Surefire Ways To Cope With Mom Guilt While Working From Home

There have been times I felt unbearable guilt while working. I’d sit down to try and knock out work, but the kids would come in, make noise, or need help, and I’d go running.

I’d be exasperated they needed help. Then feel guilty I was working in the first place.

This double-mindedness lasted me a good long while. Until I realized something pivotal in a call with a mentor. Working wasn’t abandoning my kids… in fact… the whole reason I had this work from home gig was FOR my kids. So if that’s you too, I hope this post helps.

Treat yourself with forgiveness and grace.

Mom guilt is unavoidable. This is especially true when you are  working because a mother’s heartstrings will be pulled in so many directions. Unfortunately, this guilt can be crippling. When this happens you are probably very hard on yourself. 

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You may even think:

Why am I spending so much time away from the kids? Even when I’m with the kids, work consumes my mind. How come I keep missing so many important moments? How do I avoid bringing home this work drama? I am really failing as a mother. 

Consider a world where you would treat someone else with such disdain. You would never… right? So, why do we, as mothers, treat ourselves this way? The first key to coping with mom guilt when working is treating yourself with forgiveness and grace. 

Remember this:

Nobody is perfect, God chose you for this job, and you are good enough!

When you feel as though you’ve failed to manage your time, forgive yourself and do better next time. When you’ve lost your patience because your little one needed your attention, forgive yourself and set some goals to do better next time.  Give yourself grace. Nobody can mother your children as well as you can, and if you’re working too… wow! You are a superhero mom! 

Look at yourself through your kid’s eyes.

Children innately see the good in all things. When you have mom guilt setting in, remember that your children have probably already forgotten whatever it is that is haunting you. They have moved on, and it’s ok for you too as well. So, don’t lay in bed at night beating yourself up over the lost temper or forgotten task. That’s just damaging your sanity. Instead… look forward to tomorrow. 

Kids are always looking for the next thing. So, when you are feeling guilty they don’t understand why you’re upset. Even though kid’s normally don’t dwell in the past… they are very intuitive. Let me explain: If you’re holding onto guilt from the day before, it’s probably affecting your mood and ability to be fully present today. Kids will more than likely pick up on this mood and now understand what they did to upset you today. 

Don’t allow your guilt to hinder your mood for the next activity, day, or event. Look at yourself through their eyes… Your kids see potential and a fun future with mom.

Be fully present when it matters.

Being fully present is one of the hardest things to do as a working mom. It’s hard especially if you work from home or have an online business. There is always the pull to check your phone or run into the other room. No task is ever fully complete. There is always someone needing you. 

At the end of a day full of paying more attention to your phone than your kids… guilt is going to happen. It’s tough, but it’s reality. So, set some manageable work boundaries for yourself. Do your very best to stick with those times so that you can give quality time to your kids when it matters. 

Every family dynamic is different. 

Decide what quality time works for your family dynamic and dedicate that time to your kids each day. Maybe your kids need mom first thing in the morning for storytime and snuggles. Or, maybe they need some mom time in the afternoon for sports or crafts. Whatever time matters for your sanity and their happiness, be fully present for that and you won’t feel so guilty about working. 

This may be easier if you work from home or run your own business. If that’s the case then you may be feeling guilty about never being able to escape your “work mode”. Try setting a firm schedule that works around your valuable family moments.  

Teach your kids about your job and why it’s important.

Your work is important. But, do your kids know why? It may be a good idea to start having some meaningful conversations about your work and why it matters. I’m sure they would be interested to hear some of the details of your day-to-day tasks. You’d probably be surprised to hear how interested they are! 

Furthermore, as kids grow, they tend to ask more and more questions about your work. Why do you have to leave for it? Why can’t you just “not work.”  What is it that you do? At first pass, these questions can feel offensive and may make you feel guilty. Don’t think of them this way but instead you can turn the questions into teaching moments. 

Using positivity, you can teach your kids the importance of hard work and dedication to your family. They will see you as a role model. After all, you are a mom who works hard because she loves her children and cares for them. Kids often follow in the footsteps of their mother, so teach them that hard work and balancing family life is possible. Show them the positives to work and how to be present when you’re together. 

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