Mom guilt?

IMG_1874So many times a day I feel guilty for things out of my control…Bad for the things I cannot offer my girls often as a result of me needing to be at work.

As I go out the door this morning a little voice says, “No, don’t go to work! Just stay home?!”

Another little voice says, “Why can’t you work at my school? Or volunteer…every day, like so and so’s mom?”

The guilt sets in when there is a birthday party invite for a weekday right after school and my husband and I have to juggle our schedules to get our daughter there.

When I cannot sign my kids up for extracurricular activities because apparently the only times anything is available for younger kids is between the times of 9-5 and on a weekday-guilt.

The day I am too tired after work to do reading with my daughter-guilt.

The day we have sandwiches for supper because no one feels like cooking-guilt.

The night I work late and cannot tuck my girls into bed-guilt.

And it is not just my inner voice talking to me…

Let’s talk about all the people who may or may not be well meaning. I have lost track of how many times over the years I have been asked, “But don’t you miss your kids when you are at work?” (guilt again).

Ok now stop for a minute. At the end of the day (you know when you look at your kids sleeping in their beds and somehow they are just so much cuter and you love them a little bit more?) I think we as moms are really all doing the best we can. We are doing our best whether that is by working or by staying at home.We all love our children and want the world for them.

We all have to make choices about what is best (or often necessary) for our families. Instead of focusing on the guilt that comes with being a working mom, let’s focus on the positives. Instead of helping someone second doubt themselves, lift them up. And if no one will do that, do it for yourself!

As a working mom, my daughters know that I work hard and provide for our family. They believe in themselves that they can do anything they set their minds to. My 6 year old is considering what type of scientist she will be while planning her animal rescue shelter on the side. My 3 year old wishes she could fly but will settle on being a kitty princess.

As a working mom, I have learned to value my time with my girls. A friend told me something I will never forget one time as we were discussing how hard it can be to work and miss your kids. She told me as someone who had been a stay at home mom and also has had periods as a working mom, that at the end of the day it does not really matter whether you are working or at home. When you are keeping that relationship with your kids, she said it comes down to the quality of time. As a stay home mom she noticed that really a lot of the time they were together was not quality. When she was a working mom, she was much more deliberate about creating that quality time, because it became a priority. To an extent, when she was with her kids all the time, it gets taken for granted sometimes. I always think of this when I am planning my days and figuring out when I am going to spend some time with my girls that day-whether it is at breakfast and school drop off or an extra long bedtime with lots of books and cuddles. It might look different as a working mom but that’s ok.

As a working mom, my kids get to see a home with balance (at least the attempt, ok!) They get to see my husband and I share the roles of parenting, housekeeping, and working. We have managed to show them that relationships are about work, turn taking, and sharing responsibilities. No one is the “boss” lording over the household.

It is not always easy to be a working mom. Many days I wish I could stay in my pajamas and snuggle my kids all day. But that is not my reality. I choose to see the good that comes out of our family’s situation rather than letting myself be put down.

At the end of the day, I have to remind myself that I am the only one who walks in my shoes. I alone am the one who has to live with my choices. Parenting is hard enough as it is.

So no more guilt. All I can do is the best I can. And drink coffee…because that always helps;)

 

20 thoughts on “Mom guilt?

  1. You are not alone in these thoughts, ny own heart echoes this! I miss my kids so much when I’m working. Guilt is so hard.

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    1. It is so hard! I hate the inner battle 😦 I know they are in good hands though and there have been a lot of benefits from me working too though so I just have to not forget them!

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      1. I know. But sometimes your head and your heart will disagree. Often actually! What kind of work do you do?

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      2. I have done a few things over the years but mostly worked in family support and early intervention. I’m currently in a temporary job supporting foster parents and will see where life takes me in the next few months πŸ™‚

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      3. How about you? What do you do for work?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Such awesome work! Must be very difficult at times. I’m an accountant. Nothing too exciting!

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      5. We need all professions! I am great with people and terrible with numbers, so we definitely need accountants too πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes Mom guilt is horrible. But as someone with older kids, trust me your kids appreciate you and they understand more than you know.

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    1. Thanks! The guilt can be terrible! I am finding myself more and more talking with my friends without older kids. They have so much wisdom to pass to me!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. And you know what? You are feeding them and loving them and they have a roof over their head. They get to go to birthday parties and they get to play. You are doing a good job! You should read my most recent post – it’s for you! πŸ’—

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    1. You’re right. It’s so easy to listen to the negative around us (and the loudest one in our head!) I’ll take a look at your post, sound so like what I need right now:)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This morning my 2yo told me she didn’t want me to go to work – me niether pal – but I have too. I do feel pangs of guilt too, but I know it’s better for my mental health that I’m at work being me and not at home playing mum. The thing that bothers me most is, I feel like guilt is always stronger within the mum, And that’s not to say dads don’t feel it or they don’t care. But I think as a mum we feel more pressure. My partner has never once had anyone ask him if he feels guilty being at work – I have. Mums share an unequal burden of pressure and we could really do without the guilt trip! Great post πŸ™‚ x

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    1. So true! I think men almost get the opposite. My husband and I have it worked out so he is home with our girls on Fridays and then he often works on the weekend, but he gets so much praise for taking that day with them while I get judged for working full time (which I cram into 4 days to have 3 days home). We just can’t win so might as well do what’s best for us and our mental health!

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  5. Oh this guilt…thanks for writing this. It made me feel slightly better about having a career that requires a lot from me. I work hard to provide for my whole family. If one of us had to stop working it would be my husband as I’m the one with the best position. It’s tough and I miss my daughter a lot but at the same time I love working. And as your friend say, I love the weekends and I think I’m a better mum during the time I’m with her.

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    1. Good for you! Your daughter will grow up confident she can have a career and be independent because of your example. It’s such a hard feeling to want to/have to work and wrestle with missing out with our kids, but it doesn’t mean it’s a bad choice! I’m sure you are an awesome mom. Enjoy those quality moments ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a good reminder… quality not quantity! Thank you for sharing this!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and sharing! πŸ™‚

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