Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mom Guilt

Long ago I came to the realization that unless we win the lottery....I will probably never be a stay at home.
I thought I was ok with this.
We don't really have a choice and not having children wasn't an option,
so working mom was my destiny.
The first five months haven't been so bad.
I trekked back to work at 6 weeks on the dot.
It was an awful day, but my mom was our babysitter so that helped.
I quickly got over leaving my little man everyday and even looked forward to a little adult time.
Then we lost my mom and quickly had to find a daycare.
I knew my mom wasn't going to watch him forever, so this was something I knew would happen eventually...it just happened a lot sooner that we thought and under some pretty crappy circumstances.
It was only 3-4 days a week.... I could handle that.
Well this week I started a new job.
Full time.
Five days a week.
9 hours a day plus a 30-45-60 min commute...each way.
It's finally hit home.
Every morning I leave and Jamie is usually still sleeping.
I race home from work....praying I make it by 6pm when daycare closes.
He's ALWAYS the last kid there.
Always.  Way to twist the knife a little bit deeper.  I'm THAT mom.
We rush home.  Eat some dinner.  Play for a bit.  Take a bath and off to bed by 7:30 or 8.
So I basically see my son everyday for about 1 1/2 -2 hours.
Enter mom guilt.
It sucks.
And I hate it.
Maybe I should start playing the lotto.


Ashley said...

Man, I can only imagine how hard that is. Growing up-- and even a few years ago I just automatically thought that I would be a SAHM. There was no question about it. My mom was.. so I will too. Well, we too can't afford that and may never be able to (at least until the foreseeable future). I'll be 30 next year and I don't want to keep waiting around forever hoping that we win the lotto or inherit some money we never knew that we had coming. It's so hard though isn't it?!?

Brittany said...

awww, I hate that you have mom guilt. I don't have kids yet so I don't know how it feels, but I do know that right after we adopted my sister, my mom was working full time and going to nursing school full time. I don't know how she did it. Since my sis and I are 10 years apart, and I was very responsible at a young age, I babysat ALL the time. I practically raised her when she was a baby. I know my mom felt very guilty, but because she worked so hard she and my dad we able to give us so much as we grew up. Just think of all the things you will be able to do for Jamie. I know some moms would rather be home than give them things, but coming from a home with a working mom, I understand. And I know that having a nice home, cars, and extra help are worth it!

Gwen said...

Awe honey. I'm so sorry. I can say it does get better. Heck some days you'll really be thankful for the quiet time (like after a two week holiday break) but it's definitely hard when they are little and doing stuff all the time. Praying for that lotto win for you. :)

Jules said...

I’m thinking of you and sorry you’re feeling guilty. Know you’re not alone when I tell you there are many that feel the same way (I have a co-worker that’s going through something similar). I grew up with 85% of the time with my mom (b/c my parents divorced when I was very young). She’s worked hard her whole life to try and make a good life for me and I couldn’t appreciate her more for it. Jaime will appreciate this later in life and even though he’s just a baby, he knows you love him to the moon and back.

Kristen said...

I'm so sorry it's going so rough for you. It's heart breaking to leave your kid with someone else, I absolutely understand that. I've been blessed to stay home for the last couple of years so my 2 year old hasn't really had to deal with daycare... I dread that day but it'll be here soon enough. Can't afford to stay home forever. Good luck to you and I hope it gets better!

LC said...

I was a daycare kid. My mom worked full time since I was a baby... and I turned out a-okay. Maybe try and think of the pluses? He's going to have an AWESOME immune system... getting exposed to all those kid germs early = 'barely a sniffle adulthood'... once he's a little older, he'll make so many little friends and probably have much better social skills than kids that stay alone with mom every day. Plus, he'll get exposed to so many learning/creative activities... and you'll get some sweet art projects to plaster all over your fridge!

