Overcoming Mom Guilt as a Work-From-Home Mompreneur

All Posts, Success Strategies, Time Management • March 7, 2024
How to overcome mom guilt

Working from home sounds like a dream come true for many moms. What is not to love about running your own business while being close to your little ones?! We could mostly agree that this is an incredible opportunity that most of us mompreneurs are truly grateful to have. BUT…our work-from-home setup often invites an unwelcomed guest: mom guilt.

As mompreneurs, the weight of mom guilt can feel even heavier than it did prior to running our own business. I truly think one of the main reasons for this is that, as the CEO of our company, we have the flexibility to choose our hours rather than a boss dictating the amount of work we are to do. This level of responsibility can intensify our guilt as moms when we choose to work in our business.

Every emotion you encounter on this path, including mom guilt, is valid. BUT it shouldn’t overwhelm the incredible balance you’re striking daily as a mompreneur. While coaching women, I often remind them of three things to help them overcome the guilt we feel as entrepreneurial mothers. The first one is simple but impactful, but the other two are often overlooked so keep reading!

PS If you would like the free mini digital workbook that teaches two simple strategies to eliminate mom guilt (that I touch on in this blog post), you can grab it here.

1. Get Rid of Mom Guilt by Remembering Why You Started

Before yielding to that twinge of guilt, remember why you chose to be an entrepreneur and work from home in the first place. Was it to build a career while witnessing your child’s first steps and words? Were you driven by the desire to nurture a business that God placed on your heart? Was it a way to create financial stability for your family? It could be a mixture of things. The main point is your WHY matters!

As moms, it is easy to be highly self-critical. But I encourage you to stop being so self-critical. Instead, start focusing on what matters, which is why you are a mompreneur in the first place!

Tip: On those days when you have to go from your “fun-mom-voice” to your “mommy’s-working-voice,” remember you’re demonstrating a strong work ethic and instilling values of hard work and dedication in your children. You’re not just working; you’re building a legacy while setting an incredible example for your little ones. That is nothing to feel guilty about!

2. Redefine Success on Your Terms (good-bye unrealistic expectations)

I get it; days can be long. Raising kids is not easy and neither is running a business. So doing both simuntaneously is a work of art. (A work of art that we are not always proud enough to put on display for others to see).

The picture-perfect portrayal of a working mom on social media is often more fiction than fact. So, replace those unrealistic expectations with attainable goals that reflect your reality. Motherhood isn’t one-size-fits-all! Why do you think there are a million books on parenting? There are endless ways to parent, and what works for one mom doesn’t always work for another mom. Do not define your success based on what it looks like for anyone else.

The comparison game is so ingrained into society. We have to be careful. I remember expecting to be available for my children early on as if I were a stay-at-home mom who did not work outside of tending to my family. Although I love and have the utmost respect for that role, that is not my reality. My reality is that my schedule has to allocate time to both my family and my business. All moms are different. Their family’s needs are different. And all of their business needs are different. Pretty much we are like snowflakes- no two are alike, so stop comparing.

Tip: Write out your current self-expectations as a mom. Then go through that list and ask yourself why you have that expectation and the importance of it. Try to eliminate things that truly are not necessary while circling the ones that are. Next, define what success does and does not mean for you and your family. Then, you can craft a narrative where you emerge as a fulfilled business owner and a successful mom without sacrificing one over the other. (PS The workbook you might have clicked on this blog post for has a worksheet to walk you through this tip!)

Here are a few examples that might help you jump-start your thoughts:

Success could look like you no longer expecting to complete work as if you do not have children present in the home. Maybe your kiddos have extra wiggles that make working and momming way too hard. So you decide to have work-play-dates with another work-from-home mom. Providing you both with designated times to work while the other watches the kids play. For you, 4 hours of uninturrpeted work is more productive than 10 hours of being constantly inturpted. (Plus it is more realistic for you). You might even be happier during family time because you did not just spend an entire day feeling desperate to get enough peace and quiet to focus on necessary business tasks.

