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HEREDIA: A letter to working mothers

Dr. Kristin Heredia
Dr. Kristin Heredia

Dear working mothers,

I am one of you. I have three young children and I work full time. At this juncture in my life I choose to work. I love my job and that does not mean I love my children less because I choose to work. 
 
As the matriarchs of families you all hold some extra responsibilities beyond the obvious. You are the emotional supporters, you are the planners, you are the caregivers, and most importantly you are the centers of the family and the ones who guide how your family structures run. These extra responsibilities can make having a career more difficult for some mothers because it is a lot to juggle. I mean, how many times have you thought: “I cannot believe all the things I accomplished today even after working my eight-hour shift.” 

Although I love my job, like you I have some mom guilt. I am unable to take my child to and from school, be a room mother for parties, or attend various events. I too sometimes feel frazzled when home life gets crazy and I know I have important things to tend to at work. I however have a vision of what I want my children to grow up seeing. Let me repeat, MY VISION. Everyone has their own and mine is no better or worse than the next. But what I want my children to grow up to see is that their mother was strong and determined to follow her passions. I want them to see that when you want something, you work hard. You get it. I want them to see they should never HAVE to rely on a husband or wife to provide because you never know what life may bring. I want them to see that anything is possible, even with a family. 

There have been hundreds of studies done on the emotional and academic effects of children of working mothers by institutions such as Harvard University and The American Psychological Association. Did you know that working does not effect your child’s educational achievement or emotional well-being? Yes, that is TRUE! Did you know that working mothers especially benefit the outcomes of their daughters? Daughters of working mothers are more likely to finish more years of education, earn higher salaries, and are more likely to be employed in supervisory roles over their peers whose mothers stayed home. Sons of working mothers also benefit. Sons are more likely to contribute to work around the house as adults and to spend more time caring for their children and family in adulthood. 

Did you know in 1975 that parents only spent an average of seven hours a week with their children? Today parents spend an average of 11 to 30 hours a week with their children. That is an increase and we feel more guilt than ever!

I am not saying that stay-at-home mothers are not beneficial. They are amazing. That would be a whole other letter. I am simply saying that the mothers who need to work or choose to should stop feeling guilty. When you feel guilt or people in your life make you feel guilty for working, leave them with this final thought: In reality all moms are working moms and all moms deserve respect and support.
 
DR. KRISTIN HEREDIA lives in Ottawa and is loving everything life has to offer. She can be reached by emailing stephanies@mywebtimes.com.

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