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Danielle Ayres, leading maternity discrimination lawyer and senior associate employment solicitor at Gorvins Solicitors, has spoken to The Telegraph for their article ‘How to break free from the maternal guilt trap’.

The article discusses the maternal, or parental, guilt and shaming that many mother’s face on a day to day basis. Particularly in light of new research published earlier this week by University College London, which revealed that children whose mothers went to work were more likely to weigh more than those with stay at home mums – particularly if they were single mothers.

The introduction of flexible working patterns would have hopefully elevated some of the guilt and made things easier for working mothers. However a study earlier this year by the University of Kent revealed that women in part time jobs often end up working more unpaid overtime than their full time counterparts, the article states.

“Lots of women who work part time do this because they feel the need to address the stigma – real or imagined – that goes with doing fewer hours than their full time colleagues,” explains Danielle Ayres.

“But women should not feel bad about sticking to their hours so they can get home on time. What’s more, so many parents feel guilty if they don’t pick up emails or answer the phone on their days off, even though it is above what they are paid and contracted to do. We need to try and address the erroneous view that says part time really means more than that and the guilt that goes with it.”

The article also details helpful pointers for ‘How to break the maternal guilt cycle’ curated by parenting experts including:

  • Stop brooding over the past
  • Practice mindful parenting
  • Be honest
  • Stop comparing yourself to others

You can read the full article here.