The Guilt Trip Is Real: Navigating the Highways of Mom Guilt, Work Guilt, and Everything In Between!”

Navigating guilt as a business owner, dispatcher, or towing operator, especially during the busy seasons, can be challenging for anyone. The guilt of leaving work to go home can be just as intense as the guilt of leaving your loved ones to fulfill work obligations! Let’s be real.  The towing industry can be brutal.  It’s a 24/7 industry that never ends, and you can find yourself working in extreme and dangerous weather and road conditions at any time of the year. Long hours are the norm, and the guilt can last even longer. If you are reading this, then I am not telling you anything you do not already know.

As I am writing this, Wisconsin has been hit for 2 weeks straight with snowstorms and then brutally cold sub-zero temperatures followed it.  We have not seen weather like this in many years.  I watched my guys get all excited for it and then watched them leave after exhaustion and crabbiness. It was hours longer than usual for everyone.  No amount of planning gets you ready for this. I’ll be honest.  I do not like it.  I hate winter mostly because I do not like being cold.  I do not like that it makes our jobs harder than they need to be.  I do not like dangerous roads being even more dangerous for the operators working them.  However, it is here, none-the-less, and no amount of dragging my feet, kicking, and screaming will do anything about it.  We have all been working nonstop, and I feel tremendous guilt about the time I am missing with my family and loved ones. I am also feeling the guilt of leaving my teammates when everything is so busy at the shop.  We hear the term “Mommy Guilt” all the time.  It gets thrown around everywhere.  But where is the “Daddy Guilt” or the “Spousal Guilt”? Moms are not the only ones to feel the pressures and the guilt of missing out on things.  Men are just less likely to share how they feel about it but that does not mean that they are not experiencing it.  How can the men and women in the towing industry navigate the guilt?

GIVE A NOD TO FAMILY TIME – where the real VIPs are!

Recognizing the significance of family time is crucial in fostering a positive work environment and employee well-being. As a leader, it is important to acknowledge that employees have responsibilities and commitments outside of the workplace, particularly in their family lives. Encouraging a healthy work-life flow by valuing and respecting family time can lead to increased job satisfaction and employee engagement. This can result in a more motivated and dedicated team, as individuals feel appreciated not only for their professional contributions but also for their roles and responsibilities beyond the workplace. Ultimately, a company that values family time contributes to a harmonious and sustainable work environment.


Being intentional with the time you have and being present where your feet are is crucial for achieving a healthy work-life flow. In towing’s 24/7 fast-paced world, where work demands and personal responsibilities often compete for attention, making a conscious effort to prioritize and manage your time effectively becomes paramount. By setting clear boundaries between work and personal life, you create space for both professional growth and personal well-being. This involves establishing realistic goals, adhering to a well-defined schedule, and learning to say no when necessary. Striking a balance requires intentional choices, whether it’s dedicating specific hours to work, scheduling leisure activities, or spending quality time with loved ones. You can explore ways to involve family in your business or work life for a suitable blend. One of the best examples is taking the family to a towing convention or trade show with you. Being intentional with your time empowers you to make the most of each day, fostering an amicable blend of career success and personal fulfillment.


In the challenging work of keeping a well-rounded work-life flow, communication takes the wheel as the undisputed captain, creating a seamless consistency between professional duties and cherished family moments. The ability to convey needs, establish boundaries, and highlight priorities becomes the secret sauce in sustaining a harmonious work-life rhythm. Just as a skilled operator maneuvers a recovery with precision, effective communication ensures a smooth haul through the demands of work and the joys of family, preventing any detours or breakdowns along the way. Clear lines of dialogue allow for mutual understanding between employers, colleagues, and family members, ensuring that expectations align and support systems flourish. This open dialogue becomes a lifeline, warding off guilt by creating a shared understanding of the demands and joys each facet of life brings.  Just like a well-maintained tow truck, effective communication ensures a smooth journey, preventing breakdowns and detours.



Accept all the seasons in this industry!  Depending on your location, you may encounter various seasons throughout the year. Currently, in Wisconsin, we find ourselves in the busiest season—Winter, marked by hazardous road conditions and extreme weather. This period coincides with major holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, leading to a peak in travel. Spring starts off relatively slow but becomes hectic as everyone prepares for the upcoming Summer. Farmers and construction crews gear up their equipment during this time. It may not technically be a season, but we have it here: Construction season, spanning from April to November, contributes to increased incidents on the road. Summer transforms into a tourist season, bringing a surge in travelers amid challenges of extreme heat and humidity. Fall generally slows things down, except during harvest season, which tends to elevate activity. The unique aspect is the potential overlap of these seasons, creating dynamic and sometimes chaotic times.


Seeking peer support in the towing industry can indeed be beneficial for overcoming challenges and sharing experiences. Networking with fellow professionals allows you to gain insights into common issues, best practices, and innovative solutions. You can consider joining industry forums, online communities, or attending local and national towing association events to connect with others in the industry.


After managing the guilt, resentment tends to creep in. This is a terribly negative and wasteful emotion that you need to keep at bay.  It serves no purpose and will rob you of time and energy.  People tend to start blaming everything and everyone else for what they are missing.  You need to look in the mirror and take ownership of what you let happen.  Yep, I said it.

Ultimately keeping open, honest lines of communication about expectations and commitments with everyone will allow you to utilize the tools given here freely and have better success with managing guilt and keeping resentment out.