Parenting today isn’t how it used to be. With high costs of living and housing, most families need a two-person income to survive— and unfortunately, more work means less time spent with the kids.
This struggle to balance work and family ultimately leads to feelings of guilt and regret.
“Social media amplifies these emotions by compelling parents to constantly compare themselves to others,” said early childhood development expert Lynn Louise Wonders.
“It’s evident that today’s working parents really struggle with feelings of guilt.”
In fact, 43% of full-time working mothers say they don’t spend enough time with their children, with 76% saying they can’t finish everything they need to do in a day. In an article for Today’s Parent, author Laura Smith Brody describes interviewing moms across subsections of society. She spoke to Fortune 500 executives, part-time workers, freelancers, moms on career pause, single parents, and more. Despite being on different walks of life, all of these women had one thing in common— they all felt the perpetual clutches of mom guilt.
To help parents deal with these ubiquitous feelings of guilt, Primrose Schools, came up with a little plan calling for working, Atlanta-area mothers to complete a parenting interview. One of the women who volunteered was mother Maria Reid.
Maria Reid, a nurse practitioner and mom of 4, is no stranger to the dreaded ‘mom guilt’.
Both she and her husband work to support their family. Maria balances work, education, and maintaining her children’s schedules but still doesn’t feel like it’s enough. “When I have to enroll them [in daycare] at 8 weeks, I feel bad,” she told USA Today.
“Even the daycare is like, ‘Are you sure you don’t want to say home with your child some more?'”
“And I wish I could, but unfortunately, I just can’t.”
When Maria arrives at the interview, the woman asks her what it’s like to be a working mom.
“It’s hard,” Maria responds immediately. “It’s tough mentally because I want to be present for my kids 24/7.” When asked what she’d like to change about her parenting, the mother says she wishes she was more patient and slower to yell.
After chatting for a few minutes, the interviewer is ready to reveal the real reason Maria is here.
“I have a little confession to make,” the woman tells her. “I’m here to tell you a very important message, and it’s one you need to hear.”
“You are doing a great job. Not a good job— a great job.”
Then she turns the computer, so Maria’s family and friends can tell her the same.
In a video tribute, you see Maria’s relatives and friends singing the woman’s praises: “Maria is an incredible mom,” someone says in the video. “She’s the glue to our family,” her husband adds. “She does everything you could wish and ask for.”
As the hardworking mother listens to her family’s thanks, she’s overwhelmed by the message and immediately begins to cry.
“You don’t hear that too often,” she says between tears.
Little does Maria know the interviewer isn’t done yet. She still has one surprise— but you’ll have to watch the video to see! And if you have a hardworking mother in your life, don’t forget to give her a thank you.
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