I know none of that totally makes up for only getting to see him a few hours a day... but how special are all these evenings and weekends? I'm sure it will really help you to cherish each and every moment that you get to spend with him. And, the older he gets, the later he'll stay up... and the more time you'll get together! I hope it gets easier for you :/

Chin up!

Jordan said...

Aw, I'm sorry hun! This is something I've always worried about when having kids, esp. when it's only one and daycare saves money (where more than one might make it more worth it to stay home). I hope it gets easier for you and that you'll be able to make piece with it.. or win the lottery. At least you know Jamie won't look back and remember these days. You're a great momma!

Ashley said...

:( I'm sorry. Mom guilt is the wort kind of guilt. I have to work too, but we are lucky in that my dad watches the baby. And I'm lucky that my job allows for flex hours so I work 7-4. But my kid goes to bed at 5:30. And it takes me an hour to leave work, go get him, and bring him home. So basically we get home at 5, he whines around for 30 minutes because it's close to bedtime, and then we put him to bed. I do get to see him for about an hour in the mornings though, bc he wakes around 5:30. So yeah, I get about th same amount of time you do. It sucks. But your little Jamie knows who his mama is and how much she loves him, and that's most important. And I think it makes us appreciate the time we DO have with them just a little more.

Lindsey said...

Awww friend I'm so sorry, that must be so hard. You gotta do what you gotta do and please know you are a GREAT mom! My mom worked while we were young, but we knew we were loved and that is all that matters. Sweet little Jamie knows how much his momma loves him so don't be so hard on yourself friend. Hugs!

Lacey said...

I wrote a very similar post when my oldest son was about 6 months old about the same thing and I had just gone back to working full time. It is SO HARD. My boys are also the last ones to be picked up every day and just like you, that makes me feel even worse. It's hard, but a necessary evil.
I agree with the previous poster about looking for the good things that come out of your situation. His vocabulary and social skills will have a great head start and he may even hit some of his milestones sooner because he is around examples.
And - if you were with him all day - you wouldn't get that "Ahh - it's Mommy!" smile when you pick him up that makes it as okay as it can be.
I so feel your angst on this, just know you're not alone...

SG to SP said...

I'm sorry you're having mommy guilt. I know when we have kids I'm going to be in the same situation and I dread it. However I grew up going to a babysitter then daycare and it really wasn't that bad, that's where I made all my friends as a kid and had lots of fun. I know you would rather have him with you but there are definitely some benefits to daycare as well. Just try to focus on that.

KLaw said...

I am right there with you, which means that there are a shit-ton of other mommies that do exactly the same thing. It sucks. No getting around that. But making the best of the time you do have during the week is all you can do. I'm sorry. i know how it feels :(

mrs.g said...

Oh that must be so hard :(

Stephanie the PW said...

Hi sweetie, I'm one of the Columbus-area blogger girls and I just wanted to stop in and say "hi"! I actually live in Athens, but claim Columbus because it's way cooler. It's 70 miles away, but ehh... i love it :)

This post really broke my heart - I'm not a mommy yet, but i'll be a workin' mom when that time comes, too. I'd like to think it'll be easy, but i know it won't be. Thankfully there's a network of gals just like you that can support one another.

Have a great day, hun! Your wedding pics are gorgeous, btw.

Molly said...

Oh Emily. I totally and completely understand. Like 100% understand what you're going through.

I finally accepted the fact that I have to be a working mom. In fact, after having a little "trial" of being a stay at home mom, I now know without a doubt that I would rather be a working mom. But that doesn't mean I love my kids any less or want to see them any less than a stay at home mom.

I still miss them terribly most days. But I know I'm doing the best I can with the cards I've been dealt.

Unfortunately, you just got dealt a really shitty hand of cards that you never expected. And I think it will take awhile for you to accept this new routine. And that's OKAY. It is a huge change and something you weren't expecting.

Just know that you are NOT alone in your feelings. My new mantra is "Some days are good days. Some days are bad days."

The bad days are worth it to get the good days.

dave and jenn said...

