Saturday, January 30, 2010

Working Mommy Guilt

I have a love/hate relationship with being a working mommy. Depending on what kind of day I'm having, I can be at either extreme or somewhere in between.

I haven't always been a working mom. I worked full time at a day care before I had our oldest son. I quit when we moved away when I was seven months pregnant, and spent almost 3 years as a full time, stay at home mommy. When I found out we were expecting our second son, I went to work part time - very part time. I worked three mornings a week from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., so I was still at home almost full time. After a year and a half, we moved again, so I quit my job, spending another year and a half as a happy SAHM.

Another move brought to us Texas and to buying our first house. After a few months, I realized we had two choices - we could continually struggle to make ends meet and barely scrape by, or I could go to work. We were tired of struggling, and frankly, the ends were not meeting, no matter how hard we tried, so I started working part-time and eventually settled into a 3 1/2 day a week, 30 hour a week work schedule. More than two years later, I am much more content with our circumstances, but I still find myself sometimes struggling with working mommy guilt.

I loved staying home with my boys, and I wouldn't trade those years for anything. But there were times when I was lonely and bored. I loved working three mornings a week - it was the perfect balance of home and the outside world. As a working mom, I have to admit, I love my job. I love what I do, I love meeting new people, l love staying in touch with my own goals and not getting totally lost in mommyhood, and I'm equally excited about training for a new career as a dental hygienist.

On the flip side, being a working mom adds unbelievable amounts of stress and guilt. Life is a constant balancing act, and I often worry about how our kids will look back on their childhood. Even though they stay with their daddy while I work, I wonder if they will resent the fact that I wasn't there as much as him. Our family is a strange mix of working parent/stay at home parent, not fitting neatly into either category. I hope that our boys will see that were doing what we had to do to make our situation work. I hope they'll understand that I was being the best mom I knew how to be, and that it wasn't easy.  I hope that know that the decisions I made were all about making their lives the best we could.


I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

Working mom, or SAHM, we ALL have guilt. It doesn't matter what you do, we always will. I have no advice, but maybe you can take comfort in that. LOL. (Misery loves company.)

Trench Mommy said...

I just saw that you are a pastor's wife. So am I. Glad to connect!

A New Mom said...

I know that feeling. We as moms all definitely have guilt. It takes a brave and strong woman to go back to work after being w her kids so long. I applaud you and want you to know that my mom was a SAHM for most of my childhood. But we were struggling too and she had to go back to work. While I loved when she was home...I don't/didn't blame her for going back to work.

Hope that gives you some encouragement.

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