Thursday, December 02, 2004

The guilt thing

OK, here's a topic. The guilt thing and being a working mom.

I don't feel guilty about working. I truly do not. I prayed about taking this job and I am grateful that I can help our family be self-sufficient and move towards our goals.

What I feel guilty about is doing anything besides work. Like last night, I was asked to sing at our city's version of the World AIDS Prayer Vigil. I wanted to do it, and I did it. But when I came home at 7:30 and the kids were in bed and my 3-year-old said, "I misseded you, Mom. I wanted to kiss you and you were gone." Oh, my gosh! Tear my heart out! How could I choose going to sing for HIV and AIDS patients over my own kids?

The same 3yo has started crying when I go to Mutual on Tuesday nights. Insisting that I be the one to read scriptures aloud at night, not Daddy. Occasionally clinging and crying when dropped off at preschool. I do worry that he's not getting enough Mama.

Is it the time to renounce my callings, shut off the things I want to do in town? Is work supposed to be enough? I don't get that feeling from others. Now that I'm working, I think I'm still expected to do all the things I did when I wasn't working. Where is the time?

On the bright side, it's a lot easier to keep the house clean now that we're never home to make a mess.


liltreefrog said...

I understand. I feel so guilty sometimes when I go work out in the evenings, because I pick the kids up from daycare, feed them, then take them to another daycare at the gym. Bedtime comes and I realize I only spent maybe 2 hours with them all day.

The worst was the day I took Marc (almost 4) to nursery school because it was my day to be room Mom. He asked if I was going to walk him inside, and I said yes. He said "Yay! Usually Miss Cynthia (that's his daycare mom) drops me off but all the other kids have a mommy to walk them in." **GUILT GUILT**

Anyway, I have a hard time with outisde obligations. I am in a lot of organizations and often they have things on weeknights. I am always expected to attend these meetings, but I have just made it a policy not to do outside things on weeknights, with RARE exceptions.

I don't know the answer - I'm still trying to find my balance too!!

Jamie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jamie said...

sorry about that goof up comment I accidentaly deleted above.......posting during nap time in my classroom just isn't gonna work ;)

I don't feel guilty about working either, never really have felt like I had a choice about it and know I have been blessed with ideal jobs for my family and my chosen *outside of the home* career path and yet the balance is soooo tricky at times. I over did it at times in Seattle. I was a member of two non profit boards, persuing my MA degree and trying to stay actively involved in my kids schools and church activities. My kids struggled at times when I was only available for a few hours a night and I found that I did have to pull back from some of my activities and do one thing at a time. I have the same rule for my kids, one church activity and one other activity (they mainly pick sports).

I think it is important for us, as women, to be involved outside the home (and oustide of church for that matter). Most of my outside committments have been involvement in non profit educational related boards and social justice organizations. I often took my children with me if possible though that sometimes meant a late bedtime :(

It is so heartbreaking to come home and find a post-it note on my computer keyboard that says "I miss you so much mommy, don't forget to kiss me goodnight, xoxoxoxo" so I know exactly what you mean.......the guilt is there regardless of our hearts being in the right place in terms of providing service or replenishing our minds and souls.

ITA about us WOHM's being expected by society (other women? men? our kids?) to do all the things we did as SAHM's. I have worn both hats and although I know both are hard work, being a WOHM takes a lot of patience and prayer to do well.