How To Overcome The Working Parent Guilt

High angle view of cheerful Asian family lying down on the floor and holding hands. They are looking at camera.
High angle view of cheerful Asian family lying down on the floor and holding hands. They are looking at camera.

The guilt working parents feel and experience is undeniable. They physically can’t spend enough time with their kids and this is a part of life. It’s totally and completely understandable to be feeling like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day.  There are only so many hours that our kids are home from school and that we are home from work to spend time together. Between activities, friends, school demands and life, it makes time a high commodity. Time becomes, in a way, a luxury. Something we don’t all have. We find ourselves envying those with more time and wish we were in their shoes. We start to blame ourselves for not being able to spend enough quality time with our kids. As our kids grow and if we are experiencing a slew of bad behaviours from back-talking, to dis-respect and we find our kids simply being down-right rude, we start to feel even more guilt.  We feel deep down that these behaviours are our fault because we didn’t have the time. The combination of these concerns, amongst others, exponentially increase our ‘working parent guilt.’

This guilt that working parents feel and experience is common. You’re not alone. Parents around the globe are dealing with this issue on a daily basis. The truth of the matter is, the fact that parents work is not the root of the problem. The true problem is that our guilt gets in the way of us doing our job of parenting in the proper way. The guilt becomes this over-powering black cloud that fogs our best judgment. Before we know it we see our kids changing before our eyes.   The unfortunate part is that this change is usually on the negative spectrum and not the positive. As we let our kids get away with ‘murder,’ due to our guilt of being at work and not at home, we create a relationship where our kids are running the roost.   Soon they lack respect for us and they don’t seem to care what we say or do. It’s at this point in time that parents feel they are at the point of no return. Well, I’ve got news… you can definitely turn this situation around.  It’s never too late to make positive changes.

Change takes time, practice, and patience.  It takes commitment and consistency. It takes dedication and strong-will to push through, even when it’s tough. If all you working parents, whether it’s dads, moms, or both parents, could take a step back for just a moment and look at the big picture. You are afraid to upset your kids because you aren’t around much. You are afraid to discipline, as you don’t want to see tears or have to deal with the tantrum that might follow the word “no.” You want to try to create peace at all costs and please your kids because you aren’t together as much as you’d like. What we forget when we don’t look at the big picture is what these actions are doing to our kids, and you, in the long run! This guilt never goes away and just gets worse. You know you should be disciplining and teaching them how to behave properly. You want them to learn that their actions have consequences, but you are too guilty to follow through. What happens over time is that our kids problems and behaviours grow and guess what? So does your guilt! Nothing gets better and it all gets worse.

What if there was a way to change this vicious cycle of guilt? Help decrease the guilt and increase your child’s positive behaviour. A way to help your kids reach their optimal potential, even if you are working parents? I am here to tell you that all of this is possible. I say to you to give it 1 month. Just 1 month to commit to following through. 1 month of sticking to your words. Let your kids know, in a positive way, that you mean what you say and say what you mean. Teach them right from wrong. Take the time to 100% dedicate yourself to making changes. In doing this, you will realize that your guilt begins to fade away. In your current situation when you come home from work you are reacting to the misbehaviours and trying to constantly put out fires that never actually fully go away. Wouldn’t you rather be spending time with your kids in a positive way? Wouldn’t it be nice to no longer have the guilt that you aren’t doing your job as a parent?   Wouldn’t it be nice to know that even though you need to work you can still see positive behaviour in your kids? Wouldn’t it be nice to no longer have to deal with constant guilt hanging over your head like a black rain cloud, because you’ve taken 1 month to make positive changes with positive discipline. The guilt may be there during your month of change and transition, as your kids test your limits and boundaries with tears and outbursts, but trust me, once you make these changes and the month of ‘boot camp’ is over you will see that your guilt is over too.

This is short-term pain for a life-long gain!! We need to look at the big picture and not moment to moment. Start today creating structure and systems. Start today rebuilding that positive relationship with your kids where they respect you because they know and trust that YOU, the parent are in charge of caring for them! Start filling your parenting toolbox with tools that equip you to discipline your kids in a positive and productive manner. If you want further information or are interested in one-on-one parent coaching contact me.  Start today to change tomorrow! Do it for you and do it for your kids!


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