Becoming a parent was easy, becoming an entrepreneurial parent was where the hard work kicked in and the what seem like never ending criticisms began. Those self employed parents will know full well the extreme ‘guilt’ that sometimes comes with running a business AND maintaining a household and that guilt doesn’t go away easily.
We’ve all been in the firing line – this is wrong, so is that, you can’t do that and they will do this (blah blah blah). Quite frankly, I have had enough of the “how on earth can you stay at home whilst your child is at nursery?”, “You should consider yourself lucky that you can stay at home with your child, yet you choose not too?!” comments. What happened to 21st century parenting? There is no ‘one size fits all’ parenting model that we should all be following.
Don’t be afraid to smash the glass ceiling of ‘conventional roles’
The rules have changed on the way this generation is run. Stay at home mums are no longer the norm with dads and even grandparents becoming the ‘stay at home’ caregivers for their children – in fact, in 2014 alone, it was estimated that 1.9 million dads in the USA, were the main caregivers of their children (that’s 16%!).
Now that’s not to say that as an entrepreneurial mum, your partner should be expected to be the stay at home parent, we know it can’t always work out that way but for others to expect that ‘being a mum’ is our role within the household, is a very dated way of thinking.
Know your limits
Shock horror but we are more adaptable that you think. Everyone has their own limit and only you know how much work you can handle before it starts interfering with your personal life. The truth is, it will always feel a little like a balancing act and that when that one Jenga block is pulled out from beneath you – it can all come crashing down in a flood of stress, self doubt and of course…guilt.
The truth of the matter is, as long as you know your limits, ensure your time is well balanced and you can still provide time for your child(ren), yourself and your business, there is no reason for you to feel guilty for your chosen career path.
You are a role-model
You may not currently feel like it and whether you child(ren) are older or younger, you are always going to be impressionable and a natural role model within their lives. Studies show that daughters of mothers’ who work enjoy better careers and a 4% higher pay than those raised by those who do not work. Shouldn’t that count for something?
They’ll be having the time of their lives
Truth be told, whether your child(ren) are at nursery, a childminders or being cared for by a friend or family member, you can be pretty sure that they are having the time of their lives without a care in the world. There should be no reason for you to feel guilty that you are leaving them behind or that in some way you are halting their chance for growth or a bond with you as no matter where they are – as long as they are cared for, they will thrive.
Remember, you are creating a wonderful life for your child(ren) and all your hard work will pay off. Being a working mum, does not mean you are not spending quality time with your child but instead, you are providing a safe, healthy and sustainable environment for them to flourish.
Kick the ass of that mum guilt, once and for all!