Working Mom Guilt
Mom guilt. If you are a mom, you have felt it. If you aren’t, you have heard about it. It’s that nagging feeling that you are not good enough, that you have somehow failed your child by forgetting a theme day at school, or missing the school performance because you have to work. I have pondered this thought more than once in my 4 years as a mama—is mom guilt self-imposed or brought on my society? Either way, Mamas— YOU ROCK.
I love this little girl with all my heart. She is my heart outside of my body. (She also knows how to push all my buttons and drive me to within an inch of sanity). I work outside of the home--full-time. Ya'll know I am a lawyer and left private practice almost 2 years ago, but I still work every single day.
I drop her off at 7:15 and get home between 5:30 and 6. That's 10 hours away from her. That is 50 hours of her life I miss each week. That is most of her waking moments. It's hard. It is hard to leave her when she just wants 28 more kisses and hugs, when I know she doesn't feel great, but I have to leave her anyway, and when she looks at me and says "Mommy, can we go to the zoo today?" It breaks my heart.
I know all moms feel guilt. We stress over whether we are doing and saying the right things to our children. Did we punish too harshly, are they learning enough and the list goes on and on. But working mom feel that extra pang of guilt. And moms who love their jobs often feel it more.
It's true, I love my law job. I have found a niche of the law that sparks passion inside me and makes it pretty easy to go to work everyday. I have am surrounded by encouraging co-workers and mentored by amazing leadership. I mean, I went to school for 19 years and worked by butt off to pass the bar exam, so part of me feels like I deserve to use the God-given talent of this practice of law. But that doesn't mean there isn't a small, ok, a huge part of me that wants to be there for E every day.
I have taken some steps to be more present. Leaving private practice was first. No more 80-90 hour weeks and constant attachment to my phone and laptop. And deciding to start my own business.
Now I know you all are going to think this is a sales pitch, but its not. Starting my own fitness business was so much more for me than E. I needed something that was just mine, not for anyone else--not E, not hubs or the City. I needed and wanted an identity of my own and something I could work and be passionate about. And it just happened to be something that was already a big part of my life.
Would I love for this to be something that I can use to go home to E someday? Yes. And its possible, I have watched other women do it. I have watched other women do other businesses and make it full-time to be at home and be present for their kiddos.
In the meantime, I will continue to have a little piece of my heart break each day when I drop her off at school. I will wince at the photos of other moms at the zoo or pool or mommy and me playdates on a Tuesday at 1pm and it will irk me that E has to take dance on Saturdays at 10am and not Monday at 10am with some of her friends. I will get upset when she can't do certain activities because they are not offered when I can take her and pick her up. It's the facts of our lives right now and I am ok with it, but it doesn't mean its not something I pray about each day.
So, if you know a mom who works outside of the home either because she has to or chooses to, support her. Offer to take her kiddo with you to that play date or dance lessons. Include her in your mom stuff. Schedule mom dates after working hours so she can be there to. Have lunch with her. She feels left out of the SAHM crew and often feels looked down upon. And support those mamas who are trying their hands at MLM or network marketing gigs. You never know if you could be the person that allows her to come home to her baby.