View Full Version : Feeling guilty at every turn
02-27-2008, 12:09 PM
I recently returned back to my full-time job after having my first child. Staying at home isn't financially an option for us, and even if it was - I still think I'd opt to work in some way.
My colleagues are supportive, and my son is in great daycare, but I find myself feeling guilty no matter what I do. Leaving office at 5? GUILT. Dropping him off in the morning? GUILT. No date night? GUILT.
I just don't know what to do with myself anymore. Suggestions?
02-27-2008, 04:23 PM
I feel for you, as does every other working mom in america I'm sure. My daughter is 16 months, and I still feel guilty. It lessens over time, but its still there.
Remind yourself that while being with you during the day would be best, being at a good daycare is also good for her. My daughter is an only child, and her time at daycare is when she gets to be around other children. Not to mention all the activities she gets to do! It's been so good for her socially and intellectually. I am very cognizant of the downside of daycare; behavioral issues to be specific. And we work hard to maintain the boundaries and not let our guilt do the parenting.
I would suggest you start easing your guilt by changing your internal dialogue. Tell yourself that she's okay, and you have to work. Remind yourself of the upsides of daycare, not the downsides. And remind yourself that you have to work - to give her the financial support maybe you didn't get growing up (I dont know your circumstances but I know that was a big factor in me being a working mom).
Try to take as much time off as you can to stay home during the week. I've been blessed with a job that I can do from home, and I push the envelope with my boss on hours at home for sure. If I couldn't work from home, I would be taking every hour of vacation as soon as I could.
The guilt doesn't go away, but you'll learn to live with it. :) If your son wasn't in daycare, I assure you there would be something else you would feel guilty about. It comes with parenting, so I've been told.
03-06-2008, 03:43 PM
I work only 20 hours a weeks and it works out that when my husband comes home from work I can go to work and he's left in charge of Max, who is only 3 months old. Even though I don't have him in daycare, I still feel horribly guilty. Keep in mind that society almost demands two incomes and the fact that you have to work is more than the norm. However, when you are with your baby I'm sure it's quality time well spent. Even if you were a stay at home mom you definately would have something to feel guilty about. I think it just comes with the territory. Focus on the positive; that's what gets me through.
03-12-2008, 09:15 PM
If you didn't work, you'd probably find something else to feel guilty about! We all go through it. Do you have mommy friends who work, too? That can really help, just to talk about it.
03-15-2008, 02:23 AM
Maybe this can ease some of your guilt. I am a stay at home mom... I am getting use to living in a new town where I dont know anybody really. My husband got a job out here before we got married so it stood to reason that I would move out here after we were married.
We can barely afford for me to stay at home and my husband and I do without stuff so I can stay at home. Even though I am at home, I feel guilty that Im not helping my husband out by getting a job. It would definately take alot of stress off us financially. My son is 8 months old now and I have begun to think about going back to work and I have semi-started to check out daycares. I found a nice one I think I could leave my son at but then I feel guilty just thinking about leaving him there. The problem is this daycare would mean I would have to work a full time job to pay for it and to be able to contribute to the household income. I have a teaching degree so obviously the job I would get is laid out for me, but then I have to go back to school as well (more guilt a full time job and have to be away for class).
We havent decided on anything yet and our parents are helping out some so My husband has told me it is fine for me to stay at home and we will be fine. However I fell guilty that he cannot do the things he wants because we cant afford it. Especially since if we lived in my home town I would have any number of family that would babysit while I worked and went to school and while I am sure I would still feel guilty about leaving my son with them, some how the idea of leaving him with family is not as hard to deal with than the idea of leaving him in a daycare.
With my son I feel guilty that he is not getting the opportunity to socialize with other children and that some how I am hurting him in the long run.
So christina.chen, as you can see stay at home moms have just as much guilt. There is now way to get around it, if your a parent, there is something you will feel guilty about; if not now, then eventually
03-19-2008, 11:26 PM
I felt the same way, I went back to work when our daughter was 8 months old. She was being watched by a family member and yes I felt totally guilty about leaving in the morning. I thought about all of the things that i would miss while i was at work, like first steps, first words, her smiles, and you know my husband and i were home for both those firsts and she had plenty of smiles.
At 2 years we put her in daycare to socialize with other kids and she loved it. I am lucky that my work hours were flexible enough I could take my time with her in the mornings and go in a little later, hubby would pick her up and have some father-daughter time, and if she was not feeling well i could work from home or take time off.
now she is going on 5 and knows the routine...she goes to school, we go to work.
the one thing that we have made a point of doing since she was young is making the time we spend together quality time with things like helping us with dinner, having a pretend picnic on a blanket in the dining room, baking cookies. it doesn't matter what that activity is, as long as she has our undivided attention. she gets mommy and daddy time and we get quality time with her.
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