9 tips to deal with ‘mom guilt’ on resuming work when your baby is still young - Hindustan Times
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9 tips to deal with ‘mom guilt’ on resuming work when your baby is still young

ByZarafshan Shiraz, Delhi
Mar 13, 2022 10:38 AM IST

Mothers are often judged for “abandoning” their children and returning to work full-time while it is normal for fathers to do so as they have to “provide” for the family. Isn’t this really old and seemingly sexist in our progressive society? Experts reveal how to let go of this mom guilt

While working full time is liberating and helps give one an additional purpose, resuming work after a baby is probably one of the most difficult things women ever do because they feel like they are leaving their whole heart behind to pursue their career and simultaneously deal with the mom guilt which can be oh so painful (to say the least). This is because mothers are often judged for “abandoning” their children and returning to work full-time while it is normal for fathers to do so as they have to “provide” for the family though this really old and seemingly sexist in our progressive society.

9 tips to deal with mom guilt on resuming work when your baby is still young (Photo by Dakota Corbin on Unsplash)
9 tips to deal with mom guilt on resuming work when your baby is still young (Photo by Dakota Corbin on Unsplash)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Vanshika Gupta Adukia, Pregnancy/Childbirth & Lactation Specialist and a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist, shares, “Going down the mom guilt road is something every mother goes through at various stages of life with her baby. Tackling these emotions and finely balancing mom life vs work life is definitely tricky. Life with a newborn is all about adapting, adjusting and learning the little one's needs and the minute focus shifts to professional commitments, the ne- mom guilt creeps in.”

Echoing the same, Dr Khushboo Thakker Garodia, who is a Homeopath, Clinical Hypnotherapist, Trichologist and a Nutrition and Stress Management Expert, said, “Many times women don’t even have the option of being a stay-at-home mom and there are others who choose to go back to work because they don’t want to give up their career. Whatever be the reason, deciding to be a working mom is a choice that should be respected and not judged or even shamed - not by society or even the mum herself. Working on letting go of this mom guilt should be at the top of any mom’s ever elusive to-do list. It eats away at you, disrupts your sleep, affects your mood and gets in the way of being present.”

Putting in a word of encouragement, Jennifer Mulchandani, Founder of The Boutique Project, quipped, “Before you know it, your little one starts to get not-so-little anymore and you end up finding your rhythm through the madness of it all but throughout your journey, don’t forget - you’re a supermom and you can do it all! No matter what your voice of guilt says - you’re a great mother and you got this!”

Tips to deal with mom guilt:

Dr Vanshika Gupta Adukia along with Dr Khushboo Thakker Garodia and Jennifer Mulchandani listed some tried and tested supermom tips to deal with the guilt of resuming work while the baby is still young. These include:

1. Go easy on yourself! You’ve not committed a crime - you’ve simply gone back to work! 

2. Have a strong support system through your family and through other working moms.

3. You need this! By getting back to work you’re providing for your family - allowing yourself to give your child the best!

4. Make time for yourself whenever you see the opportunity. Allow myself some time alone.

5. A positive mindset is everything to help get you through those cranky times.

6. Do not let in insecurities take over: Slightly lesser time with the baby is not a ticket to your baby disconnecting with from you as a mother- this is the biggest insecurity in every new mother’s head but genuinely more of a mind game.

7. Reach out for help as it is the biggest acceptance of them all- never shy away from taking as much help as possible with the baby; be it family, friends or even hiring help if feasible. Reaching out and seeking help can be one of the hardest things for many women to do. Doing it all by yourself - adds a lot of pressure and is an impossible task. Seeking help requires vulnerability and is crucial for any mom’s sanity. So, reach out to family, friends, other moms and also make it a point to be of help to them as well. This reciprocal relationship helps everyone.

8. Forgive yourself and reframe your negative self talk: Letting go of guilt starts with a commitment to stop beating yourself up over your choices and circumstances. Remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing. And - Every time you have a not so pleasant thought replace that with, “I made that decision because ___” and then go ahead.

9. Stop judging yourself: Working while being a mother is a huge part of who you are. Often we are our own toughest critics. So remind yourself it's ok to make mistakes. It's ok to not be on top of everything.

The mom's guilt will always be there. It's just that over time you will learn to bounce back sooner and it may not hurt as much. Remind yourself that you are a great mom and no one is perfect and once the shutter falls for the day, with work commitments taken care of, focus entirely and purely on the baby- enjoy your baby. A happy mumma will nurture a happy baby!

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