A Peek Into the Life of a Working Mom: Working Mom Guilt

Toddler when working mom leaves the house

“It plagues me. I feel intensely guilty for working … You have to be able to provide for your kids. But I feel like it’s a weird modern phenomenon that you always feel guilty for it.” --
Melissa McCarthy, actress, mom to two girls under 6

Recently, a friend confessed that she has been feeling really guilty about leaving her toddler when she goes to work. He has been crying and saying, "mommy don't leave me!" Nothing tugs at the heart of a working mom like hearing her child plead for her to stay.
As the mom of a toddler I have learned that they can be unpredictable. You can be on a roll and then out of nowhere she'll be distraught when I leave for work.  Once I came home for work because I forgot something. When I left to return to work my daughter cried harder than I had ever heard. I felt terribly and wondered whether I was doing the right thing.
Last week, I read an article on “Working Moms” one of my favorite working mom blogs after my own, Chaton's World, that got me thinking and made me comment. The blog post was entitled, “Your Comeback to the Request, "Don't Go to Work, Mom!" Because being a working mom means that you leave your child in the care of someone else, guilt goes with the territory. That guilt can be powerful and overwhelming.

I don't have very good insight and don't have a textbook response. Instead, I have experience.
Below is my comment to the article…

 What you do when your child begs you not to go to work?

My daughter is 2 1/2. Her request is less about me and more about her. She often screams, "I want to go to work!!!" Sometimes I pick her up and soothe her and bribe her with a piece of toast or a cereal bar. I'm sure that bribery isn't recommended, but it's worked for us so far. I sometimes let her come outside with me. She handles it better if she also thinks she's leaving. I think she believes that "work" is as fun as the outings she goes on with her nanny. If she only knew...
Often, I just sneak out before she realizes I'm gone. She doesn't seem to mind it if she doesn't see me leave.

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Pay a visit to Chaton's World (http://chatonsworld.blogspot.com) to read about my quest for balance in my stilettos!
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