mum guilt at childcare drop off working mumma podcast

Mum guilt,  it’s a term that resonates deeply with many working mothers. As we juggle our careers and motherhood, one of the most challenging moments can be during childcare drop-off, especially, in the first few days and weeks returning to work after parental leave. The tears, the goodbyes, and the lingering guilt can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be this way. In this episode of the Working Mumma podcast, I explore why mum guilt happens, how to reframe the drop-off experience, and practical strategies to manage these emotions.

Understanding Mum Guilt

Mum guilt is that nagging feeling that we’re somehow letting our children down by not being with them 24/7. It’s especially prevalent during childcare drop-offs when we see our little ones cry as we leave. But why do we feel this way?

Psychologically, mum guilt often stems from societal expectations and our own beliefs about motherhood. We see images of perfect mums who seem to have it all together, and we start to doubt ourselves. These feelings are natural, but it’s important to recognize them for what they are – a sign that we care deeply about our children.

Common scenarios that trigger mum guilt include seeing your child cry during drop-off, worrying about missing important milestones, and feeling judged by others. These emotions can weigh heavily on us, but understanding their roots can help us address them more effectively. Also the children often stop crying a minute after we have left – so the worry is on us not the child who is playing with their friends.

Reframing the Drop-Off Experience

One powerful way to combat mum guilt is to reframe the drop-off experience. Let’s start by acknowledging the benefits of childcare for our children. Childcare offers a structured environment where children can engage in developmental activities, make friends, and learn new skills. It’s an opportunity for them to grow and thrive.

For parents, childcare provides a chance to pursue career goals and personal growth. This balance benefits us and sets a positive example for our children. By focusing on these positives, we can start to shift our mindset from guilt to empowerment.

Positive affirmations can behelpful. Instead of dwelling on negative thoughts, remind yourself of the good: “My child is learning and growing,” or “I am providing for my family and setting a strong example.” Creating a positive drop-off routine, such as a special goodbye ritual or a fun game on the way to childcare, can also make the process easier for both you and your child.

Something that I often talk about is ‘knowing your why’ and coming back to why you are working, then looking at the

Strategies to Alleviate Mum Guilt

Here are practical strategies to alleviate mum guilt

Preparation and Planning:

  • Prepare the night before to make mornings less stressful.
  • Lay out clothes, pack lunches, and organize bags ahead of time.

Building a Support Network

  • Lean on your partner, family, and friends for support.
  • Openly communicate about your feelings and experiences.

Self-Compassion and Self-Care

  • Practice self-compassion and be kind to yourself.
  • Incorporate self-care into your routine, even if it’s just a few minutes a day.
  • Small acts of self-care can recharge your batteries and help you approach each day with a positive mindset.

Mum guilt at childcare drop-offs is a common experience, but by understanding its roots, reframing our perspective, and implementing practical strategies, we can alleviate these feelings and embrace the balance of work and motherhood.

Remember, you are doing an amazing job. Be kind to yourself, and don’t hesitate to reach out for support when you need it. If you enjoyed this blog post, be sure to check out our podcast episode on this topic for more insights and advice.

Listen to this episode of the Working Mumma podcast ‘Navigating Mum Guilt at Childcare Drop-Off’ now on Apple Podcasts or Spotify

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