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The Guilt Trip

Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Author: Business Consultants, Inc.

The Guilt Trip

Women have been taking extra trips back and forth the guilt lane. They want to work in a job that they enjoy. At the same time, they want to take care of their kids and family. When at work, women feel guilty leaving their kids crying at the nursery or not caring for their aging parents. While at home, they are worried they might be letting their teams or their boss down. It is a constant feeling of never-ending guilt.

7 Ways to Mitigate Working Mothers Guilt-Trips 1

In her book Forget Having It All, author and journalist Amy Westervelt sums up the working mom dilemma: "We expect women to work like they don't have children, and raise children as if they don't work." 2 To handle this, women need:

1. Accept Reality
Accept the fact that you are a working mother. You have a career, and at the same time, you are a mother. It might seem like common sense. However, the guilt struggle indicates a lack of understanding or acceptance. Being a working mother means that there will be times when you will miss some functions related to your kids and others related to work or career. It is an inevitable fact. Accepting it will help you ground yourself more and stop asking for the impossible.

2. Forgive Yourself
Forgive yourself. Don’t beat yourself up when you miss some school event or when you have to run home early to take care of your child. There are times when you will slip or miss something. Pat yourself on the back. You are doing a good job. Beating yourself up for missed events will not serve you nor your roles. It will lead to low self-esteem, thus lowering your energy and your nurturing powers.

3. Skip the Perfectionism
You don't have to be perfect! You don't have to be the best! Raising the bar higher and higher is not only unrealistic but also leads to your guilt turning into shame as you try to juggle all those unrealistic expectations in vain. Make sure the expectations and goals you set for yourself are realistic enough for your time and roles.

4. Ask for Help
Don't wait for people to offer you help. Don't expect people to guess your needs. Ask for help from friends and family as you see appropriate. Invest in service if you need some house help or equipment that might help you with your time.

5. Give Yourself Time
Some women might view giving themselves as a waste of it! They might think that they are running out of time, and it is better to invest it at work or with their families rather than waste it on themselves. However, a happy woman is a happy mother and a happy employee. Taking of yourself will help you do your roles more effectively. Those 30 minutes at the spa, or that 20 minutes’ walk out in the fresh air. Those activities help you keep your inner balance and release stress.

6. Quit Comparing
What other women are doing has nothing to do with you. Every woman comes with her bundle of values and priorities. Do not drag yourself into comparison, as it will lead to further guilt and shame. Don't allow others to pull you into comparison, either.

7. Be in the Here and the Now
It is easy to get distracted during a meeting with that function you are missing at your kid's school. As you watch your child play tennis, you might miss those few aims at the ball as your mind wanders to that meeting you had to skip. Your distraction leads to missing both, as you are not fully present at the moment. Focusing on the here and the now helps you make the most of the event you are attending, thus fully grasping, and enjoying the moment you’re actually in.

In the end, you will sometimes make mistakes, for you are a human being. Learn from the process, and move on. What matters most is enjoying your roles and making the most out of them.


1Margie Warrell, June 2013, Letter to working mothers: stop feeling guilty, Forbes, Accessed 9 August 2021,
2 Sheryl G. Zeigler, Sep 2020, How to Let Go of Working-Mom Guilt, Harvard Business Review, Accessed 9 August 2021,


For more about this topic, download our latest book "One Woman Two Jobs" for FREE:

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