Moms Who Work Have Finally Stopped Feeling Guilty About It

Mom Moment 27

off to workIs working-mom guilt finally going the way of the stegosaurus? A new survey of 1,000 moms from dual-career households suggests it might be! What a relief -- it looks like we're finding balance in our lives, or at least not worrying too much about that balance.

So here's the scoop from, who conducted that survey: Half of the moms said that work makes them "a good role model" for their kids. Sixty-four percent of the moms say that work doesn't interfere with good parenting. And 8 out of 10 of the moms say they enjoy being a working parent. In other words, it sounds like we actually feel more than okay about juggling work and childcare. Gotta say, just hearing this news is erasing the last traces of mommy guilt I still have. Guess why moms feel this way?

I think it may have to do with the amount of support we get at home from our guys: 77 percent of working moms say their partner participates in child-rearing, and 69 percent say their partner supports their career goals. More and more dads are doing their share at home. What a difference that makes.

Witness! I wouldn't feel nearly as confident about juggling work and parenting if it weren't for my husband. He has the more flexible career, so he's the one who handles school drop-off and pick-up and cooks dinner most weeknights. Plus, he thinks what I do for a living is pretty damn cool -- and tells me so often. And he thinks I'm pretty. But that's irrelevant to this story here.

This doesn't make him special -- I mean, yes, it does make him special to me -- but this is the way many other dads my age behave. In dual-career households, I see dads trading off home responsibilities with moms like it ain't no big thing. I think it's pretty clear: Working-mom guilt dies when dads do their share at home. Period.

Now, when we start hearing dads expressing "working-dad guilt" more often, then we'll really know we've made progress!

Do you have working-mom guilt?


Image via Fil.Al/Flickr

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Stacey. Stacey.

I work and my hubby stays home. I think I have no guilt becasue my daughter gets to stay home. If she had to go to daycare, I dont think I would like it so much.

ashjo85 ashjo85

I wouldn't call mine guilt, but envy. My husband is staying home with our two kids, but I have to admit...I'd rather be with them. Unfortunately, I'm the one with the college degree and the higher earning power, so that's the way it is.

nonmember avatar Brooke

I recently made the switch to becoming a sahm and I think that each side feels a little guilt at some point. While working I felt guilty that I was missing important moments and now staying home I sometimes feel guilty that our budget is tighter. I say just feel confident with whatever choice is right for YOUR situation!

Torra... TorranceMom

Guilt is an emotion people feel when they've done something wrong. If working moms are feeling guilty, the easiest way for them to deal with that guilt is to change their behavior. If that isn't possible, these gals should embrace their decisions and move on.

@ Working moms

If you are being 100% honest and you know you're giving parenting your all, you have no reason to feel guilty. Don't let people rent space in your head and don't buy into anyone's guilt trip.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

How depressing. Frankly I think most of them are lying however. I know a lot of working mothers who spout the usual lines about how working makes them a better mother and how being in daycare for most of their waking hours is just so good for their kids but if you spend more than a few minutes talking abut the subject they all eventually admit that they feel guilty about not being there for their kids. I suspect the majority of people who were saying they didn't feel guilty actually meant that they felt society is telling them they shouldn't feel guilty but they actually do feel guilty because they know they're doing something wrong. If we just told women that it's OK to feel guilty for not being moms to their kids then maybe they wouldn't feel pressured to do other things and they'd be more comfortable raising their kids.

emmas... emmasmama2007

I'm a working mom, and don't feel guilty. I spend mornings and nights and Sundays with my children. I provide for them, my hubby supports me, he's going to school and works too, and shares housework with me. The kids are happy and healthy, we're doing alright.

emmas... emmasmama2007

Also being a working mom, makes me no less of a mom, and how can working to help provide for your children be wrong?

sweet... sweetcherry_59

@RhondaVeggie you are a vile woman. I'm a working mother and I wouldn't change it for anything. My child is happy and so am I so who are you to judge? I really wish you would stay off of these working mom threads with your hate and stupidity. Everyone chooses to live their lives differently and nothing makes you the expert on how the rest of us should live.

tinyp... tinypossum

RhondaVeggie, I am amazed that three people got here ahead of you before you got your working mom bash in. You're slowing down, girl!

I work. I always have. I do not feel guilty about it. I am a great mother and my kids are happy, well-adjusted, healthy, smart, and well-socialized. I know some people are jealous and inferior of mothers who work and like to try to make themselves feel better by belittilng others, but that's just noise. We all know that quantity doesn't equal quality. 

lawliss lawliss

RhondaVeggie - I'm sorry you feel that way about moms that choose to work or (shockingly I know) have to work outside the home in order to support their children.  Women, like me (I'm a lawyer), work outside the home and are moms at the same time and most of us wouldn't have it any other way then that. Some women in this day and age have to work outside the home in order to make ends meet - the economy has tanked and two incomes are so much more necessary then one.  I also think it's really sad that, in a time when the feminist movement allowed women to make the choice as to whether to stay at home or go into the workforce into any position that they were suited/qualified to (whether as a doctor or as a factory worker or a teacher - whatever), that our fellow women can't support that choice (whether we would have made that choice for ourselves or not).  It's sad and it's shameful quite frankly.  While YOU might have made the choice to stay home, that choice should not be forced upon other women, who are successful at both working outside the home and being moms at the same time.  

There are a lot of books out there that can provide you with the arguments that I have presented. Start with The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan and,perhaps, Second Stirrings (in which the author interviewed a ton of women about the impact that The Feminine Mystique had on their lives).  It would definitely give you a different perspective on things. 


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