Do you feel guilty about the amount of time you spend working?

A couple times in the last week separate people have told me that I work too much.

It’s hard to believe when I picture myself taking a lunch break at home eating my beans on toast on the sofa watching Millionaire Matchmaker, but I suspect it could be true. The trouble with the type of work I do is that there isn’t a natural start and end. I don’t go to work and come home at certain hours – (or get to wear a pretty dress and nice shoes and talk out loud to real people) – the nature of social media is that it is always there, always connecting you to other people.

This is fantastic of course in many ways, but when social is your living it can be difficult to switch off. Ask Belle, she’ll tell you – I’m sure she would happily flush my phone down the toilet if it meant I focussed 100% of my attention on her for more than about twenty minutes at a time.

“Just give me two minutes to reply to this…”

Her eyes roll.

This infographic then, based on a recent survey of parents, really struck a chord.

Have you ever dropped a child off at school knowing they are probably ill enough to be at home? Have you missed a sports day or school play because of work? Have your children complained about the amount of time you spend working?

I have to hold my hand up to all of these.

On the flip side though, if I didn’t work, where would that leave us? I work not just to earn the money to put a roof over our head and pop tarts in the cupboard but also to set an example, to show my daughters that work and career is important for mums as well as dads. I definitely don’t feel guilty about that.

Do you feel guilty about the amount of time you spend working?

Work life balance

Infographic courtesy of Medicash.



  1. 24 May, 2013 / 12:15 pm

    I’m trying to build my business and feel guilty about the 5-6 days a week that I work and the 3 hours a day I spend with my 2 children (2 & 5). My stay at home mum friends say that I work too much, but I’d much rather show my children (my daughter esp.) that it’s important for everyone to make a career for themselves, support their families and do something to be proud of. Weighing it all up – what I do is the right decision for me, guilty or not.

    • admin
      26 May, 2013 / 7:08 pm

      Three hours a day sounds like loads! It doesn’t sound like you’re doing a bad job at all :-)

  2. 24 May, 2013 / 2:34 pm

    Wow – Just looking at this chart is making me feel guilty… Guess there are too many familiar things on it…

    • admin
      26 May, 2013 / 7:09 pm

      That was exactly how I felt, ticking things off in my head!

  3. honeybee
    24 May, 2013 / 3:53 pm

    I’ve felt guilty, selfish, extremely tired, neglectful, etc, etc, etc when I worked during my daughter’s formative years…and looking back most of it came from other mums, teachers and ‘traditional’ relatives who took great pride in telling me how bad I should feel about not providing her with ‘enough attention’. (Worse still, they often said this in front of my daughter!)

    However, I needed to pay the bills as well as discover if there was anything I was ‘good’ at…Now, with my younger son, I stay at home – but not through choice – I yearn to feel part of the grown-up world again and not dread the bills in the post knowing that there isn’t any income at the end of the month to pay them.

    I’ll take the ‘mummy-guilt’ tag any day of the week compared to the feeling of being overwhelmed by debts and not being able to pay my own way.

    • admin
      26 May, 2013 / 7:11 pm

      Very good point Honeybee, and one of the reasons I try not to feel guilty. Having to think about money all the time is VERY stressful – I went through university with a toddler and no cash – and when you are stressed as a parent by something like finances that’s not good for anyone. I hope you manage to find a way out. x

  4. 24 May, 2013 / 5:30 pm

    I don’t really. I work so that I can give my kids a stable life. Plus, they really like daycare, they have friends there, and have a structured learning environment during the days. I think my kids are happy. I would feel guilty if I wasn’t working.

    • admin
      26 May, 2013 / 7:11 pm

      That’s definitely a positive if they enjoy their childcare – it’s a lot harder I’m sure when you have to leave small children crying. (although I’m sure they stop the minute their mum is out of sight!)

  5. 27 May, 2013 / 9:03 pm

    I also feel guilty when am not working! Yes, either way, a challenge.

  6. 28 May, 2013 / 10:30 am

    I’ve just gone back off maternity leave, ack the guilt is painful, this really struck a chord as my little girl just doesn’t seem ready for childcare but I totally agree, I want her to know that we have to work hard, that money is hard earned and that is a positive example that makes it worth it, I work hard so we can play hard!

  7. 3 June, 2013 / 7:45 pm

    I also work from home and as a result have spent a lot of time fiddling around with my phone, iPad and Laptop when I should have been focused on parenting. It’s getting easier to juggle now that my daughter is at nursery 5 mornings. I chose not to go back to work when I had her as I always want to be around when she needs me, something I felt particularly strongly about in her first two years. But now she is three plus, I can see how much she gets from being with people other than me, her friends, nursery staff, so I am content that she is getting the best of life, while that time away from me allows me to get on and work. I guess finding the right balance for you and your children is the thing to aim for – but I do also think we all need to find more willpower to step away from the technology, I swear I worked less hours when I was going into an office five days per week!

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