So I had an interesting conversation with a fellow working mother the other day as we were at the park with out children. She mentioned that lately she had become very busy with work and I had said that I had done the same. We both admitted that we were secretly thrilled that business was going so well and, at the same time, we were also feeling guilty that we enjoyed the work that we were doing.
Now how silly is that, you may ask? To feel guilty about doing something that you like? For some reason, though, mothers whom work either feel guilty that they have to work or they feel guilty that they actually enjoy what it is they are doing! This is why the experts will tell you that guilt is a useless emotion. You can´t really win.
The mother I spoke with said several things were making her feel guilty, and many of these hit home with me as well. She felt bad when she had so much work to do that she had to hire a sitter at times. She felt guilty that her other friends, those that stayed at home without working, focused all of their time and energy on their family and themselves while she focused part of her energy on work, part on family, part on the house. She felt scattered, she said, something that I´m sure all working mothers have felt at one time or the other. Finally, she said that she felt guilty that she actually enjoyed the escape that work provided. "I hated what I used to do before staying at home and working from home. Now, I love what I do, and that makes me feel bad!" She said she felt as though she should be angry that she has to work but instead she looks forward to that time. And then, of course, she looks forward to when it ends and she can return to her children.
I´ve written about guilt in previous posts, but this is one of my favorites: http://www.allbusiness.com/specialty-businesses/women-owned-businesses/11535-1.html?postId=4191. If you are feeling guilty about working, take a look at the tips that Natalie Gahrmann, a Success Coach and Author, wrote about. And remember, you shouldn´t feel guilty for doing something that you love. You´ll be a better parent in the long run if you are following your dreams, even if that means that you are working.