Ask the experts

How do I stop feeling guilty about going back to work and putting my child in childcare?

 ina Hill is a life coach, NLP Practitioner and occupational therapist with over 8 years coaching experience.  Nina has run her own coaching practice since 2004 and specialises in personal and business owner coaching.  After having her daughter, Nina realised that there was little to support the needs of mothers themselves.  She now focuses on helping mothers deal with the emotions and overcome the challenges involved with being a mum and helps them to make positive and lasting change in their lives.  

Q. How do I stop feeling guilty about going back to work and putting my child in childcare?

When we become mothers we often feel emotions that we hardly ever experienced before having a baby or if we did they are now much stronger.

Guilt is a common emotion felt by many mothers and is often related to what we are thinking about/focussing on when we are feeling guilty.  In relation to work and feeling guilty about leaving your child with a child carer you may be focussing on what the child is missing out on by not being with you or perhaps that you are actually enjoying the time away from you child.

Remember this - Being a mum just adds to who you are already and what you are capable of!

Lets consider a few ways that may help you to deal with the feeling of guilt.

The first is to consider what your child is gaining by being in childcare.

S/he is learning social and physical skills and exploring new environments.

S/he is learning to be flexible, as things are being done differently to at home.

S/he is being exposed to illnesses, which will boost her/his immunity.

S/he is doing activities that s/he probably would not be doing in the home environment.

You may be happier and more relaxed for a number of reasons

Having a break away from the fulltime responsibility of having a child

Being able to pursue your career/business goals

Just being able to have adult time or “Me” time.

Your child also gains from your working/having time away from them

A happier mummy

A mummy that doesn’t resent their child for stopping their career

Having to focus on work may make us more organised again – mummy brain and having children can sometimes make you feel very disorganised.  Having a routine and some order can often help a child to feel secure.

S/he learns about the changing roles in our society i.e. that it isn’t just men that can have a career.

It may enable your family to have more of a disposable income for holidays together etc.

If you are a working mom, find a way to have quality time with your child every day (it does not have to be hours at a time).  This way they are getting the attention from you that they need and you are able to participate in their lives and find out what they learnt during their day in childcare.

A final thought:  As a parent we often feel guilty about things that our children just take in their stride.  If you are finding that you are still feeling guilty and are concerned by these emotions please feel free to contact me directly from the comfort of your home phone - see below to book a call 

Q. How do I stop feeling resentment towards my child for loss of career opportunities/freedom?

When we become mothers we often feel emotions that we hardly ever experienced before having a baby or if we did they are now much stronger.

Resentment is a common emotion felt by many mothers and is often related to what we are thinking about/focussing on when we are feeling resentful.  If you are feeling resentful about the affect having a child has had on your career/business, you may be focussing on what you are missing out on or have lost.  This may be a loss of freedom, career opportunities or even the affect on your relationship.

The way to deal with this is to turn your focus to what you have gained.  Some examples of what you may have gained might be …

A reason to work fewer hours/days and then have the freedom to do what you would like on your days off.

Opportunities may present themselves e.g. changing the focus of your business/career.

A renewed focus/reason for making your business work or enjoying your job.

The opportunity to make new friends

How else has having a baby been beneficial to you? Make a list of all the positive and happy feelings having a baby has brought you and read it back to yourself whenever you may be feeling negative.

If you are finding that you are still feeling resentment and wish to talk to someone about it please feel free to contact me directly from the comfort of your home phone . 

Q. I don’t feel confident about returning to work/How do I increase my confidence?

Mothers often feel that they have lost their skills to do a job while on maternity leave.  In most industries the job or skill set would not have changed so much that your previous skills are no longer relevant, so this should not be a problem.  It is often that you are just out of practice using those skills and that may affect your confidence.

Think about it this way.  When you go on holiday it can sometimes take a few days to get back into the swing of things and then it feels like you were never away.  Think about your maternity leave in this way – it is a slightly longer holiday than usual and that you just need time to get back on track.

Being a mum also adds skills to our bag which can be used in the work place ...

It may not feel like it, but you probably manage your time better or you get more done in a day.  It is just the task type that has changed.

You may be used to juggling more that one task at a time, making you more efficient.

Having a child can also make you more flexible. 

What can you do to boost your confidence?

Ask someone you trust at work to help you ease back into things e.g. remind you of procedures etc.

Spend a couple of hours at work, before you are due to restart, to familiarise yourself with things again.  Just make sure that the hours spent at work don’t affect your maternity pay, as there is a limited amount of time you can spend at work while on maternity leave.

Remind yourself of all the skills you have gained by being a mum.

Stand tall.  Literally by changing your posture you can change the way you feel inside.  Just the physical changes your body goes through in pregnancy and what it can do to your posture can affect confidence, never mind all the emotional stuff that comes with being a mum.

Pamper/Treat yourself – buy yourself a new smart outfit. Looking good can help to make us feel good and indeed confident

 

 

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