Mommy guilt. It’s tough. Ever since I started working full time again, it’s been an added weight on my shoulders, in my mind and on my spirit. I try to shake it, stay busy and tell myself that it’s for their benefit that I’m working and it’s setting a good example for them, to have a “working Mommy.” However, no matter how I try to spin it and remind myself that it’s OKAY to be away, do me and dedicate time to my career, the guilt has its way of creeping in…and turning into stress!
I’ve brought the subject up with my circle of Mommy friends, and many of them say it never really goes away. Even the Moms who have older children…they claim it’s just something you get used to, and since you can’t really get rid of it, you just deal. I think a lot of my guilt has to do with the pressure I put on myself…the thoughts and opinions I form of myself, as it relates to being with my boys, along with the sense of obligation I feel to parent a certain way.
I was pretty much living the stay at home Mom life throughout my first pregnancy, and then subsequently my second pregnancy, which coincided with the first one’s infancy! I stepped back into the workplace and a full-time, working outside the home role, when my younger baby was just shy of his 1st birthday. I had been working from home, freelancing while I was staying home, but it’s such a difference when you have a flexible schedule and can make being home the first priority. Now that I have a daily schedule where the alarm goes off at 6am to start my M-F routine, with deadlines to meet and a time frame where I have to be somewhere…the Mommy guilt hits hard!
There are mornings when my babies want to cuddle, or when I can hear their cries in the distance as I walk out the door to start the day. It breaks my heart to not be able to sit there and enjoy the moment — I know they won’t want for me this way forever. There are afternoons when I come home to open arms and whiny voices who unleash a day’s worth of pent up emotions that yearned for Mommy attention all day long. It’s like as soon as I walk in the door, I have to do a 180, switch hats and there’s no time to decompress or transition…just have to radiate the Mommy love and comfort the way they want (and need) it. Those are the moments when I’m hardest on myself.
Staying home with children is the tougher job, no doubt about it…but it’s also the most rewarding position in life! Every Mommy is built differently, some Moms may prefer to return to work shortly after giving birth, some may not have a choice in the matter and others make many sacrifices so they can stay home. Now that I’ve taken a look from both sides, I can see all the pros and cons…and I understand both sides of the debate and the unique set of #MommyProblems as it relates to #MommyGuilt.
The one thing I know I need to do, that all us Moms need to do…is to ease up on ourselves. Whether it’s due to guilt of having to go to work, or not being able to take the kids to playgrounds, play dates and classes as often as we’d like. Maybe your guilt stems from not being able to breastfeed or letting the kids watch too much TV. From feeding them junk food or leaving them with a babysitter..maybe even when we raise our voices (and yell), a little too loud…as Moms we need to pat ourselves on the back and give a little more credit — we’re doing the best we can, because it’s not easy being a Mom and we shouldn’t have to bear the burden of Mommy Guilt all the time!