I read this blog post the other day and it really got me thinking about being a guilty working mom. So let me start with a statement: I am a mom of 2 and I work outside of the home. I love my children with all of my heart and I would do anything in the world for them, but I knew from day one that I couldn’t stay home with them full-time. I’ve been a career woman my entire life, and I believe I will continue to work for a long time to come. I have labored hard to get to where I am today, both in my education and with my career, and I am very proud of of all I have accomplished.
Now when I say I am proud of my education and career accomplishments, and I know I cannot stay home with my children full-time, that doesn’t mean I don’t carry guilt. I feel guilty every day I take my kids to daycare. I sometimes struggle with the fact that I should be the one tending to their everyday needs and not someone else. I still get sad and feel like I am a bad mom, as if I am doing something wrong. I know this is all very natural I know I am not the only working mom that feels this way.
But there is another side to the story. My kids are loved by the people who take care of them, people I trust. The experiences and relationships they have, has contributed to their social and relational skills. They learn from those relationships every day, something I alone could not provide for them. They get so much more interaction than they would if they were home with me every day. Of course we would go places, see things, and learn as much as we could but I believe it would be a fraction of what they are currently getting in their experiences at daycare.
There are pros and cons to staying home, working from home, and working outside the home. Each family has to make their own decisions. I know this is what works best for our family and I have to be ok with it. I word hard to make the most of the time I spend with my children , especially while they are young. I have to create memories with them and live in the moment, just as any mother does, though I must admit this is something I continue to work to improve. By the time we have gotten the kids up by 7:00 am and out the door for school, worked all day, picked them up, planned, cooked and eaten supper, bathed, brushed teeth, read stories, said prayers, said good-nights, cleaned and possibly packed lunches for the next day I am exhausted (just reading back over the list is exhausting!). To all my stay-at-home moms, I know you do the same things as me and work all day taking care of your children. We are all exhausted in our own way.
I have no glimmering words of wisdom about how to be the best working mom. We seem to still be figuring it out some days. Do what is right for your family. Love your children and make sure they are loved by the people who take care of them, especially if that isn’t you. Lose the working mom guilt, whether you choose to work or life has chosen it for you, and make the most of your time together (advice for ALL moms).