Working Mom’s Insecurities Towards Newborn Baby, Ways to Manage Feeling of Guilt
Created by Shikha Batra Updated on Jan 08, 2020
Do newborn babies suffer when mothers return to work? Motherhood is a demanding, exhausting and a challenging task which involves constant combinations and permutations to find out what works best for your child. No one is prepared for life with the little one, especially the working mothers who need to make significant social and personal adjustments to be able to balance their home and work life. They experience high levels of stress as they juggle work, family and children's responsibilities. The self-criticism is so critical that they keep judging and comparing themselves with other moms for their choices. The feeling of guilt and self-doubt becomes a constant struggle to deal with and insecurities never leave them. Despite their doubts, failures, guilt and insecurities, the working moms do an amazing job striking a balance between the demanding career and managing their homes besides taking care of their children every day.
The first challenge that the working mothers face once their maternity leave is over is to deal with the guilt feeling while leaving their newborn baby with the extended family members. This guilt accompanied with fear is so overpowering that it becomes a struggle for them to focus on work in the initial few days .
Here are some of the common concerns of a working mother and how to deal with those. Read below.
Will I not be able to fill my most primal role as a mother of breastfeeding my baby?
Once the maternity leave is about to come to an end, all the efforts of a mother in her plan to exclusively breastfeed her baby seem to fail. Sleepless nights, the pressure of waking up early the next day to go to work, tiredness, the guilt of being unable to produce enough milk for the baby take a serious toll on mother's health. This is when she decides to supplement or get completely dependent on formula milk which adds to her disappointment and worsens her guilt feeling of not being able to breastfeed the baby. By expressing her milk and storing it for the extended family members to feed the baby whenever he/she is hungry, could liberate the mother from guilt.
Will I miss the milestones of my baby?
The first smile, first word and first crawl, first step have always been the special milestones amongst others for any mother . It is truly ecstatic to watch and capture those very first moments for her as looking back on those memories brings a smile on her face and can be cherished forever. It would be almost unpardonable for her if she misses those Big Firsts because she was at work. Capturing those moments by video recording or making a video call to the mother or even taking pics during that very special moment, would not only savor the sweetness of her witnessing a milestone but would also make her guilt free.
Will my absence for work affect the bond that I share with my child?
The constant fear of the mother of child getting detached with her during those early years is inevitable. The best way to overcome those fears would be to plan for full day, half day and unpaid leaves in advance. On special occasions such as child's vaccination, birthday, sickness, crankiness etc. mother's availability for the child would definitely count and make a difference. Spending quality time with the child such as a few hours in the park, showing a picture book to baby once back home from work or going on a long drive on weekends would really be relished by the child and pave the way for strengthening the mother-child bond.
Will the presence of extended family around make the child get more attached to them?
A mother will always be a mother, whose place no one can take. The presence of extended family members around to take care of your little one in your absence is a gift. Take a step back and appreciate the fact that you can experience this gift. Nurture this relationship that you share with them so that they could come to your rescue when you need them the most especially in childcare.
Leaving the child for a few hours though, is the most painful thing for a mother to deal with especially in the initial years of her child's life. All that she feels is guilt loaded with insecurities. Her absence due to her work makes her feel that she is a Bad MOM. These insecurities should be done away with as she is providing the means to create a childhood where her children grow up to achieve their dreams. A childhood where children grow up and see the most special women in their lives such as their mother, sisters, cousins, aunts as equals.
How can a working mom deal with the feeling of guilt while leaving their newborn with extended family members?
The guilt feeling is real and one way to deal with it would be to extend the leave by 3 months or to take permission to work from home. Taking flexible hours of work is another option which does help to keep the anxiety at bay. In case all that is not feasible, she could hire a full time household help who could help the grandparent or other caretakers in taking care of the baby. This would not only help in keeping the insecurities and fears to rest but would also spare her from seeing long faces of caregivers everyday due to overburden of work along with childcare responsibilities.
How have you been managing to strike a balance between the dual responsibilities of having a career and raising your children? Please pour in your thoughts and add value to this blog with your feedback.