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Friday, November 21, 2008

Haiku Friday #10: Mommy Guilt

Haiku Friday

Lately on Twitter
I've followed momversation
A panel of moms

Who famously blog
Discussing certain issues
Important to us.

Mommy guilt over working
I also feel it.

Momversation is an interactive vlog between several bloggers from their panel of fairly well-known mommy bloggers. Selected bloggers discuss momversation's topic of the week, which is usually related to parenting and always provocative.

Their most recent discussion really resonated with me: mommy guilt over working. I spent the first nine months of my son's life as a stay-at-home mom while my husband worked at whatever substitute teaching jobs he could find. In that time, he was unable to find any permanent job a contracted position, so he went back to school to get a teaching certificate. Apparently a Master's degree in Education and a Bachelor's in English Lit do not qualify a person to teach English, either at the high school level or as an adjunct professor at the college level -- even community colleges.

With him back in school, I had to get a full-time job just to keep us afloat -- and some months, even buoyancy seems impossible. I'm sure many of you are familiar with this situation. So I applied at a few preschools and day care centers in the area, figuring that as an employee, I would have an easier time getting my son into one, and also would probably receive a tuition discount.

So here I am, working 40 hours a week with other people's kids, rather than being with my own son -- out of necessity, yes, but it's still enough to make me wish I was helping him grow and learn, and witnessing his milestones, not theirs.

Sometimes I wish that I could work from home, that I was brilliant enough to start my own little Etsy shop or something. But from what I hear from work-at-home moms (and dads) is that the guilt is still there -- and it's even harder to get work done, so they often feel like they fall short in both categories.

Here's the good news: I have recently learned of an open spot in one of the infant/toddler classrooms that he will be able to take. All we have to do is fill out the paperwork and get everything set up for him to go. This is such a weight off of my mind. Next semester, my husband will be student teaching, and if there wasn't a spot for my son I would have to quit, just when we're starting to become a little more financially stable. I'd exhausted all my other child care options, too. This is it.

So I'm super excited (and relieved) that he'll be coming to school with me. My mom will still watch him on Mondays and Fridays, since they could only guarantee me a part-time spot for him. But that's okay for now, because she doesn't work those days. I've got daughter guilt about this one, though. I hate that I'll now be bogarting two days every week out of my mom's schedule.

The lesson here? You do what you can with what you've got. And you forgive yourself for needing help. You forgive yourself for needing to work and being away from your kids.

What about you? Any moms or dads feeling the guilt out there? If you don't have kids, do you feel guilty about working for other reasons? Or do you feel guilty about something else entirely? Leave a comment. I'd love to hear what everyone feels about this.



I am sure that its really hard feeling like you are missing out on Adam's milestones. My mom was home with us, as you know since you were one of the kids she sat for (lol) and I do appreciate that time. Sometimes I wish that I didn't have to work and go to school, but then again money does not grow on trees and my family is not rich. If I didn't have to work I think I'd volunteer or just only focus on school. Maybe I'd be done by now if my focus would have been better.

I am sure your mom loves having Adam, and hey I know people (my Uncle Rick and Aunt Nancy) who take advantage of the free sitting from my granparents, she has those kids 4 days of the week, so really don't feel bad.

But anyways, after turkey day lets hang out and do something....I want you to teach me to knit or whatever it is that you


Well, right now my mom actually watches him every day during the week. But it's only for a few hours, while Brandon's at class and getting his homework done (um, real stay at home dads get stuff done with the kids at home... just sayin').

But yeah, she does love having him. I just feel bad tying her down all day on a regular basis with no option to hand him back, like she has now. But she said it's fine, so I try to accept that.

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