to do your best at both places where you spend your time, but it can also create a glaring double standard at home between working moms and dads.

For moms who are constantly framing their jobs in an apologetic tone, they are teaching their kids that work is something that moms should feel guilty about and shouldn't be an equal priority to women. In some families it's more easily accepted that Dad can't be everywhere and do everything because he works, and yet the guilt is on if Mom has to miss something. But by constantly uttering the words, "I'm sorry," these mamas are teaching there kids that working hard is something that warrants an apology. Essentially, they are sending the message to their kids that mom should never "let" work get in the way.

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This double standard in some households with two working parents can come from a lack of confidence that Mom is doing what's right with her time. When one partner is more secure in how they are dedicating their days, it can come across as the other is doing something they shouldn't be. Instead of profusely apologizing multiple times, some moms want to send a different message to their children: I can't always be there because of work, but that doesn't mean my job is something bad.

By talking to your kids about your job in a positive light and showing that you are proud of your job, even when you have to make compromises, you are teaching your children that work is something to be proud of and not a horrible thing that takes Mommy away from them. It also shows children that it's OK to like what you do and be proud of your accomplishments. It's time for working moms to change the narrative to reflect all that they do — in a positive light — instead of all that they don't.

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