Working Mums - Where Does The Guilt Come From?

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When you tell people that you are a working mum, chances are you might occasionally or even frequently get reactions that range from raised eyebrows to judgemental comments. This could happen anywhere - at work, whilst doing the grocery shopping or in the community.

It's no secret that putting work and motherhood together attracts candid opposition of all sorts; running the gamut from mild dismay to downright disapproval. Professional Coaching specialists certify that the working mums they guide experience disapproval from many directions, frequently to the point that they become ashamed and guilty. Despite reaching what some might call the fourth wave of feminism in a time when equality is becoming central to the socio-political agenda, one still comes across the average Joe and Jeanette who remain scandalized by the mere, shocking idea of mums in the workplace when, don'cha know, they should be at home with the kids of course!

Such resentment is probably not too startling when it's supported with confirmation of social conservatives. You may remember, for example, Michael Morpugo's fierce backlash against working mums' putting their children into day care. The former children's laureate blamed mothers in 2006 for increased childhood rates of mental health, sleeping, and eating disorders, claiming that working mums damaged future generations,

Though extreme in his allegations, Morpugo and his ilk have supplied their vision of stay-at-home domestic bliss by turning to learned professionals who bear the "proof" that working mothers are a detriment to their children. In fact, several hard-hitting studies have emerged in recent years amid growing controversy in the UK about the consequences that working mums supposedly incur upon their child's well-being and health.

One 2008 inquiry into early childhood development in Britain published by The Children's Society claimed that toddlers left in the care of grandparents were at risk of lowered emotional and behavioural scores due to the inability of elderly family members to provide proper social and educational stimulation. Those who object to working mums might ignore the fact that the same study revealed that toddlers benefited from an improved vocabulary and other cognitive abilities. An international report of the same year by UNICEF also claimed that institutional care, especially in the first years, could cause depression and behavioural development issues in children, stating that, "The younger the child and the longer the hours spent in child care, the greater the risk." At fault, the study concluded, was greater gender equality and opportunity as well the increasing economic need for dual incomes. When researchers narrowed in on the UK, finding that the "majority" of children receive non-parental day care during their first year, UNICEF did call for improved maternity leave policy as English children were lagging behind their counterparts in many other developed countries, meaning that it's perhaps official policy that's at fault and not working mothers.

Lastly, an analysis shown recently comparing obesity statistics from 1975 and the early 1990s associated the rise of childhood obesity to working mum's lack of time to make nutritious meals and encourage their kids to participate in more physical exercise. A couple of the write-ups focused on the good part which means that the points gathered by the media were partial.

One mother of two I know, so successful in her marketing career that she's been awarded top accolades, remarked that, "it's mad, really. The idea that my success means that I care less about my kids' well-being than a stay at home mum is ridiculous—ignorant, really. It's an insult, really"

Yet, with results from the pundits themselves that suggest that we're hurting our children, what is a working mum to do?

Never fear! Before we park our careers at the door and welcome our at-risk kids back into the welcoming folds of be-smocked bosoms and home-baked bread, good news is on the horizon!

Experts share good news that sheds a happier glow over the working mum controversy. In the meantime, if you're finding it difficult to deal with socially-imposed feelings of guilt, Professional Coaching may be the answer! A Professional Coach can help you see that your career decisions are wise ones, and she may even point you to the positive news of being a working mum!

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Amanda Alexander has 1 articles online

Practical help is at hand for working mums who yearn for MORE time, balance and ease with LESS guilt, stress and exhaustion. Amanda Alexander PCC, author of this article, has written a FREE eBook for working mums in need of inspiration: "From Chaos to Calm: 5 Simple Steps to Balance for Working Mums" will help you with the juggling act! Get it now! => Coaching Mums

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Working Mums - Where Does The Guilt Come From?

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This article was published on 2010/12/05