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Ways to beat working parent guilt

When you’re a working parent, trying to fit in ‘everything Christmas’ can be a challenge. From Christmas fayres to school nativity plays and carol concerts, there’s a lot going on. And that’s before you even contemplate gift buying. In fact, it’s pretty much hectic all-year round once you have school-age children. 

Managing all this whilst working can lead to feelings of guilt, particularly for working mums – especially if you feel you’re not perfect at everything! So how can you alleviate the so-called ‘working parent guilt’?

Ten2Two is a flexible and part-time recruitment agency with many candidates who are working mums and dads. We’re a recruiter that understands it can be an emotional wrench leaving children for the first time when you start back to work. Truth is, it can be an emotional wrench for all of us at times as we navigate the tricky work-life juggle. And many of us suffer from ‘working parent guilt’. Here are a few positive things you can tell yourself if you begin to feel guilty at any stage.

You are an incredible role model for your child

Know that by going out to work, you are setting a great example for your child . If the gender pay gap is to disappear, enabling the next generation of working parents to find rewarding and stimulating work, it is important parents, and particularly women continue to stay in the workplace – and employers have their part to play in making this happen.

Accept there will be things you can’t do

You may find you can’t attend every single meeting or assembly. You won’t be alone there. Primary schools are known for hosting meetings in the middle of the working day, so it will be inevitable that you miss some events. Talk to your child about that and be positive. Focus on what you can do, and what you are achieving for your family. As they say, with great sacrifice, comes great reward.

Kids don’t remember every minute – even if you do!

Your children won’t remember the times you weren’t there, but rather, the times you were. Just think, for many people whose parents are teachers, being dropped off and picked up by other people from school is the norm. The world would not keep turning if you let working parent guilt consume you, so, again, focus on the positives.

Positive thinking is a necessity

If you can find ways to channel positive thinking, you will feel better and most likely, perform to a higher standard too. Make a list of the reasons you are doing your chosen role. Try to focus on its benefits and every now and again, update your CV with your latest achievements. It will help you to focus on the benefits of your current situation. If you are struggling with this, it might be time to reassess your career goals.

Don’t be hard on yourself

If you’re too hard on yourself, it’ll stop you in your tracks. Think, what else would you be doing if you weren’t working?  Try to carve out a little time to yourself if you can and remember, if you weren’t working, you possibly wouldn’t be able to afford the odd treat or two.

A better way to beat working parent guilt

If you’re a working parent reading this and wondering where your next role is coming from – one that is rewarding but also fits around family life, flexible and part-time recruiter Ten2Two can help.

Ten2Two is a flexible and part-time recruitment consultancy, designed to help working mums and dads find stimulating professional work with local employers. If you’d like to register as a candidate, please do at

3 min read