More than half of working mums feel guilty about leaving their children


A survey by Mother and Baby magazine has discovered that while 60% of working mums value the financial and emotional independence that work gives them, they feel guilty about missing their early development.

Working mums want to set a good example

Despite the feelings of guilt, 94% of the 1,000 women surveyed said they felt that working set a good example to their children. And a further 80% of the working mums questioned felt supported by their colleagues and workplaces when they returned to work after having a baby.

The biggest influence on women’s return to work was revealed to be money. 88% of the working mums said that they had returned to work due to financial pressure. And half of the women surveyed also said that their partner would like to stay at home with their children, but that as men generally earn more than women it didn’t make financial sense for them to do so.

Finding the right balance can be tough

Claire Irvin, editor-in-chief of Mother and Baby magazine, said of the results:

“Getting the work-life balance is tough… More women than ever before have an almost super-human ability to juggle work and family life, but it can be difficult, particularly on an emotional level.

Our survey shows us that modern mums are taking control by going out to work and ensuring they sort out the hours and the times that suit them and their childcare arrangement, but despite their achievements they are struggling with an overwhelming feeling of guilt leaving their children behind to be cared for by others, and a feeling that they are missing out on precious time with their family.”

Are you struggling with working mum’s guilt? Read advice from our positive parenting expert, Anita Cleare. Or discuss your experiences and get support and tips from other working mums in our LinkedIn group.

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