Listen to Elsa & let it go: Working-Mom Guilt

Post on March 20, 2024

Have you ever found yourself wondering if every other mom feels the elusive work-life balance slipping through her fingers too? Have you felt that time is running out to achieve your career aspirations while your kids are growing up? And SO quickly at that no matter where you find yourself, at home or work, you feel like you should be elsewhere, being productive. Secretly, you may even dream of a weekend away alone by yourself, but come up with excuses as to why you can’t do it. 


In the book Forget Having It All, author and journalist Amy Westervelt speaks to the working mom dilemma. She explains how we expect women to work like they don’t have children, and raise children as if they don’t have any work. Because of this, women tend to feel guilty — guilty for working and guilty for not. Blurred boundaries of work time spill into family time, and while you’re pretending to listen to your children’s stories, you feel like you’re missing out on precious time; no wonder it feels like you’re failing. It seems like a no-win situation, and it fuels feelings of overwhelm, exhaustion and defeat that may lead to burnout. 


Working moms are chasing the balance of hustling at a job that they want or need, and being the perfect mom that they envisioned. What’s more, the Covid-19 pandemic has left working parents having to find solutions for education and child care. As a result, guilt seems to be seeping in everywhere as kids spend more time on screens and moms spend more time on Zoom. 


Working on letting go of this guilt should be at the top of your list of priorities. It eats away at your conscience, disrupts your sleep cycle, affects your mood, and gets in the way of being present. Here are some strategies to start freeing yourself of guilt, starting today. 



Let It Go Frozen GIF - Let It Go Frozen - Discover & Share GIFs | Frozen gif,  Letting go, Let it be

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Forgive yourself. 


Let go of mom guilt, start with committing that beating yourself up over your choices and circumstances stops now. Guilt can often turn to shame, and it can be extremely painful to feel like you’re doing a bad job as a mom, an employee, or even a friend. Instead, remember why you made the choice you did. Every time you think to yourself, “I feel bad about…” change the narrative to “I made that decision because …” and move forward. 


Revisit your values. 


One of the most grounding exercises you can engage in is getting clear about what your values and priorities are in life and then making decisions based on them. For example, if family time is your priority, but you feel like you don’t get enough time for it, rid yourself of the guilt by working on finding ways to spend more time with your family. Set boundaries and say NO to unnecessary commitments. Involve your children in tasks that you already partake in. Make use of your weekends intentionally, allocate time dedicated to family bonding. Keep in mind, you will need to constantly revisit and update your boundaries to get what you want. 


Ask for help. 


One of the hardest things to do for women is ask for help. The common practice is fuelling your stress by trying to do everything by yourself  — then realising that it’s impossible. Asking for help takes practice, once you take a vulnerable step in doing so, others will start doing the same. Reach out to your neighbours, friends, other parents, family, etc. Before you know it, gone are the days of feeling bad for leaning on people. You’ve developed a reciprocal relationship in which everyone benefits. 

Be “good enough” at home.


The stereotype of a good parent goes back decades. While mothers need to be emotionally present to comfort children and understand their feelings, it cannot come at the cost of personal well-being and your health. We need to lower the bar from being a perfect mom who can do it all, to someone who does everything she ‘should’ be doing. Let’s stop praising the selfless mom, and instead hand it to the mother who reclaims her own life and takes care of herself. The connection you can build with your children by simply being ‘good enough’ and present is all you really need. 


Find a workspace that works for you. 


And that need not be one.

With multiple locations available with workbuddy across neighbourhoods in Singapore, working moms experience flexibility like never before. Need a workspace that helps you get your work done but also close enough to pick up your daughter post her football class in the East? Book an office in the East for that day.
Connect with the workbuddy community and meet like-minded individuals, work alongside other moms with similar challenges and goals. It can be empowering and provide an outlet for common experiences, advice, and encouragement. 



Rounding Up


Guilt and empathy go hand in hand. Feeling guilty comes from a place of compassion, care, and concern. Getting rid of your guilt doesn’t rid you of the love and care you have for your family. It means that the empathy behind the guilt has been acted upon. Instead of feeling stuck, focus on these five actionable ways to connect with your work as well as find joy in being a mom.


If you need help deciding which coworking space in Singapore is right for you, contact us today. Our team know the city’s coworking scape like the back of their hands and will point you in the right direction. We can offer free consults for companies and teams too. We’re here to help you find your ideal workplace match.