Success could look like a safe and sanitary home, but not a spotless one. You might love a perfectly clean/tidy home. But at the same time, find it is exhausting micromanaging (or trying to figure out the right chore system) to meet a “picture-perfect” level of tidiness that you dream of.

My Personal Success Note: Do you want to know what I put on my home goals as a mom this year? To have a home that visually looks like we are living in it. But also not allowing it to reach a level that feels like chaos. I also decided I was not going to apologize to guests for my home looking like children live there. This expectation was best for my emotional levels as a mom in my current season. It took work for me to define that as a success because that is not what was modeled for me growing up. Nor is it showing up in my social media feeds. But it is my defined level of success. It allows me the capacity I need to be realistic.

There are endless possibilities. At the end of the day, you know what you need, and you know what your family needs. Give yourself permission to put aside everyone else’s opinion and do what is best with a new definition of success!

Prioritize Quality Time vs Quantity With Your Family & Business to Eliminate Mom Guilt

When planning your schedule, focus less on the clock and more on how you use your time. Quality time outweighs quantity.

Family Time: When you have dedicated family time, focus on them! So often, it is easy to be physically present and mentally still working. If you learn to be present with where you are, I promise you will have less mom guilt.

How do you create quality time? When spending time with your kids, focus on activities that speak their love language. Speaking their love language during this focused time will help create time that counts! BUT- we can not just stop there. Why? Because that does not necessarily meet your needs as a mom. So, I encourage moms to fill their time with activities that they enjoy doing that pair well with their child’s love language.

Tip: Choose three things that make you feel like a great mom when it comes to spending time with your kids. Focus on winning in these areas and give yourself grace in all the other areas.

Quick Example to jumpstart your thoughts:

Maybe you feel like a great mom when you are fully present for bedtime routines. You love knowing you said bedtime prayers together and tucked them in. Their love language is physical touch (so snuggles are perfect). If that is the case, prioritize being fully present and make that time a nonnegotiable.

Whatever it might be, invest in those times and activities fully. Then give yourself grace on everything else. You were not created to be a superwoman.

WARNING- only choose three things. Why? To eliminate mom guilt, it is critical to prioritize what is important. Doing so will allow you to give yourself grace in all other areas.

Quality Time Matters in Your Business Just as Much as it Matters in Your Home

Once you start to feel like you are winning in your home, it is easier to give yourself permission to set boundaries and thrive at work. Did you notice I used the word “boundary” in that last sentence? Next to the word thrive?

Quality Work Time: When you are working, you need boundaries so that you can be fully present. (Or as much as you can with fun-loving children running around the house). We already know as moms that boundaries are important to protect and to create a space for growth. So, applying boundaries unapologetically to your business is necessary. Especially working from home!

Once boundaries are in place (great job, mom), prioritize your time in your business.

Tip: If you do not have one, create a solid action plan with strategies to avoid spending more time away from your family than necessary. Mom guilt can easily happen for mompreneurs when they are inefficient with their time management within their business.

Advice from one mompreneur to another:

You’re not alone in feeling stretched between the demands of your entrepreneurial callings and the daily joys and challenges of motherhood. Know that every mom walks her own unique path and faces similar trials. Resist the urge to consume yourself with comparison. Reach for the truth that you are doing your absolute best and that is good enough.

Losing mom guilt is not an overnight task. But remember, your dedication is the foundation of your family’s flourishing future. And, your perseverance is a beacon that lights the way for your children’s dreams.

Transform that mom guilt into a gentle reminder that you care deeply. Remember- You are more than enough for your kids and your business. God knew your strengths and opportunities when he put your business ideas in your heart and blessed you with the role of being a mama. So let’s eliminate the mentality that being enough = doing it all. Because that is just not true! You are more than enough, and the chapters you’re writing now hold stories of inspiration that your children will reminisce about for a lifetime.

Allow yourself to lead with grace in the heartwarming dance between parenting and running your own business. Accept that your steps won’t be perfect, but understand they are taken with love. Remember, your children know you love them deeply. (Even if they have to hear “not right now” more times than you can count. You are still their safe space). Keep dreaming, keep achieving, and above all, BELIEVE that you are a GREAT mom!

How to get rid of mom guilt

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