Thoughts on Work, Daycare, and that Pesky “G” Word

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Just because you work outside the home, and/or your children are in daycare, doesn't mean you need to feel guilty. One mom highlights the positives.

As a full-time, working (outside the home) mom, I’ve certainly felt “The Guilt” here and there (e.g. Monday morning daycare drop-off, when both children cling to my legs, screaming). BUT, I am happy to report that the guilt never lasts long, and I don’t feel it every day.

Yes, I feel for my kiddos on those difficult Monday mornings, but the truth is, Mama has to work. There is no other option. I chose to get a (very) expensive education, and those student loans aren’t going to pay for themselves. In addition, I love what I do (most days), my children love their daycare providers, and I love them, too.

But, don’t you feel guilty that your children are being raised by strangers?

First, that notion is ridiculous. Who leaves their children with strangers, anyway? I researched several daycare centers, talked to employees, and continue to spend 15 minutes picking up my children most days, just so I can chat with the lovely ladies who care for my kiddos.

In addition to having wonderful staff, the center my children attend also has some awesome murals.

In addition to having wonderful staff, the center my children attend also has some awesome murals.

Oh, and second, no (I don’t feel guilty).The way I see it, the hours my children spend at daycare is time spent interacting with their peers, and with adults who love and care about them. One of my daughter’s preschool teachers attended her birthday party. My son’s infant teachers cuddle and love on him all day long. I believe my children are lucky to have so many adults in their lives who care about them.

Whether you’re a mom who works outside the home, or one who stays home, I wholeheartedly believe it takes a village to raise children.

But, aren’t you afraid you’re going to miss out on so much? Kids are only little for so long.

Hmmm. Not really? I mean, even when I was home with my children, I didn’t see everything. Laundry had to be done, dishes had to be put away, etc. I don’t know any stay-at-home-moms who witness everything their children do. Even at home, there is work to be done.

When it comes to raising children, I think it’s all about how you spend your time. Given my work schedule, I try to make every second at home count. My children help me prepare dinner, we play on the floor before bedtime, and our weekends are spent running errands, playing at the park, or reading at the library. I look forward to every second with my children because I know our time together isn’t unlimited.

Just because you work outside the home, and/or your children are in daycare, doesn't mean you need to feel guilty. One mom highlights the positives.

One thing I struggled with while at home was not contributing financially. While I certainly contributed to my household during my ninth month stint as a stay-at-home-mom, I always felt guilty. Guilty, because I accrued a mountain of student loan debt, and was putting my family in the hole by not working. Additionally, a large part of me didn’t like being financially dependent on someone else, so working outside the home brought some financial independence.

There are times when I look around at other moms, and feel like the odd one out. Sure, I have my guilty moments, but they are just that, moments.  I don’t agonize, or beat myself up about the decisions I’ve made. In my experience, guilt doesn’t do anything but make me miserable.

Say this with me: FEELING GUILTY DOESN’T MAKE YOU A BETTER MOM.

So, moms, tell me: what do you like about being a working mom? Do you suffer from “The Guilt?” If so, how do you combat it?

Just because you work outside the home, and/or your children are in daycare, doesn't mean you need to feel guilty. One mom highlights the positives.

Kristi Blust

Kristi and her husband are the parents of a deliciously mischievous girl, P, born in 2012, and a handsome little fella they call E, born in 2014. Her days are spent working as a school psychologist in rural Pennsylvania. When she's not working, you can find Kristi chasing her children around the local library, reading, and/or watching the Food Network. By blogging, she hopes to offer some much-needed comic relief to her fellow warrior mamas, as well as generate some thoughtful discussion about work, life, raising children, and trying to maintain some sanity in the process.

18 Comments

  1. I like that my daughter interacts with different people, and I feel I’m setting a good work ethic example for her to follow when she’s older. I’m not sure I feel guilt but more sadness at the realization that I probably won’t be seeing many of her firsts. However, that’s a tiny ripple in a big pond. I’m lucky in that I get updates and photos, so I don’t miss everything all day long. At the end of the day, she’s taken care of and is learning to be her independent self. That’s all that matters while I work to provide for us. Quality, to me, is much more important than quantity. Work also allows me to get out of the house, sometimes get a much needed break from parenting, and boost my self-confidence, all things that are very important to me to maintain my sanity, and moms need their sanity!

