BlackBerries, Bosses and Working Mom Guilt

How do you handle working-mom guilt? The only thing more tired than that question is, perhaps, the moms doing the actual working. And yet it seems we can't get enough of the topic.

I experienced it myself just this morning, when my 4-year-old asked if I had time to play with him. It was 8am, I hadn't showered yet, and I needed to leave the house by 8:30 to make it to work on time. The answer, which broke my heart, was "no."

So I was interested in a segment on working mom guilt that The Today Show aired this morning. Boston Globe contributor Francie Latour and The Mom Complex founder Katherine Wintsch were talking to Meredith Vieira about the topic -- including the fact that a recent University of Toronto study showed that women feel more guilt about work intrusions during "off" hours than men do -- and ways to handle the seemingly near-constant interruption that technology allows work to make in our lives.

Technology "absolutely has made our lives more complicated," Wintsch told Vieira. In fact, a Today Show poll showed that 32.6 percent of respondents said they feel guilty about working on their smartphones or PDAs when they're home with their kids.

So how can we get rid of the guilt and get work-related technology to take a back seat when we're at home? Wintsch offered this advice:

Create a tech-free entry. Wintsch leaves her phone in her car for 90 minutes after getting home, so she's not tempted to check emails or answer calls when she's with her family.

Think of your kid as your boss. This one goes with a grain of salt, obviously, but think about it: If your boss asks you to do something, you do it. So if you kid asks for your attention, put away the CrackBerry and give it to her.

Take pictures. Having a good-mom moment? Capture it for posterity. Wintsch makes sure to snap pics of herself doing fun things with her kids to remind herself during guilty moments that she really is a good mom.

Watch The Today Show clip if you missed it this morning...


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