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.
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.
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?