Moms and Blackberry Guilt

by Joe Lavelle on March 24, 2011

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All of us experience stress as some part of our professional lives.  It could be based on the possibility of layoffs in a tough economy, worry over whether the idea you pitched will make profits soar or crash and burn, or just project deadlines that seem almost impossible to meet.  But, what about guilt?  When your work demands a lot of your attention, do you feel guilty about the other areas of your life that are affected.  If you are a mom, a recent study out of the University of Toronto shows that you may be experiencing more pangs of guilt than others in your office.

The study specifically examined the use of technology for work communication after normal business hours.  Devices like the Blackberry offer the opportunity for working moms to be at home more with their kids but still stay in touch with the office.  However, the need to see who caused that flashing red light on your phone has moms feeling guilty that their attention is being split.

Researchers stated that some of this guilt stems from the cultural norms that are in place regarding the roles of men and women in the home.  Even when working, moms are still expected to manage the bulk of the child-rearing and household responsibilities.  When work interferes, moms feel bad that their eyes are taken off their seventh grader’s homework or highschooler’s baseball game in order to answer a text.  Wendy Sachs, an author who writes about working moms and childcare issues, believes that dads just aren’t as hard-wired to have those same issues with guilt concerning work and family.

Do you think that moms struggle more than dads with the guilt of being connected to the office at all times?  Do you have boundaries that you set on work e-mails and texts when you are at home?

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