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Feeling Guilty about going to Work

Question: Sometimes I feel guilty about being a working mom. Do you ever feel working mom guilt and how do you deal with it? - Lisa

Answer: We've all had those moments when you get sent on a business trip during the week of your daughters dance recital or a project deadline causes your children to go to bed without their mother's kiss and bedtime story.

The pang of guilt is like a little dart of reality that hits our heart and we wonder if we should be doing as much as we do whether it's work, time at the gym or perhaps just reading a book on the couch. When these times hit, focus on all the gifts you are giving your children through your work. Your commitment to work is setting a foundation for your children's future work ethic. Your time away from the home is giving your child the opportunity to be more independent, which means greater self-confidence. Next time you feel bad about working late, focus on the gifts rather than the guilt.

It would be easy for me to say, don't feel guilty but every working mom I know occasionally has these feelings. I was commuting from South Florida to Denver every week for almost a year when I had a 3 month old, 4 year old, 3 year old and 2 year old. Although it was only for four days, it was weekly and came with a lot of guilt. I tried to do things that would keep me connected with my children like leaving notes, taping myself reading stories and calling.

Sometimes I think we forget what miracles we pull off nearly everyday. We juggle work, family, personal relationships and manage to slip in a few minutes for ourselves every now and then. It's a huge accomplishment. I like to remind myself that guilt is a negative feeling. Nothing positive comes from feeling that way.

One of little things you can do is every day when you get home from work, make the reunion with your children a special time. Spend a few minutes together without thinking about what's for dinner or the fact that there is a pile of laundry to be done.