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How New Moms Can Reduce Stress While Working Outside of the Home

Updated on May 28, 2013

Tackle Mommy Guilt


Being a mom that works outside of the home is no fun at all, especially when you are a new mom.

What new mom really wants to leave their child home with a caregiver –even if it is a relative or close friend?

I don’t know many moms that feel good about it. For most moms the thought of leaving their little mini-me with someone else while they work is down-right frustrating.

I know all about the guilt, stress and tension that new moms face. I’ve been a “new mom” four times and if there ever is a fifth time (fingers crossed) I know I’d feel the same way.

In some countries like Germany moms can stay home until their children start preschool and still receive some sort of compensation and/or job security. Here are a few more shocking facts:

  • In Sweden moms get a paid leave of up to 80% of their wages for 16 months.
  • Moms in the United Kingdom do even better. They are entitled to 52 weeks of maternity leave and most of it is paid.
  • Even in the Estonia, mothers can get up to 18 months of paid leave and that time begins more than two months before the baby is even due to be born.

Some countries even pay fathers when they take off for paternity leave but this is not about them, it’s about us.

The sad truth is that none of these long paid maternal leaves occur in America. Generally if a mom wants more than six weeks off, it’s unpaid.

To assist mother's to recover recovery from childbirth and to facilitate a strong mother-child bond the FMLA or the Family Medical Leave Act was born in America in 1993. It mandates 12 weeks of unpaid leave annually for mothers of newborns or newly adopted children.

Did you notice that “unpaid” is underlined?

The FMLA is a good conversation starter but it’s not a real solution to guilt-filled and stressed out moms that ought to stay home with their children but can’t because the bills are due.

When the bills are due, everyone is expected to pitch in –even mom.

most times both parents are expected to work.

So, what’s a mom to do?

How does she overcome her guilt, stress and do what she needs to do to help her family without feeling sad?

Here are a few things she can do right now:

1. Release Guilt and Go to Work - Feeling bad about something that must be done is not going to change the situation. The only way to change a situation is to take action. Perhaps she could look into the following;

a. Discover if her employer has a job-share or work-from-home arrangement

b. Speak to HR about counseling for new moms

c. Reduce or lower costs – might be able to reduce hours or stop work altogether

2. Fake it Until – She Makes It

a. She may not feel good about leaving the child with a sitter now, however time changes things

b. Don’t be too hard on herself –American women have done it for years now. She is not the only mom that must work outside of the home

3. Spend Quality time with Baby Over Quality Time

a. Make every moment matter when she is with the new baby

b. Know that it’s harder on mama than the baby – babies adjust as long as they are loved, fed, changed regularly and feel good about their caregiver

4. Keep the “Main Thing” At The Forefront of the Mind

a. Earning an income is important for the family

b. In order to give your child the best life possible, resources must be earned, saved and invested for goals

5. Make Time for Self

a. Remember life isn’t all about the baby – it’s about happiness for everyone

b. Do things that she loves to do

c. Spend quality time with friends and loved ones

d. Learn new skills to become more productive at work and at home


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