Mommy Guilt? Not me.

by Ginger on March 23, 2010

in Mom Thoughts, Working Mom

It’s no secret that I’ve struggled somewhat (somewhat? HA!) with the fact that I have to work so much and can’t be with the baby more. It really has thrown me for a loop, this desire I have to be at home with him. It’s not that I don’t want to work, it’s that the desire to be with him is stronger than almost anything I’ve ever experienced.

But here’s the thing. I don’t feel one speck of guilt about working. I don’t question whether I’m a good mom because I’m not with him. My role outside the house doesn’t make me think he won’t love me, or wonder if I’m doing the right thing for him. My struggle isn’t about HIM at all.

It’s about me. It’s utter selfishness–I WANT to be with him. I WANT to spend time with him. To read to him, and play with him, and teach him, and help him grow. I get so much pleasure out of him that I want more time, more of that baby drug. I want to enjoy his babyhood in more than just 2 hour per day chunks.

He’s fine with me working outside the house. He’s so little that he won’t remember it, and even if he did he won’t think he was abandoned. My mom worked her ass off as I was growing up, and I never once thought she wasn’t there for me enough. I have memories of playing with lots of different kids and having lots of grownups who loved me and took care of me. But now that I’m a mom, I know that it had to kill her a little when she would pack me up to take me to my grandmothers or the babysitter so she could work.

And that’s the thing. I don’t feel guilt–I’m doing right by my family and there’s no guilt in that. Instead I feel heartache. I selfishly want that time with him–for ME. For my heart to be filled up with the joy and laughter (and irritation and tears) that this baby brings me. It’s about me wanting him for myself.

Carrie Meadows March 23, 2010 at 12:25 pm

It sounds like you have a really healthy outlook on working away from home, and your desire to have your baby all to yourself and eat him up is normal, especially for moms, I think. We get a little territorial 🙂

Brooke March 23, 2010 at 12:31 pm

I’m jealous of moms who work. I take my kid to daycare even though I don’t have a real “job”- though I do have freelance projects from home. I don’t think either is wrong or right. It’s about what works for each family!

Ginger March 23, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Carrie,
Territorial is a VERY good word for it!

Megan March 23, 2010 at 7:31 pm

Aww, I understand where you’re coming from, I worked part-time for one quarter as a tutor at my university, and it was KILLING me.

But, I didn’t feel guilty, either. She was totally fine being with her daddy, grandma, or aunties. I was the one missing HER.

As a matter of fact, we left her overnight for the first time, and I was trying to hug her goodbye; she would have nothing to do with me. She barely waved to me while playing with her cousins.

What a refreshing attitude!

Ginger March 23, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Brooke,
The grass is always greener right? I’m sure if I was home I’d wish I had the stimulation of a job–or at least that’s what I tell myself. I definitely think it’s all about what works for each family, and there are as many ways to make it work as there are families.

Ginger March 23, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Megan,
Yeah, it’s all about my WANT of him, not vice versa. Oh, and that travel thing? I had to go on a 4 day business trip and, yeah, I don’t think he even noticed. I like to tell myself it’s because he was only 5 months old, but honestly, I don’t think it would have mattered.

Megan March 23, 2010 at 8:01 pm

LOL, she’s a year now, and she was very aware I was leaving. She just didn’t care!

I think all that matters is that we make the most of the time we do have to spend with them, I know SAHM moms who somehow manage to spend zero quality time with their kids. How is that better than earning a living to support your family, being a positive role model for your kids, and spending QUALITY time with them when you can?

Brooke March 24, 2010 at 12:25 pm

That not caring you’re leaving might get worse as separation anxiety sets in. I try to leave anywhere, and Kellen climbs up me. It’s heartbreaking.

oilandgarlic February 24, 2012 at 4:11 pm

I know I’m very late to commenting, but I’ve never read it said so perfectly. This captures my thoughts as I’m can be quite “territorial” about my time with my kids. I just want to be the one who spends the most time with them!

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