The photo all working parents need to see

Photo: Connie Schultz / Twitter
Photo: Connie Schultz / Twitter 

If you find yourself worrying and riddled with guilt over time spent focussing on your career and not your children, the time has come to stop - just ask Connie Schultz.

The US columnist, novelist and mother suffered from working mum guilt in the 1980s while raising her daughter Cait. Now she has proudly posted two photos to Twitter as proof that, not only was that guilt unnecessary, but having a working mum was good for her daughter.

In the first photo Cait is shown as a toddler emulating her working mother on a toy phone, with a pen and notebook. In the second, Cait - now 32 - is shown on television with three-month old son Milo strapped to her body as she fights for rights to paid sick leave for families.

Posting to Twitter, the proud grandmother wrote, "In '89, I'm doing phone interview & see toddler Cait imitating me. 1st thought: Oh, no. 2nd thought: Oh, wow. In '16, Cait wears 3-mo-old Milo as she testifies before RI leg committee on need for paid sick leave for all families. My working-mum guilt was a such a waste of time."

It's a moment of revelation for Schultz as the photos reveal the little girl who copied her hard-working mother has grown up into a woman who is an active participant in changing the fabric of society, even with a new baby attached to her.

Working women responded in support.


For some mums struggling with the guilt, it was the message they really needed in their lives right now.

This letter from a daughter to her working mother in 1998 shows just how much children understand that their mums need to work.

To all the working mums out there, keep your eye on the prize and know that you're setting an example for our children on your own terms, just as women who stay at home (some of whom might feel guilty for not working outside the home) are doing for theirs.

Your future self will thank you for putting the mother guilt in its place.

In April Connie again proved herself to be a advocate for working mothers, posting on Facebook about working mothers feeling judged for packing "store-bought pastries" in lunchboxes, "rushing off to a job" after school drop off and being unaware of "pyjama Friday."

After recounting her own story of feeling judged, then being supported by those who understood, Connie wrote, "It's so easy to doubt ourselves as mothers. I am forever grateful to that other group of mothers who knew that supporting one another made each of us stronger.