“Parents Guilt” is an affliction that plagues many mums and dads every day; whether it be guilt associated with not spending enough time with the kids or feelings of guilt about using services to help them cope with the crazy work/life juggle.
The guilt is often a crippling feeling for some parents, that comes with a sense of failure that you can’t be in two or more places at the same time. It’s not unusual for parents to ask themselves:
“Why can’t I manage my kids?”
“How do other parents seem to do everything and I can’t?’
An alarming number of parents – mothers in particular – admit feeling guilty. According to the UK Telegraph, an online survey by baby brand NUK found that 87 percent of mothers feel “mother’s guilt,” with 21 percent saying they always feel that way.
Many mothers carry the belief that they must be able to “do it all” and, if they fall short and have to outsource some of the work associated with parenting, they are left feeling that they have failed.
When life gets overwhelming, it’s time to outsource and let others help you carry the load – but this means letting go of any fear you have that outsourcing is any kind of failure.
There’s no shame in admitting that you need help. Author Kate Rope says, “I think a lot of the secrecy about outsourcing stems from the fact that women have been guilted into thinking they need to manage every detail of their personal and professional worlds—and that if they don’t, they are failing both as workers and as wives and mothers.”
And, when it comes to “mother’s guilt” it’s clear that when a parent decides to share the load and outsource, it frees them up to spend more time with their family.
There are multiple benefits to outsourcing, including:
- Outsourcing diminishes stress. The very act of outsourcing a chore that is causing you stress means that you can now rest easy about that area of your life.
- Outsourcing gives you control. Many parents believe they have to be in control of every aspect of parenting. Outsourcing certain chores means that you are in control because you are making a decision to outsource the jobs that don’t require you at all times.
- Outsourcing frees up your time so you can spend more time with your loved ones. That very act alone should ensure you let go of any guilt!
Michelle Forster, CEO myWhānau, believes your time, health and happiness are so important, which is why she developed the first Family Calendar Assistant.
Working 60 hours a week in a corporate role, Michelle, a mother of three, was suffering from “burn out” every couple of years. At first, she thought it was because she couldn’t handle the work/life juggle. But she was wrong.
“It was mostly due to the mental load of managing my family's responsibilities as well as working long hours in my corporate role. When I felt out of control, I stressed more,” Michelle says.
“With the Family Calendar Assistant, our virtual assistants pull together from multiple channels, like emails, portals and apps the family's school and activity events as well as parent tasks and adds this to their calendar, along with deadlines and reminders. Parents have all the details they need in one place. They stress less and also claim they are now more productive at work as well as having more free time to spend with their kids!”
Michelle believes parents need to stop feeling ashamed or guilty for outsourcing when, what they’re really doing, is making a smart evaluation of how they spend their time.
“You are not less of a parent because you need help. You’re not less of a parent because you make intelligent decisions about what needs to be done to make your life more fulfilling.”
“No parent can do everything on their own and no parent should be made to feel bad for doing what they can to make their life easier. The last thing our children need is for parents to be burnt out.”