Mothers are sometimes chastised for “abandoning” their children and returning to work full-time, whereas dads are expected to do so to “provide” for their families. Isn’t this, in our progressive culture, quite archaic and sexist? Experts explain how to get rid of mom’s guilt.

“Going down the mom guilt path is something every woman goes through at various stages of life with her infant,” Dr Vanshika Gupta Adukia, Pregnancy/Childbirth & Lactation Specialist and Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist, says in an interview with HT Lifestyle “It’s difficult to deal with these feelings while also balancing mom life and job life. The minute the attention switches to professional duties, the new mom guilt comes in.”

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Dr Khushboo Thakker Garodia, a Homeopath, Clinical Hypnotherapist, Trichologist, and Nutrition and Stress Management Expert, agreed, saying, “Many times, women don’t even have the option of being a stay-at-home mom, and others choose to go back to work because they don’t want to give up their career.”

Whatever the reason, deciding to be a working mom is a decision that should be respected and not judged or even shamed – neither by society nor by the mother herself. Working on letting go of mom guilt should be at the top of any mother’s never-ending to-do list. It eats away at you, disrupts your sleep, affects your mood, and interferes with your ability to be present.”

Tips to deal with mom guilt:

Dr Vanshika Gupta Adukia, Dr Khushboo Thakker Garodia, and Jennifer Mulchandani shared some tried-and-true supermom tips for dealing with the guilt of returning to work while the baby is still young.

1. Go easy on yourself! You haven’t committed a crime; you’ve simply returned to work!

2. Have a strong support system through your family and other working mothers.

3. You need this! By returning to work, you are providing for your family and allowing yourself to provide the best for your child!

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4. Make time for yourself: When you see an opportunity, seize it. Allow 

5. Do not let insecurities take over: Slightly less time with the baby is not a ticket to your baby disconnecting from you as a mother, this is the biggest fear in every new mother’s mind but it is genuinely more of a mind game.

7. Forgive yourself and reframe your negative self-talk: Working while being a mother is an important part of your identity. We are often our harshest critics. As a result, remind yourself that it’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay not to be on top of everything all of the time.

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The mother’s guilt will always be present. It’s just that you’ll learn to bounce back faster and it won’t hurt as much. Remind yourself that you are a wonderful mother and that no one is perfect, and when the day’s work is done, focus entirely and solely on the baby.