>Okay, I received an email from one of the online forums I read. The subject line posted was, “Am I the only working mom who does NOT feel guilty?!” My chest tightened and my first thought was to respond to this post by simply putting “YES!”(in all caps so it would have a yelling effect). But seeing as I’m from Texas and that would be rude and very unfriendly, I just deleted the email and moved on to other messages in my mailbox.
Later, my mind wandered back to that email and I realized how angry it made me initially. I mean, this working mother is certainly entitled to her feelings. So WHY was it getting under my skin as though she had launched a personal attack on me–a complete stranger who happens to be a member of the same forum?
Why? Because I do feel guilty.
Every Monday, I dread going to work and having to take my youngest daughter to the sitter. Not because I hate my job or because I don’t trust my sitter. It’s simply because I’m not with her. I feel as though I’m sending her to someone else so they can do the hard work of raising her and that’s my job. I’m her mother.
I like my job and I do get a sense of fulfillment out of my work. However, I’m envious of mothers who can stay at home with their children, spending their days covered in finger paint with dried food in their hair, playing games. I want to be the one to teach my little girl her ABC’s and 123’s and do arts and crafts.
Don’t get me wrong, I know every day isn’t a walk in the park, so to speak. And I know there’d be days when I would rather be among adults in an office building instead of peeling a screaming two year old off the floor in the middle of a temper tantrum. But overall, I would love to be at home with my kids, and maybe one day that will happen.
If that never happens, or until it does, in my moments of heavy guilt I try to remind myself, while I’m not with her all day to teach her, watch her learn and play, I am still teaching her by example.
Through the years, hopefully my being a working mom will teach all of my children lessons they can carry with them into adulthood. I hope they learn the value of hard work and dedication. I hope they learn that you can be a good mother & wife and still have a career. I hope they see my husband and I as a team that works together to support our family, financially or otherwise. I hope they learn that, as parents, we make sacrifices to provide for our children the best life possible. Most of all, I hope my children learn that no matter what, their parents did everything out of love for them.