3 WAYS TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR PARTNER TO OVERCOME WORKING-PARENT GUILT
“If you’re a working mom, you’re not a good mom,” April Lovett, Success Coach and co-host of Success in Black and White- The Podcast states. “This is one of the most prevalent lies I hear and see women believing. As a working mom, I never feel like I have enough time for my children. I feel like I’m missing out on their experiences and their lives,” April says.
“The funny thing is, I don’t think that men feel this way. They are programmed to work outside the house and to be providers. I don’t think that they feel the same guilt women do; like they are screwing up their kids’ lives by going to work instead of being at home with children.” April looks over at Darryl, her husband and partner of six years.
“I don’t feel any guilt,” Darryl tells her in return. “And it makes me feel bad that you feel guilt. I know that you’re a good mom, I hate that you can’t see it sometimes,” he says.
It’s hard to combat the “not-a-good-mom” lie. There are social media groups dedicated to this topic. There are hashtag movements devoted to empowering working moms. Yet, you still see the struggle for women. April and Darryl have found their stride in combating the “not-a-good-mom” lie through their communication methods with each other:
1. Solicit Your Partner. “I want to know,” says Darryl, “what do I need to do to be more supportive of you? You don’t need to be everything to everyone, even if you feel like it. As your partner, I’m here to help.” As the woman in the relationship, soliciting your partner can sometimes feel like nagging. Yet, it’s incredibly important for the health of the relationship. “I think it stems back to communication,” says April. “I have to communicate with Darryl how I need him to help me in the moment. Whether it’s grabbing a child out from under me while I’m cooking and entertaining them, or if it’s putting the kids to bed so I can take time for self-care.”
2. Acknowledge Your Partner. “There are so many times that April will just take a brunt of the work because she doesn’t want to be a nag. When I recognize what’s happening, I’ll step in to help how I can, even if she hasn’t asked me to. If she acknowledges me with a thank you or a smile, then I know the help was needed and appreciated. By acknowledging me helping her, she reinforces that she actually does want my help and that the task I took on matters to her,” says Darryl.
3. Don’t Think Your Partner Can Read Your Mind. “I think this is why soliciting their help is so important,” says April. “When you assume that your partner should know when and how to help you, then your partner doesn’t help at all, it drives you crazy. You think that they don’t see you struggling with balancing work and home life. Or worse, you think they see it and don’t care.” Darryl states: “I want to help alleviate the mom-guilt by helping more with household chores, caring for the kids’ basic needs, and more. But I really need to be told what to do here. When she acts like superwoman and like she’s got everything under control, I truly believe she does. I can’t take things off her plate if she doesn’t communicate them with me.”
How do you and your partner combat the "not-good-parents-because..." lies? Let us know in the comments below!
Want more of this conversation? Tune in to this week's episode of Success in Black and White- The Podcast where we discuss the 3 lies that women believe and the 3 lies that men believe.
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