“Am I neglecting my child because of my work?” if a thought like that keeps entering your mind because of which you are not able to concentrate either on your work or on your child , then you are definitely suffering from “mother’s guilt”. It’s a feeling when you crown yourself as the worst mother in the world, thinking you are not doing enough for your kid as you are a working mom. It is seen that after the birth of a child, sometimes a woman relinquishes her desire to become a professionally accomplished person as bringing up her little one becomes the top priority. Nothing wrong with that, but the problem arises when the same woman resumes her work but finds it difficult to strike a balance between job and home. To top it all, the unsaid rules and the conventional views of our society which lay the onus to bring up a child mostly on woman’s shoulder , if not carried out properly, makes her guilty.
This sense of guilt is often more for work-at home mother who often finds herself in a catch-22 situation when both the business and the kids demands her undivided attention. Talk to any mompreneur and she’ll tell you that one of the biggest challenges she face is to juggle between the role of a parent and businesswoman, trying to create a proper harmony between both. VLCC healthcare founder, Vandana Luthra’s own admission, “….every day was a challenge. From a young bubbly teenager, to a wife, to a mother, to a daughter-in-law, to being a good daughter, you’ve always got to prove a point”, describes aptly how a mother feel responsible to justify every role expected out of her and in spite of doing her best sometimes have to wrestle with a guilty conscience if things don’t fall into place. “A mother is supposed to do this, she is supposed to do that” but suppose if not able to, she is the one who feels sorry for not living up to her child’s expectations.
Mothers, now let me take you on a trip, where through the following remedies you will be able to overcome your guilt trip.
Be realistic in your parenting style
Blame it on media or the society in general which has raised the bar to be a ”perfect parent” so high that in order to reach it mothers have actually forgotten to enjoy motherhood. To tell you the truth there is nothing like perfect parenting, instead if your style of parenting is working fine for you and your kid, in my opinion that is the ideal parenting. Remember that parenting should foster a sense of enjoyment rather than putting pressure on your mind or body.
One of my mompreneur friends involves her daughter in arranging her collection of artificial jewellery before she showcases them to the clients which is win-win situation for both as mother gets time to chit-chat with her daughter while working and the child too enjoy her mother’s company. That’s her MO of parenting in which she makes sure she is not neglecting her child.Another mompreneur I know takes her son’s help to paint the motifs which she designs on the bed sheets meant for children. According to her it’s an interesting way to combine work and childcare, making her free from not only the guilt pangs but encourages her son’s creativity also. Must say an innovative way of parenting. Some tag their children along with them while shopping for the work-related supplies thereby ensuring they have enough time to listen to kids while on the go, yet others wait to complete their work only after their children go to sleep.Whatever way you choose, if your responsibility towards your work is met and your kids feel loved, blessed and wanted, then consider yourself both a successful mother and a business woman.
But remember not to go overboard in order to prove yourself as a flawless mother because sometimes if demands are not met, trust me you will be asking for trouble. So it’s not mandatory to see them off to school or receive them from bus stop if at that time you are meeting your client. Similarly, it’s not written in any parenting book that to be a superb parent you have to read them a bedtime story before kissing them goodnight if at night you want to work to meet work-related deadline. Come to think of it my mother never did these still I adore her and so will your kids even if you don’t follow these rituals. As long as you are able to differentiate responsible parenting from hyper-parenting, discipline from pampering, willingness from obligation, quality of time spend with your kids rather than quantity, trust me you will turn out as a good parent.
Think why you choose to be a mompreneur
Obviously you became one only after you became mother. So if you can show the mettle to take a plunge into setting your own venture then you might as well show the grit to stick to your decision by not feel guilty, if at times you are unable to fulfill your motherly duties.
Dear mothers, there will be times when you won’t be able to play with your kid, let him watch television for an extra hour so that you finish your work and might miss one or two school functions; all of which could make you a criminal in his parlance, thereby shaking your self-confidence but come to think of it there’s a limit to which you can push yourself. If you accept that you can’t don the cap of supermom all the time, you won’t fret over these trivial issues.
Have faith in yourself and the choices you make because being a mompreneur can sometimes be very demanding especially if your start-up is getting off the ground which consumes much of your time and attention but remember, if your work keeps you sane and infuse a new confidence in you then there is nothing wrong with that. In fact your children will benefit immensely if you lead them by setting yourself as an example. Read my blog “how mompreneurs can influence kids” which throws the light on same.
Personally speaking, a trick which keeps me motivated in my weak moments is to read the success stories of other mompreneurs. Trust me most of them too suffer from mommy’s guilt but keep themselves going by reassuring that whatever they are doing needs be done for their happiness and satisfaction which in return will benefit the whole family.
Have a right approach
If taking the first step towards entrepreneurship is difficult, to keep it running smoothly is equally challenging. It becomes all the more overbearing for mothers who run business from home as she has to take care of both work and her child. To maintain equilibrium a mompreneur should find solution to the problem instead of sulking. 24 hours in a day is not a less time, what you require is its proper scheduling. My blog “Time-Management tips for working mothers” advices you how to. With proper organization and effective utilization of time you can not only finish your task on time but have enough quality time to spend with your kid.
Secondly, make a separate office in your home where you can work religiously and meet your clients only there which will add a touch of professionalism in your work. This small step will make your child also realize that when his mother is in her office she should not be disturbed. Thirdly, keep your family updated with the nature of your work. Try talking to your kid and make him understand that his mommy’s work is also important and if he let you work uninterrupted then you would be able to finish it fast and spend more time with him. Alternatively, make sure all his demands and needs are met before you get down to work so that he won’t get an opportunity to disturb you.
Last but not the least, keep telling your kid how much you love him and he remains your priority. After all, one of the reasons you became a mompreneur is to have more disposable time in your hands for your child.
The other day I was reading an interview about Rajshree Pathy, an eminent entrepreneur, also known as sugar baron, where she said,” During the setting up of the factory, I didn’t see my children wake up… had to push my daughter to attend boarding school.” She further adds,” When they needed me urgently, I cancelled my meetings abroad; took the first flight back and rushed to attend to them. They slowly understood how and why their mother worked so hard.” These words surmises that it’s only the inner strength and the right outlook which will guides you in your trying times and won’t let you get intimidated by the idea of managing both work and family.