Friday, October 03, 2014

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

Last night, my daughter was sick and barely slept. She was covered in red blotches and became increasingly uncomfortable. When she finally went to bed she was still up for hours. She kept screaming "Itchy Owy! Itchy Owy!" over and over again. This morning she was irritable and wanted her mommy. However, her mother works. So, even though she was on the floor naked yelling, "Mama! Mama! I want you to stay here! I don't want my robe! I want to come to work with you!!!" What did I do? I picked up my bags and walked out of the door in tears. I don't care who you are.
 
Sometimes work and motherhood conflict and there are no winners.

happier times

Being a working mom is hard work



I could try to spin it. But that would just be dishonest. The truth is this morning, I felt like a bad mom and it sucked.
On the way to work I started thinking about how I might make it right. I began trying to plan an early exit. I also I thought about how people who heard the story might judge me. I thought about our nanny who would be there to dry her tears. And I cried a little.

I hoped to leave early and return home to soothe her. In my mind, she would be naked and crying for me all day. Less than an hour later I receive a text saying she was on the couch happily watching TV. I can learn a lot about bouncing back from that girl!
 

How you feel about being a working mom depends on the day

 
What I have learned is that my feelings about working mom changes daily. When everything comes together and everybody is healthy, being a working mom rocks. I have the love of my children and the stimulation of a career. It seems like the perfect balance.
 
However, I have also learned that there are bad days and you question whether you should even try to work and mother small children.  I have learned that you experience this even if you like being a working mom in general... even if you appreciate that in the long run it is better to lean in than opt out... even if you believe that on the macro level working is better for you and your family...
 
There are no easy answers. And it isn't about trying to do it all. Today, it was just about trying to go to work and wipe a little girl's tears away. I found that I could not possibly do both. So, it proved impossible to shake my guilt.
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