    • Thanks for reading, Autumn! That is nice that you get updates and photos. I feel that work boosts my self-confidence, too. 🙂

  2. You nailed it again, Kristi. M is about to start Kindergarten, and so are many of her friends who have had SAHMs. Those moms are a wreck, they’re totally freaking out, and, honestly…some of the kids are going to have a HUGE adjustment ahead of them in Kindergarten. M has been in a babysitter or daycare setting since she was 6 months old.
    I’m not worried about her at all…I’m not all upset and crying…just a little flabbergasted that I have a kid old enough for Kindergarten!

    • Thanks for reading Megan! I feel like when P goes to kindergarten, I will be all “Woot, woot! You go, girl! Go kick butt!” Hope M has a great kindergarten year!

  3. I don’t feel guilty at all. I like my career, and am fulfilled by being able to do it well, and to demonstrate a good work ethic and balance to my kids. My kids have always been in daycare, and I feel like they have benefitted from it, from being around other kids, other adults who love them and teach them, and social environments where they have to figure things out.

    • Glad to hear I’m not the only one who isn’t wallowing in the mom guilt on the regular! I agree that working sets a good example for kids. Thank you for reading!

  4. AMEN SISTER!!!! I love being a mom and I love my job and I don’t know why that seems like a crime to people. Thankfully my daughter is not with our sitter everyday, she also has a day with her dad/my husband and a day with my mom. I think that having her be with the sitter has helped her adjust to being with other people and kids and she also gets quality time with our family. I cherish every second that I am with her and try not to do anything work related during our time together in the evenings. I don’t feel like someone else is raising her and I agree that it takes a village to raise a child! I needed to see this today 🙂

    • You nailed it! Why don’t dads feel like it’s a crime to work outside the home? I feel like as long as we’re mindful of how we’re spending our time with our kiddos, they will be all right.

  5. I 100% agree with all of these things.. great responses to the dumb comments I get often as a working mom.

    • Oh, the dumb comments. If only I had a nickel for each one I heard.. Thanks for reading, Lauren!

  6. I am older and further down the road than you are, but working turned out to be a huge blessing. I went back to work when my daughter was an infant. She is now 15. My husband became ill seven years ago, and I don’t know what would have happened if I didn’t have a good job with benefits to pay the medical bills. He passed away in April, and because I work we can keep our house, the only home my daughter has ever known. I can support us, and I know that while we miss him everyday, we will survive. Never feel guilty about doing what is best for your family.

    • Kathy, I am so sorry for you and your daughter’s loss. I can imagine how working, and having the benefits to go along with it, would be comforting in times of family health crises. Thank you for reading, and for being such a badass mama!

  7. I just wanted to say thank you for this post, which really gets back to the heart of what this blog is about and why I turn here regularly when I need some help fighting the occasional “G” moment.

    • Thank you for reading, Jessica! I think we all need a little help fighting the guilt monster now and then. 😉

  8. So true. I have been having much guilt lately. Continual reminders on why we work’ pay mortgage, healthcare coverage, childcare flexible spending, etc. keep it all in check.

  9. My baby is 2 1/2 months old and is watched by my mother thank god. But she’s starting to realize that i’m not there. When i got home yesterday, she was screaming with my husband and the second i took her she stopped and fell asleep. This morning, I dropped her off at my mom and kissed her and she started crying. I came back and kissed her again and she cried again. This is my 3rd week back to work and I feel like now she knows, Mommy leaves and doesn’t come back for a long time. I work 9 to 5 so I drop her off at 8 and don’t see her until 6:30. My heart broke to pieces this morning, I cried the whole way to work! I feel like it’s going to get worse on her as she gets older…wah.

  10. I don’t know why, but I feel guilty about working all the time. But, when I get the chance to stay home with my 7 yo girl, I know I could never stay home all the time. I don’t think it’s good for either of us. I’m in between. I love my career, but feel I could be there more. Bottom line. ..im confused about how I feel

  11. […] Thoughts on Work, Daycare, and that Pesky “G” Word […]

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