Monday, November 16, 2009

Working Mom Woes

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As a working mom, I have a lot of guilt for not being a stay at home mom. Some stay at home moms might think that sending your child off to an in home daycare 8 hours a day would provide a much needed 'mommy' break. I get that. I understand needing a mommy break. But if I were to measure my day out by percentage of a mommy break, it only makes up about 25% of the day because the other 75% of my day is made up of the stress of work AND good old fashioned GUILT.

Guilt drives me to do things I might not otherwise do. Here is a perfect example of a guilt driven project. One day I felt that I was not doing enough to 'teach' my one and only son the things I feel are important. When this thought settled in my mind, I was packed and on the train with a one way ticket for a guilt trip!

As a result of my guilt trip, I decided to create this very elaborate 'Learning Center' to teach my one and only son about things that I figured I should probably be teaching him; Months, Days of the Week, Special Events, Scripture, etc.

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We've had this in place for a couple of weeks now and most days, my one and only son is eager to learn about the day. On those days, I feel like a good mom. I've done well and my efforts have paid off! Pat on the back.

Then there are days, where my one and only son could care less. Then I'm bitter because I put a lot of time and hard work in creating this stupid board. And he won't even muster up a little effort to stand there and move the cards around. Then I realized the hidden blessing in those days...it lessens my GUILT- it doesn't matter because he doesn't even care! Pat on the back anyway, I tried.

7 comments:

  1. You are very clever.. I am sure he will appreciate the days of the week and all you taught him once he can remember you making the board.. just remind him later hey i taught you that..
    I absolutley love the first pic of your fireman.. his hand in his pocket.. soooo adorable.
    Guilt is overrated.. don't let those thoughts come into your head.. if they do.. grab a coke.. sit and watch a good show then you can feel guilty :)

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  2. Cori - You crack me up! "...if they do..grab a coke...sit and watch a good show..." Thanks for the laugh and the encouragement today. Glad to call you friend. :O)

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  3. Julia...I do stay at home with my kids and I still feel guilty for not spending quality time with them! It's always laundry, cleaning, cooking, couponing, facebooking, talking on the phone....hehehe! You are a wonderful Mother. Plus, you really do appreciate the time you have with Nathan! Don't beat yourself up!

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  4. ok, I will confess my worst working mom moment. My twins are still in high chairs, but talking so they must have been close to 2 yo. I was rushing upstairs to finish dressing for work. Twin 1 says to Twin 2 - I want to be mommy, no me... In a stern voice "SIT DOWN NOW", peels of laughter, then the other one repeats. So it was then I realized that no matter what good mom moments I create, I cannot control what they focus on. Lesson is that you have to laugh often and go with the flow. Being you and happy with yourself is the best gift you can give your kids. The rest is just chattle.

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  5. Layne - Thank you. I've heard before that SAHM's struggle with guilt too. I seem to forget that! Thank you for reminding me the grass is the same color on that side of the fence as it is on this side! Glad to call you friend as well. :o)

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  6. Julia, I know it breaks you to send Nathan off everyday. You are a wonderful mom who only wants the best for your son. I am not sure I am fond of the comment about sending kids off to daycare for a much needed "mommy break". If someone does that just for a break, not because they are working and have to, they have a serious problem. I understand moms need breaks, but that is what friends and spouses are for, not daycare. I just took my first mom break after 2 years of a weekend away. Yes, I have nights free where I trade off with Kerry, but this was my first time away and it was nice to have that freedom, plus he didn't seem to miss me much when I was gone. Getting back to the guilt. If this is something that is eating away at you everyday, then maybe you need to seriously consider working part time or not at all. Staying at home with your kids in the younger years is precious time that goes by so fast. We can always work. I work part time from home during his nap and after he goes to bed. Perhaps your company may work with you on that, it never hurts to ask.

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  7. Hi Ann - Thanks so much for the comment and sharing your worst working mom moment, I have to admit though, I laughed. :o) I think your absolutely right, we need to laugh often and go with the flow!

    Robin - My comment about the break was more about the sense I sometimes get from SAHM's who 'wish' they had a job to go to because they need a break from their kids. NOT about moms who are working just to get away from their kids. I wouldn't understand that. Nor do I understand the SAHM's who have Nannies. I REALLY don't get that!!!

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