How to deal with guilt

Question: I am a new mother, and my daughter is only 5 months old. Because I have to go back to work, the only way for me to do that is to put her in a daycare. The problem is, I always feel guilty everytime I leave her. The sound of her cries almost make me want to quit my job. Can you advise me on how to deal with this dilemma? – from Anxious Mother

Dear Anxious Mother,
It is important to deal with the guilt as soon as possible, because if you let it linger for long, it will eventually eat you inside and interfere with other things which are more important for you right now. In this case, it may be helpful to follow these tips:

1. Examine your goals and priorities. If you feel guilty about leaving your child at the daycare, then it is best to take note of the advantages of keeping your present job, the benefits that are being derived from it, and for how long you would want to keep on working. Create a list of pros and cons of keeping your job. Ask yourself if that is what you prioritize.

2. Enlist the help of other family members. If you have close relations with your family, it may be good to ask them for help in taking care of your daughter. Daycares do an excellent job of taking care of your daughter, but the closeness and caring of a family member is more personal. It would also greatly help to know that your daughter is in the hands of someone you personally know.

3. Remember your role as a parent. Make sacrifices, such as going home early and avoiding out-of-town business trips that will require you to spend more than 24 hours away from your child. At home, try to spend as much time as you can during her waking hours. You can also try to make up for “lost” time by waking up early in the morning and spending time with your daughter before you take her to the daycare. Lastly, make it a point to spend quality time with her during weekends or holidays.

Balancing work and parenting is never an easy task. There are no clear-cut solutions, but we can try to get the best of both worlds by planning ahead and setting our priorities straight. Best of luck to you!

***Momster @ PT Online

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