More Mommy Guilt

We moved from Mass to NH shortly after Little Man was born. We made the move so we could slow down and so I could stay home with him. I was blessed to stay home for 2 years with him. The Monday following his second birthday, I returned to work. We didn’t have a choice. Staying home was not something we could afford any longer. It was really difficult. The daycare, however, was great. After a few short weeks I realized that he was benefiting from it. I made peace with going back to work at that point.

A few months after my return to work, I got pregnant with Ladybug. I knew that we would not be so fortunate this time around; I would need to return to work following a 12 week maternity leave. Dropping her off at daycare was so very difficult. Dropping her off with the knowledge that I could not give to her what I gave to Little Man left me feeling so guilty. I eventually made peace with her being in daycare as well, because I what other choice did I have?

I picked her up from daycare last week. She had just woken up from a nap and was snuggling with her teacher. The teacher turned her around to see me, and Ladybug burst into tears when she saw me. That’s right. She cried at the site of me. My heart felt like it was being ripped from my chest. I felt wretched and that “mommy guilt” returned full-force. I held it together in daycare, then burst into tears myself when we got in the car. She’s with these people 9 hours a day 5 days a week. What did I expect? The same thing happened on Tuesday when I picked her up. Arghhhhhh. I hate this.

There is no other guilt quite like the guilt mothers feel. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be the perfect mother. In the end, I have tried to level the “playing field.” My agency is being kind enough to let me be the trial person to work from home 1 day per week. That starts this week. What that means for me and my kids is that they will have 4 days at day care and 3 at home. That makes me feel somewhat better.

The trick now will be working 2 hours 4 nights each week and being available by phone, fax and email on Fridays. I am already exhausted, but now I have committed myself to two extra hours of work each night after the kids are in bed. My house will suffer, the laundry will suffer, my television habits will suffer…but it is for a good cause. My kids and I will benefit.

6 People Raise Their Wine Glasses to Me:

Rebecca said...

I can't even imagine all this...sometimes I think about going back to work and then the thought fades away. You are a strong momma for sure! I hope the work at home goes well... I just know you will feel happy being near them :)

Jessica said...

I work outside the home as well. I never stayed home with Hoss, except for the 12 week maternity leave. We have been fortunate that my mother-in-law is able to care for him; however, I think some of the socialization "issues" he has is related to not socializing. I still struggle with working outside the home. Sometimes he cries in the morning because he has to go to grandma's and then sometimes he cried when I pick him up because he doesnt want to go home. I really hope you can work out the working from home.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

I know that guilt only too well.

My kids were always so attached to their daycare teachers. On one hand, I loved that they were getting good care.....on the other I hated that they liked someone else like that!

Good luck on your new schedule!

Heather said...

Oh friend...this is the cut deep at the heart kind of pain! You know that I know it well. All I can say to you is this....I am past the stage of your children, mine are now all in school. And I promise you, it does get easier!

Your children will not hold it against you when they are 6 or 16.

You make what time you do have..Quality time! That is what counts. You also need to be comforted like the queen that your children are being loved!

But your love....a mother's love...can NEVER be replaced! Your children know who comes running during their cries in the middle of the night. Your kiss on their owies (sp?) heal like no other! Your special recipes for those one of a kind sweets for little man will always last on his lips.

So you keep your head up! Love those babies...and know that they know just who their Mommy is!

Mel, A Dramatic Mommy said...

If we could harness the power of mom guilt global warming would be a thing of the past!

Amazing_Grace said...

My mom worked so I was fortunate to go to a lady's house where she took care of two other kids. I had a great time and great memories so don't feel guilty about leaving your kids with Day Care.


P.S. I was with that lady for 3 wonderful years while my mom worked. :)

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