Combat working mom guilt - Business Savvy Mama

Combat Working Mom Guilt Like a Pro

Let’s chat working mom guilt.

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Mom guilt something that I dealt with since I became a mother. I have always worked since I had my kids. I stayed home for about 14 weeks with my first son. When I went back to work and had three different part-time jobs during the first year of his life. So I totally get the working mom guilt thing.

I’ve developed a couple of strategies because I believe that kids need us. But I also believe there is something to be learned in learning patience or maybe even a little boredom.

Today’s podcast episode helps all you mamas out there feeling like you can’t ever get anything done because the minute you start to write an email or unload the dishwasher, a tiny human starts crying that they need your attention. The tips I share help the mamas who can problem solve for the fits and tears before they happen…and who can work on a healthy mindset about what your child can learn by playing independently.

For tips for getting kids to entertain themselves, click here to check out my
Independence Skills for Independent Kids system.

Up until now, you may have tried asking them to play quietly or told them you needed some space without actually creating a plan for spending quality time either before or after you work.

My tactics may be different from what you’ve tried in the past because they require a bit of pre-planning…both in your work schedule and in your thinking around how you will confront those guilty feelings that creep up when your kids are crying but you need to get work done.

If you implement these steps you will start to create confidence in your kid’s ability to play independently. AND your ability to work (even if it is just for short periods of time). You’ll feel much less of that mom guilt because you are actually building quality time with your kids into your schedule.

Creating a routine around when you work helps everyone know what to expect when mom needs to work. You’ll hear me say this a lot…kids and adults love structure and routine.

Another fun fact, you benefit by getting work done and spending quality time with your kids. Your kids will benefit by spending quality time with you and learning some independent play skills…what’s not to love. Here are three of my strategies for combatting working mom guilt like a pro.

Start with Quality Time

First, start out your work session with some quality time with your child before your quality time for work. This helps to assuage any mom guilt because you know you’ve spent time with your kids. If you’ve got younger kids, start out by having them pick out to short books or an easy game. You’ll read or play with them. Then say “all right, Mommy needs to work now and when we get done we can do something else.”

Spending quality time before takes the working mom guilt off the plate because, ta-da, you already have spent some time with your kids. Start with short activities that might take like 15 or 20 minutes prior to your work session. This will help to tamper those guilty feelings of taking time to do the work that you need to do.

And that “work” doesn’t need to be sitting at a computer and answering emails. That work might be putting away laundry or I’m cleaning the bathroom. You can totally use the same sort of tactic of starting out with intentional time one-on-one time with the kids. And then move into your work, whatever that looks like.

Give Them a Carrot

My next tip is offering them a carrot…Try saying “if you give me the time I need to get this work done, then we will do something you want to do.” Like we will go on a bike ride. Or we will go to the park. Or we will do something that will take a little bit more time.

This works really well if you have analog clocks in your house. As a professional organizer, I often encouraged my clients to have analog clocks. They really help for kids (and adults) to see the passage of time better. In this instance, you say to them “if you give me till a certain time, we will do something that you want to do.” Then you are able to point to the clock and say “the big hand is on the three. If you give me to work until the big hand is on the 12, we will take a bike ride.

Analog clocks give a visual way to see this passage of time. It helps to know when they’re going to get that thing you are offering them. This tactic can also buy you time for work that you’re doing in your house.

Boredom is Good for Kids

My final tip for tamping down mom guilt while you’re trying to be productive is that boredom is actually good for kids. And I know that that sounds crazy to think about but it actually encourages problem solving and creativity. The idea that you have to be 24/7 available to meet the entertainment needs of your kids just isn’t true. And there are plenty of studies to back this up.

A 2014 study from the University of Michigan observed how kids react to having more options to play with and guided play versus less options and independent play. They found when they gave kids fewer toys and allowed them to play independently, it encouraged problem solving and creativity. Because it forces them to exercise those brain muscles.

And the same is true if you are trying to be productive and get stuff done around your house. Telling kids they need to go figure out for themselves what they want to play with is a great way for them to create those neurological pathways. It allows their brain to be creative and to solve problems. Don’t feel like you have to spoon feed your kids entertainment every single day…Especially if you are trying to be productive.

How will you pre-plan to combat working mom guilt? What are your techniques for creating healthy mindset around working in front of kids? Share below to help a mama who may need your strategy. 😀


Grab my free mini-course “10 Tips for Working While Kids are Home” here!

Want more support around time management, productivity, and working mom mindset? Join my free Early Morning Moms Facebook Group.

Working Mom Mindset - Mom Guilt

How I Flip the Script on Mom Guilt

Mom guilt is real.

Like for real, real. But recently I started to reframe this working mom guilt I had in a more positive light. I can tell you that my husband does not feel guilty about working. So why should I feel guilty about setting aside time to work on my business or work with clients when my kids are around?

That’s what prompted me to explore reasons why I love the idea that my kids see me working from home. You can watch or read below…

1. I want them to see an entrepreneur

My kids know I wake up early. They see me working on my laptop when they sneak out of their beds at night. They know I work hard at my business because they see it day in and day out. But they also see that my dedication pays off. I love that they can see the return on my investment in hard work. And that when they grow up, if they have an idea for a business, hard work and dedication can lead them to their own successful business doing something they love.

2. Every day is “Take Your Kids to Work” day

It’s not just one day a year that they get to see what I do or learn about the different aspects of my job. It’s nearly every day. I can teach them about editing podcasts or videos. We talk about how marketing works (and why we won’t let it work to buy that toy they want. 🤣) I demonstrate time management (some days better than others) because I have “work” hours and “family” hours. Every time I work in front of my kids is a chance to teach them a skill they could use in the future or inspire them to learn more.

3. It teaches them patience

As a work from home entrepreneur, there are times when mama’s just gotta work. I can’t settle every little argument or drop everything to play race cars. And that’s ok. I make time for these things. I’m more intentional with the time I spend with them because I focus on being present during “family time”. Teaching them to wait or hold on has had great benefits. They can entertain themselves like no other 6 and 8-year old I know. They know if I say “when the big hand gets to the top, we’ll go to the park” that I am true to my word. Trust me, there is no accountability like a 6-year-old who knows there’s a park visit in his future. They learn to give me space, respect my work hours, and we enjoy our time together when mommy’s work is done.

Do you struggle with mom guilt? Do you have a strategy for keeping it at bay? I’d love to hear more about how you balance working mom life with family mom life in the comments below.


Grab my free mini-course “10 Tips for Working While Kids are Home” here!

Want more support around time management, productivity, and working mom mindset? Join my free Early Morning Moms Facebook Group.