9 Reasons to Feel Great (Not Guilty!) About Being a Working Mom
You're a working mom. That very likely means you've left the house nearly every day feeling guilty about your decision to be a working mom. "Am I selfish for abandoning my child?" "Is it cruel to put my baby in day care every day of the week?" "Are all the stay-at-home moms right?" But in honor of Working Parents Day tomorrow, stop the second-guessing and pat yourself on the back for making a decision that you very likely already know is best for your family.
Instead of being racked with senseless guilt, rejoice in these nine reasons to feel fantastic about being a working mom.
You Don't Have to Be "Mom" All the Time
As much as you love the title and see it as the most important thing you could ever do, you also know you are more than just a mother. When you leave the house for work every day, it's much easier to shift roles — and catch a break.
You're Surprisingly Less Stressed
One of the biggest fears many women have about being a working mom is the added stress of balancing a full-time job and parenting. Numerous studies, however, report that working moms are not just happier than their stay-at-home counterparts, but they also show no increase in psychological distress. Women who have a child and then leave the workforce, on the other hand, experience major increases in stress and suffer higher rates of depression.
There's Such a Thing as Spending Too Much Time With Your Kids, and Everyone Knows It
It's true that stay-at-home moms log more hours with their children every day, but it turns out that quantity of time means nothing compared to the quality of the time spent. A recent large-scale study revealed that the sheer amount of time parents spend with kids has no bearing on their development. In fact, it could be doing more harm than good when the time isn't meaningful and the parents aren't engaged.
Your Partner Gets to Share the Heavy Lifting
Yes, in these modern times, we shouldn't see a father's role any differently than a mother's, but it's still the case that in more traditional families where a dad works out of the house and a mom stays home, the parenting responsibilities aren't often divided equitably. But when you both have deadlines to hit and hours to clock, you naturally act more as a team.
You See Day Care as a Pro, Not a Con
Whether you leave your kids at a day care center or with a nanny, you know that doing so helps teach your kids, among other benefits, how to socialize. While some parents are troubled by toddlers with severe separation anxiety, you can feel less guilty when yours are off and running — without even a kiss goodbye — the minute their babysitter shows up.
Earning Your Own Income Brings Serious Perks
If you aren't able to contribute financially, you might feel too guilty to ever get a manicure or go out to a lunch that doesn't involve ordering from the counter. Sure, when you earn a salary, you still have to budget (raising kids isn't cheap!), but you likely don't feel any pangs of remorse before splurging on a nice dress . . . or three. Hey, you need to look good at your next board meeting!
You Get to Be a Great Role Model Without Really Trying
Studies have shown that working moms have a positive impact on their children's eventual careers and finances. In particular, daughters of working moms completed more years of education, were more likely to be employed and in supervisory roles, and earned higher incomes than those who had a stay-at-home mom. So just by going to work, you can say you're helping your kids find greater success later in life.
You Have an Excuse to Look Nice
Many working moms, if left to their own devices at home, would never get out of their PJs. Having an office to go to gives you the perfect excuse to actually look — and feel — your best.
There's Way Less Pressure on You to Have the Perfect Home
It's not fair to assume that stay-at-home moms should also have the time (and energy) to keep the house in perfect order, but when you aren't even at home for most of the workweek, the burden isn't unfairly on you to ensure the floors are mopped and the countertops scrubbed.