Starting and running a business takes hard work, motivation, and persistence. It’s an exciting venture, but one that comes with its fair share of obstacles and challenges. However, when you’re a mother, you may also face additional struggles, such as working mum guilt.
94% of working mothers experience feelings of guilt or inadequacy when trying to balance work and home life. Vicki Edwards, the director of Purple House Clinic Leicester, provides valuable advice on managing these emotions by avoiding comparisons to other mums, addressing irrational thoughts, and seeking help when needed.
Set realistic expectations
Make a list of the essential tasks that need to be accomplished each day and prioritise them based on their level of urgency. This will help you stay organised and ensure that you are focusing on what needs to be done rather than feeling guilty about what you haven’t been able to do. By staying focused on your priorities, you can be more present with your family and give your business the attention it needs without feeling guilty about neglecting either.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
It is important to remember that you are not superhuman, and it is okay to ask for help when you need it. If you have a partner, ask them if they can pitch in on tasks that are not already on their list, to free up some time for you to spend with your kids. If you can afford it, consider hiring someone to assist with tasks such as laundry or cleaning. If hiring help is not an option, reach out to relatives or friends for support.
One trick you can use to spend time with your children, whilst also ticking off household tasks that they are capable of doing, is making it a fun and enjoyable game for everyone. Being open with your children is also key. Explain to them that in order to spend more time together doing the things you both love, there must be a little bit of work involved. Having someone else lend a hand will also improve your mental health.
Prioritise time with children and loved ones
Juggling a business alongside being a parent means that your other relationships may take the backseat, so it is essential to schedule time with your children and loved ones. Make sure that you put time aside that is both business- and phone-free, and the quality time you have together is not interrupted. Spending time with your significant other is vital in maintaining a strong emotional connection, and it will help your child understand the importance of valuing relationships.
Avoid the comparison trap with other parents
Making comparisons often leads to feelings of inadequacy and guilt. It can be particularly hard when talking to mums who have decided to stay home with their child. Remember that you and your child are unique and embrace the parent you are and the child you have. Involve your children in your day if you can and share your day with them if you cannot. Your kids will benefit a whole lot more if you follow your dream.
Talk to someone
Finally, if guilt continues to plague your days and prevents you from enjoying your life, you may benefit from talk therapy with a mental health professional. Finding healthy support from peers and professional support groups can be incredibly validating.
Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.