3 Ways to Overcome Working Parent-Guilt
As I write this, I watch my almost seven-year-old eat her dinner while I am at the dinner table next to her, typing and finishing up work. Do I feel guilty for not engaging after a long day? Absolutely. But my job is essential, and so is she. Ever since she was born, I have felt a strong urge to do it all. Have a career, make deadlines, finish college, and be a great mother and wife. There is no book written to show me how to be exactly the parent I need to be and there sure isn't a book on how to be a working parent with my child and my job. The guilt eats me alive some days, but I have figured out some ways to decrease this guilt over the years.
Three ways to cope with the guilt of not living up to your standards as a working parent:
Make it a point to be present and listen to your child.
Spending some time inquiring about their day, what they ate for lunch, or if they made a new friend that day can be a great way to increase your presence in their life. The child may enjoy discussing their day with you. It also helps you stay informed about what is happening in their daily life.
Show interest in their interests.When your child seems to have a new or current interest, it may be beneficial to do some research or ask about the topic. It gives you time to figure out what your child finds motivating, and you learn about the person they are becoming or want to become.
Forgive yourselfGive yourself a break. Life is by no means any easier when being or becoming a parent. There will be missed opportunities, but we learn from them and move on. It is also a skill you can teach your child; to be forgiving.
Every day is different, every child is different, and every parent is different. But we all have one thing in common regarding being a working parent: Guilt.
If you have been struggling with the guilt of not being the parent you want to be or are struggling with anything else that you can’t seem to get unstuck from one of the many clinicians at Lifeologie are able to help.
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