Avoiding the Guilt of Being a Working Parent
Tying shoelaces and zipping up a windbreaker – your toddler is prepared for their first day of preschool. They are anxious and scared about leaving you for a long period of time, but you and their daycare have ensured that they are as comfortable as possible. Well, what about you? Parents make sacrifices daily to ensure their child’s content, yet the guilt they feel when the standardized hours of their job beckons isn’t one that is easy to ignore. Obviously, you want to be around your child as much as they want to be around you, but life will pull us towards directions of individuality. Being a working parent is normal. However, avoiding the guilt it brings rather than dwelling on it is not as common.
To refrain from the nagging conscience that being a full or part-time working parent brings, we must first understand why we feel guilty. As a parent, our primary instinct is to constantly be the one nurturing our children and looking after them. This is essential, but with 20 to 40 hours of a work week to preside with, this is not always an option. Children will thrive and develop in a welcoming, loving and fulfilling daycare just as much as they would in the company of their parents. Changing the structure of you and your child’s “togetherness” that being a working parent pushes for allows for a balance between both you and your children’s individuality. Working parents carry shame from feeling that they are not nurturing their child’s life as much as they should be. Worry not, it is a mother and father’s obligation to provide for their children. When they do, they cultivate the books that develops their child’s ability to read, the crayons that frees their creativity and the food that lets them grow. The first step to evade the regret that being a working parent brings is by realizing that being at the office is a parent’s duty of requiring the means to take care of their child, in doing so, you are strengthening your child’s reliance on themselves and establishing a secure life.
Whether you drop your child off at daycare or drive them over to grandpa and grandma’s house five days a week, the car ride becomes one of loathing. Perhaps you begin to dread the job you were once so passionate about. Instead of arriving to work with the sour taste of having said goodbye to your child still in your mouth, step in with a smile and look at it as an opportunity. Having a positive mindset changes even the most dismal situations. When a parent is constantly around their child, stress is heightened and parental burnout is very common. Sometimes, sleep is rare and so is a quiet space. The guilt of having a job makes many parents stricken by the thought that they aren’t spending enough time with their children. However, spending every hour of everyday with your child carries personal problems in itself. When you are with your child, it is impossible to think for yourself when there are always other people who rely on you. Actually, it is impossible to want to look after yourself when lost in the undertakings that having a child brings. In this case, parents lose their sense of self, and exhaustion dims the experience of parenthood. It is important to spend every minute together with your child in total gratitude rather than endless mental fatigue. Arriving to work every morning is bitter, but is made sweeter by the aspect that when your hours end you get to see the smile you’ve been waiting all day for. Going to work grants you time to yourself, think about it as a reprieve from parental responsibilities by connecting back to the adult world. The hours spent away from your child will only make you a better parent as you will cherish your the spent together and find that avoiding parental burnout also increases your patience.
At our Airdrie preschool and daycare, Little Angels understands the stress of being a working parent. We wish for parents not to look at their job as a burden the moment they enter parenthood, but optimistically see it as an opportunity to be a better parent and provide an easier life for their kids. Most parents work, and that is a statement that one should not be ashamed of. Little Angels’ pledge to provide the most nurturing environment possible so that both you and your child are well taken care of.