Add some colour to your living room with these punchy cushion designs
Add some colour to your living room with these punchy cushion designs

Megan Burns

Five perfect matte lipsticks that your mask won’t budge
Five perfect matte lipsticks that your mask won’t budge

Holly O'Neill

Slightly Christmassy movies that are totally acceptable to watch before Halloween
Slightly Christmassy movies that are totally acceptable to watch before Halloween

Lauren Heskin

This Glenageary home with a charming double-height extension is on the market for €1.875 million
This Glenageary home with a charming double-height extension is on the market for €1.875 million

Megan Burns

Surrogacy: ‘As soon as I lay a foot on Irish soil I become a legal stranger to my son’
Surrogacy: ‘As soon as I lay a foot on Irish soil I become a legal...

Amanda Cassidy

Cuffing season is upon and singletons need to know what to look out for
Cuffing season is upon and singletons need to know what to look out for

Christina McLoughlin

Children are becoming less resilient and it is because of our parenting style
Children are becoming less resilient and it is because of our parenting style

Amanda Cassidy

These 4 Sofia Coppola films are the dreamy escapism we need right now
These 4 Sofia Coppola films are the dreamy escapism we need right now

Jennifer McShane

Am I supposed to feel joy over a PowerPoint presentation?
Am I supposed to feel joy over a PowerPoint presentation?

Esther O'Moore Donohoe

Nowstalgia: beauty’s most forward-thinking trend? Looking back
Nowstalgia: beauty’s most forward-thinking trend? Looking back

Holly O'Neill

Image / Editorial

Working mothers: give up the guilt and enjoy the time you have with your kids


by Colette Sexton
14th Aug 2018
Working mothers: give up the guilt and enjoy the time you have with your kids

Colette Sexton, news correspondent at The Sunday Business Post, on why working mothers should not feel guilty.


It is easy to see why working mothers often feel guilty. It is not easy to leave a baby crying at creche, or to miss a nativity play or a football match because you got caught in a meeting – especially when societal norms pressure women into feeling like they have to juggle everything without ever dropping a single ball. A poll on Workingmother.com revealed that 57 percent of working mothers feel guilty every single day, while 31 percent feel guilty at least once a week. But they shouldn’t.

First of all, working mothers are in the majority. In the US, 70 per cent of mothers with kids under the age of 18 work outside the home and some 40 per cent of these mothers are the main breadwinners in the family.

For decades, working mothers were blamed for a variety of problems in children’s development, but new research has debunked much of this. The Harvard Business School has found that women whose mothers worked outside the home were more likely to work themselves, hold supervisory responsibility at their jobs, and earn higher wages than women whose mothers stayed home full-time. Mothers of sons can rejoice also, as the research found that men raised by working mothers are more likely to contribute to household chores and spend more time caring for family members.

Plus, new research from the University of Cologne revealed that being a working mother does not affect children’s early vocabulary and reasoning – contrary to popular opinion. The study compared children from similar family backgrounds and found that they developed comparable vocabulary and reasoning abilities, even if their mothers’ work histories in the first five years after birth differ vastly.

“Potential benefits and risks of mothers’ employment for child development are the subject of heated scientific and public debate,” Dr Michael Kühhirt from the Institute of Sociology and Social Psychology at the University of Cologne said. “But when it comes to the cognitive measures under study here, we found no evidence of harmful effects on the children of working mothers.”

It is inevitable that family life and professional life are going to clash from time to time, but the best thing you can do for your kids is to forgive yourself. Sitting around feeling guilty about not spending time with them will put a downer, or too much pressure, on the time you do have with them. Acknowledge that you need to or want to work to give them a better life. Realise you are setting a good example for them by working. Those days that you are inevitably struck with pangs of guilt, then say it out loud instead of keeping it inside. Talk to your partner or a trusted friend or family member about it. Do not dwell on the occasions that you have to miss something in your child’s life – instead, celebrate the times you can make it. Stop beating yourself up. Your kids love you and you are doing your best.

Also Read

Working mothers: give up the guilt and enjoy the time you have with your kids
EDITORIAL
5 houseplants we guarantee you can keep alive

For those who buy houseplants with the best of intentions and end up killing them, here’s a selection you’ll be...

By Hannah Hillyer

Working mothers: give up the guilt and enjoy the time you have with your kids
EDITORIAL
This spatchcock chicken recipe will make your weekend

This is a great way to get a juicy roast chicken, bursting with flavour.     Bord Bia’s Spatchcock Chicken...

By Meg Walker

Working mothers: give up the guilt and enjoy the time you have with your kids
EDITORIAL
Attending multiple weddings this year? How to save money as a guest

These days, going to a wedding is the equivalent of going on a short holiday in terms of cost. From...

By Jennifer McShane

Working mothers: give up the guilt and enjoy the time you have with your kids
EDITORIAL
‘Romy & Michele’ actress Cortney Wolfston on being fired while pregnant

“I was confused. Hadn’t I just been told this was a perfect time to be pregnant?” she questioned. Actress Cortney...

By Sarah Finnan

Working mothers: give up the guilt and enjoy the time you have with your kids
EDITORIAL
8 easy ways to keep your brain healthy that you can do right now

Your brain health is just as important as that of the rest of your body, says psychologist and neuroscientist Dr...

By IMAGE

Working mothers: give up the guilt and enjoy the time you have with your kids
premium EDITORIAL
Business Club members get your complimentary tickets to The IMAGE Business Summit 2021

Don’t miss this year’s IMAGE Business Summit, with an expert line-up, skills masterclasses, keynote addresses and more.Back by popular demand,...

By Shayna Sappington

Working mothers: give up the guilt and enjoy the time you have with your kids
EDITORIAL
Sarah Harding’s heartbroken mum announces the singer’s death aged just 39

Sarah Harding has died at the age of just 39, her heartbroken mother revealed today. The Girls Aloud star had...

By Amanda Cassidy