In the whirlwind of motherhood, it’s not uncommon to find yourself torn between the desire to return to work and the guilt that often accompanies this decision. Many new mums grapple with this dilemma, and it’s one that I’m currently discussing with a new client. She’s just returned to work and wants to have a successful career but is battling with her own her inner struggle of feeling guilty that if she’s a working mum then she’s not being a good parent like most of her new mum friends who have chosen to stay at home and be full time mums.

There is no right or wrong decision here, as everyone’s journey is unique. We each have our own aspirations, values, and circumstances that shape our choices. It’s easy to feel the weight of societal norms and the influence of those around us, but it’s essential to remember that your choices are your own. You’re in charge of your life, and you have the power to steer it in the direction that aligns with your true self.

Still, we often forget this, and my client is a prime example of the internal conflict many parents face. She wants both a fulfilling career and a loving family life, yet the choices of her friends have triggered feelings of inadequacy. The truth is there’s no one size fits all approach to parenthood and career. Some may choose to dedicate themselves fully to raising their children, while others may opt to pursue a career alongside their parental responsibilities. Both paths are valid, and neither is superior to the other.  It’s important to recognise that there is no universal definition of a “good enough” parent. Parenting is a deeply personal journey, and what works for one family may not work for another. The key is to listen to your heart and make choices that align with your values and aspirations. Trust yourself and your instincts, for they are valuable guides on your unique journey.

Ultimately, life is about choices. It’s about having the freedom to make decisions that resonate with your innermost desires and values. Whether you choose to focus on your career, prioritise your family, or strike a delicate balance between the two, the path you take is yours to chart.

So, to anyone facing the same dilemma, I say this: show some love for yourself. Embrace your choices and be proud of the path you’ve chosen. You don’t have to follow what others have planned for themselves. You can choose your own journey, and that choice is a powerful testament to your individuality.

The pursuit of parenthood and a fulfilling career should not be a source of guilt or conflict. It’s about finding harmony in your choices and living a life that reflects your true self. Your journey is unique, and your choices are your own. Embrace them with confidence and remember that you are the author of your own story.

This article was written by Charlotte Worth one of our partner coaches who helps her clients to unlock their full potential by enabling them to navigate any bumps in the road, embrace their strengths and achieve their work-life goals. You can find out more about Charlotte and book a free discovery call on her profile page.