How’s your mommy guilt?
Stop mommy guilt
A new study published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior offers even more evidence that mommy guilt is alive and thriving. The authors of the study evaluated how often workers were contacted about work-related matters when they were home: by email, text or phone. The results were different for the genders. Although men were contacted more frequently, women tended to experience more distress as a result of the contact.
Why? At first, you might think this increase in distress would be due to a greater interruption in the women’s family responsibilities as opposed to the men’s. And yet, the evidence did not support this.
Lead author Paul Glavin, describes, “We found that women are able to juggle their work and family lives just as well as men, but they feel more guilty as a result of being contacted. This guilt seems to be at the heart of their distress.”
So what can women do to reduce the guilt? Try these 3 steps:
1.Erase the word “SHOULD” from your vocabulary: guilt is caused by “shoulding” yourself. For example “I should answer this email now” or “I should be a better mother and not have any work interruptions.” Using the word “should” is like having a big finger wagging in front of your facing saying “you are not good enough.” Accept that sometimes your two worlds collide and take steps to set yourself up for success.
2. Set boundaries: while it may be unrealistic to expect you to have no work contact when you leave work, it is vital to set certain parameters. Check emails and phone at a set time in the evening, perhaps after your children go to bed. And let people at work know your policy so they are aware that, while you may not answer them immediately, you will get to their message.
3. Be present: When you are at work, don’t let your mind wander off to your family responsibilities. And when you are home, focus only on your family and yourself. Give yourself permission to tune your focus off the other part of your life when you are not there. Being present with your children (really focusing on what they are saying, what is going on with them, how they are feeling, what happened during their days, what they are concerned and happy about…) is such a gift to give to them, as well as your spouse. And it will help you feel closer to them.
Where are you on the mommy guilt spectrum? What do you do to help yourself? Please share what works for you so we can feel less guilt and be even happier.
Click here to learn more about how to get rid of the guilt and be a happier you.