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5 ways to Deal with Working Parent Guilt

In this modern day and age where it seems like more families are choosing to have both parents in the workforce, a common struggle that is creeping into the forefront of many parents’ minds is the guilt of being a working parent.

Regardless of gender, either parent might feel some guilt at leaving their children in another person’s care, no matter how reputable that person or organisation might be.

No matter the reason for returning to the workforce, whether it is out of necessity or simply the desire to further one’s career. Feelings of guilt- although hard to avoid, are very much redundant.

In this supportive community at SmileTutor, we are here to tell you- chin up Mom or Dad! A happy parent is a better parent and on that note, we would love to offer you some tips on how to manage the pesky guilt of being a working parent.

Communicate with Your Children:

If you have older children at home, perhaps it would be good to open a line of communication with them about why it is necessary for both parents to be part of the workforce.

If it is for more personal reasons, like career advancement, this would be a good opportunity for parents to take the time to show their children that it is more than acceptable to be defined by more than just parenthood. Maintaining your career or a strong personal life outside of the home might be one of the ways to show your kids that you are more than just a parent!

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After all, before having your children, you were a fully formed person in your own right, and maintaining that autonomy will do wonders for your mental health, especially as your children get older and more independent.

Regardless of the situation, it always helps to maintain open communication with your children. Explain why you work and the importance of your job. Reassure them of your love and commitment.

Hold space for your children’s unique feelings, and encourage them to share their feelings and concerns as well. After all, you are your children’s first role model, and exhibiting a healthy relationship with personal growth and improvement will encourage your children to follow suit.

Focus on Quality Time:

With the limited time that you have at home, after work or on weekends, it is important to set aside time for the family. Make the most of the time you have with your children by being fully present and engaged. When spending time with your children, avoid multitasking, whether it is doing housework, personal tasks or taking work emails or calls.

During moments of quality time, it is important to make your family feel like a priority. It also helps show your family that quality time is more important than the quantity of time spent together.

That being said, quality time with the family does not always have to be some fancy affair. While is important to treat yourself and your family every now and then with an outing, these activities can be draining for your energy level (and not to mention your wallet!)

Quality time can be simply spent at home, preparing a home-cooked meal together or even having a phone-free movie night.

Establish Routines and Rituals:

For younger children, it is good to establish a sense of routine that they can be comfortable with so that no matter what happens through the course of the day, they know that Mom and Dad will always be present for said routine.

Create routines and rituals that you can consistently participate in, such as family dinners or bedtime routines. Predictable routines can provide a sense of stability and connection.

Carving out a specific time in the day or week for designated family time can also show your children the importance of scheduling, and having an organised life.

If you can be home in time for dinner, perhaps make it a habit that you and your family can have dinner together nightly. Dinner time is a great opportunity for the family to talk about their day, sharing anecdotes or challenges in a relaxed manner.

If evenings are a bit more of a challenge for you, think about what you can do with your children in the mornings! Perhaps commuting with them to school, or helping them with their morning routine to give them a good head start on the day.

Prioritize Self-Care:

Take care of your physical and mental well-being. While it is easy to get swept up in the chores and stresses of everyday life, it is just as important to set aside time for yourself. Whether it is an extra 30 minutes to catch up on the latest K-drama episode, or an hour at the gym, it is important to have a small pocket in the day for you to just indulge.

When you prioritize self-care, you’re better equipped to handle stress and guilt. Placing emphasis on taking care of yourself also signals to your children that taking care of yourself is an integral part of a healthy and wholesome life.

Remember that taking care of yourself is not something to be ashamed of, or an inherently selfish act. It is also beneficial for your family.

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Delegate and Seek Support:

Last but not least, outsource where you can! Delegate tasks when possible and seek support from your partner, family members, or friends. Share responsibilities at home to alleviate the pressure and create a more balanced environment.

If you need some me-time, perhaps ask your spouse to pick up the kids from school. If date night is the priority that evening, call in a babysitter, or rely on your in-laws to watch the kids.

If you are worried about their studies and might not have the time to monitor your children’s homework, reach out to us over at SmileTutor! We have a wide range of tutors for every subject that you can think of.

For the busy working parent, you no longer have to worry about shuffling your children off to tuition centres, or worrying about pickup and drop off time. SmileTutor offers a range of tuition mediums, including home tuition services!

We hope that this article helps you to find some peace of mind while dealing with the guilt of being a parent. Remember, your best is always enough!

Elizabeth Laurel

A young multidisciplinary artist in the performing and literary art, Elizabeth Laurel enjoys writing plays and poetry and has graduated with a Diploma in Performance from LASALLE College of the Arts. She writes across many mediums, some of her plays being created in conjunction with Theatreworks. Besides plays, she also has work ranging from creative fiction to entertainment journalism.