So here I am sitting all alone in the lounge in front of my laptop with a cup of coffee, just trying to have some “me” time, while my fiancé and son are fast asleep. But as I sit here in this quiet, peaceful moment I can’t help but feel this wave of mom-guilt.
Guys, today was tough, Steven worked day shift so it was just me and my son, he was miserable the whole day and I could not get a single thing done, let alone even hear myself think. I tried everything, playing cars, colouring in, putting his favourite show on… he also refused to eat any “proper food” and only wanted “sweeties”.
My weekends are the only time I get to spend quality time with my son but it’s also the only time I have to do things like shopping or housework (which I would like to give Steven credit for as he does do most of it) and personal things, so I really have to try and balance everything. So I have the mom guilt both ways…
Guilt as a full time working mom
My son goes to school on a part-time basis at this point, which I feel is a good thing as he gets that social interaction with other kids his age, the rest of the time he is with granny or papa. As a full time working mom, having to leave him in someone else’s care, receiving photos throughout the day of what he is doing and how much fun he is having, really makes me feel as if I am missing out on those special moments. So I long for the evenings and weekends so I can get to create those special moments with him as well. However, the evenings after work and before his bedtime are so short and the time on weekends has to be shared with other responsibilities. For these reasons it makes me feel guilty for having to work full time and not being able to be with him.
Guilt when being at home with my son
Weekends come and so do Public holidays and I just can’t wait to be spending that extra time with him. But then days like today happen and I wish I had just one day to 1) not be at work and also 2) for him to be at school, giving me a complete day alone to do whatever I want to do. Because some days it can just get too much and you just want to escape to your little corner of the world, let off some steam and relax.
So I get it, for both working moms (such as myself) how we feel as though we neglecting our children and missing out on some great moments. And for the stay-at-home mom who, yes gets to embrace those special moments but also have to endure the bad days all the time without ever getting a moment to themselves.
When and how do we find the balance? My ultimate goal is building up and running my own business to give myself the flexibility I need as a mother. To cancel your own appointments so you can be the one to fetch your child from school if something is wrong. To decide today is a bonding day with your child and take him/her on an outing. To be there when your child really needs you. To take the day off when it’s your child’s birthday. I’m sure you get the picture by now.
But I guess life just isn’t that easy. I only wish that companies were more understanding towards mothers. A mother is a child’s safe place. Just when a company you are working for wants you to be on call or standby, they should acknowledge that we as mothers are permanently on call and standby to our children when we are at work, being a mom is 24/7 not just 8 to 5. However not every mother is lucky enough to leave or take off work to be with their child and have to rely on a caregiver to see to what’s wrong.
I pray for it to all work out in the end
My heart breaks to not be with my precious boy every moment of every day, and when I see his sad face or when he cries for me not to leave him when I leave for work. But I can also not afford to be a stay at home mom and constantly have to remind myself that I am working to give him the best possible life. And that I am also working hard on reaching my goal to be a stay at home working mom (which I feel will eliminate most of my mom guilts).
Mom guilt is a real thing no matter which way you look at it and no matter what circumstance you are in. If you are dealing with mom guilt, you are not alone. Try to find your balance and work hard each day to get there. It’s the only advice I can give as this is what I am doing, no matter how long it takes me.