I'm sure I'm going to deal with this one day too.... BUT, I think there are some great advantages to daycare. Think about how social Jamie will be! I hated daycare as a kid, but I think spending so much time with my parents also made me too clingy.

I'm sure you've already thought about this, but is there a daycare closer to where you work? So at least you two could spend the commute home together?

By the way, on a totally unrelated note - congrats to your Buckeyes on the win last night. All of us Razorback fans are heartbroken!

Brittany Ann said...

Oh, my friend, I hate that you are experiencing mom guilt. You are an excellent mother, whether or not you're with your child 24-7. So many other women, SAHM or no, are half the mothers you are.

You love your son. That's all that matters:)

Steph said...

I had the same guilt with Emma, but yours truly has to be a full-time working mommy too. Both kiddos started daycare at 8 weeks and have been going full time ever since. Just hold on to the fact that it WILL get better. Jamie will start staying awake longer in the evenings for more cuddle and play time and you will be truly grateful for the things that he will learn in daycare as he gets older.

Em has learned soooo much from her "school mommies" as they refer to themselves. There's no way I could have taught her colors, shapes, counting etc. as effectively and quickly as they did. And it also came in handy to have a few extra "mommies" when it was time to take away the paci and potty train! :) Emma gets excited to go to daycare every day and play with her friends, and I bet Jamie will get to that stage later as well.

So banish the mom guilt!! Make sure your daycare is filled with people that will love Jamie almost as much as you and it will be alright. We all do the best that we can for our kids and in the end quality is almost always better than quantity. I know several SAHM's that spend less time every day interacting with their child than you do. Just make your time with him count!

Erica said...

Sorry lady:( It is hard, I'm a working mom too and that guilt that she's spending more time (awake) with someone other than her parents just kills me. She took her first steps at daycare and my heart broke. It's good to be positive and focus on the good things, but that doesn't mean there aren't moments (days or even weeks) that aren't hard as ever. Hang in there, and love him all you can when you are with him! My first prayer every night is that I can somehow be a SAHM. I keep praying...

Married...with a Pup said...

Oh no, so sorry to hear about your situation! I guess just remember that you are a working gal to support your little boy!

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Oh no! I hate the guilt feeling and I don't heve have kids! I can't imagine. Hopefully it'll get better and you'll be able to spend more time together. Maybe you'll win the lotto one day!

Annie said...

oh hun, i can only imagine how hard this must be on you. like you, i will be a full time working mom with an hour commute each way. i know it's going to be tough.
you are doing what is best for your family and what has to be done. try not to feel guilty, be thankful you have some time at night with jamie and the weekends and just make the best of it. :)
and i'll cross my fingers that we may both some day win the lotto...should we ever start playing ;)

Tiffany said...

I'm not back to work yet but I know I'll feel the same way. Sigh. It's so hard!

Moe said...

Awwwww. I'm so sorry dear. :( I can only imagine how hard that is. But the fact that you're doing all of this to give him the best life possible shouldn't be forgotten either! I mean - it's not like you drop him off at daycare to go drink. (omg that would be so awful!!!) Don't long commutes stink? I just started a new job (in a new city) this week and mine is 30-45 minutes each way. i hate it.

Deann said...

First of all, congratulations on your new job. I've been without internet until recently so I'm behind on my blog reading. I hope you will love your work. I know what mom guilt is about because I worked every minute that the girls were growing up and I still sometimes feel guilty. BUT, they had GREAT experiences I never would have been able to give them. They had friends they never would have had. They had vacations and material things they wouldn't have had. Mrs. E. you are a TERRIFIC mother and he is going to love every minute he has with you. You are doing the best you can with the circumstances you have been dealt. No guilt needed! Guilt is a waste of valuable time.

ModernMom said...

Aww honey, I'm sorry. From the moment we find out we are pregnant we all suffer the Mommy guilt. Sigh. I send you hugs and strength. One day your baby boy will be proud of all you did for him:)

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