The Guilt, It Endures

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Can you see why I can’t bear to leave this cuteness for an hour??

I’ve been playing around with the idea of starting a Web site.

No, I don’t really know how to do that. You know Blogger does all my work for me here. (I DID go in and change the colors on my little word cloud there to your left. Now you know that takes skillz.) But I’m stuck in a no-one-else-understands kind of rut and I’ve been feeling the need for community.

The site would be called something like “Working Mommy Mommy Guilt.” It would likely be magazine-style, with confessionals from moms, helpful articles for managing the working mom life, and encouragement to let go of the guilt and move on.

I KNOW every mother deals with this, and yet I feel so alone in my insanity! I feel like I should not leave the baby’s side during the weekend because I ONLY HAVE THIS MANY PRECIOUS HOURS WITH HER AND WHAT IF SHE DECIDES TO SAY “MAMA” WHILE I AM AT THE GROCERY STORE? The last several times I’ve done my grocery shopping on Sunday I’ve cried on the way home because I feel bad about leaving her for an hour.

What do you think? What would make a site like this helpful? And–most of all–do you follow any blogs of working moms I could check out? I feel like nearly all the blogs I read are of SAHMs who homeschool, keep their house beautifully decorated on a dime, and generally I am just very jealous of!

Anyway, thanks for dealing with me lately. I’d love your advice and recommendations on other blogs, books, places to have someone hit me over the head and knock some sense into me.

17 thoughts on “The Guilt, It Endures

  1. I will brainstorm with you. I love this topic and I think you would do a great job. You can include different kinds of working situations, like working FT and nursing, working PT, unique situations like bringing baby to work and challenges that go along with that. One book you might look for is ______ (something) Home Executives which is related to the Fly Lady but written by working moms I think. Good luck!

  2. I subscribe to Working Moms Against Guilt (www.workingmomsagainstguilt.com) and I know Amy at Milkbreath and Margaritas writes occasionally for Mommy Track’d at http://www.mommytrackd.com.

    I can tell you that after I had my second daughter I talked my boss into letting me working from home until she was nearly a year old. Now that my daughters are older I work 32 hours a week (8 are from home on Fridays) and it’s easier to let the guilt slide. Quite honestly I was ready to go back to work after my second daughter but she was older when she started daycare at nearly a year and it was increasingly difficult for me to get work done from home as much as I loved being with her. That was another kind of guilt!

    I think the guilt just comes with being a mom; it’s just more complex when you work outside the home.

    Hang in there!

  3. Try Work It, Mom! – great site, and lots of commiseration. I work from home, and I sometimes feel so guilty for working while I’m here with the kid. I feel like I’m ignoring him! I think you might find some other moms that feel the same way.

  4. oh, (((hugs))), Jessie! You are doing the best you can w/what you have! When I just think about how you pump and walk to her nursery to bf and then bf at home—just that ONE aspect of her life (and your mothering skills) shows how much you love her and how intently your life revolves around her! I am in awe of you—balancing it all…with a strawberry cake to boot!

    And as far as the site goes—DO IT! Especially w/a Christian perspective that you’d give it. I think it would be awesome!!

  5. Oh, dear friend, this guilt doesn't seem to get any better with their age. Mine are 20 & 15 and I still feel guilty that he has to come home alone. Honestly…if I could…I would be home today!

    I love the idea about the website. I hear you on the blogs I'm visiting being SAHM's. My house is a total mess and I can't seem to get on top of it…and I think…who really cares…it's not that important. Hey…if you need input from an older mom..you know where to look.

  6. This sounds fun…I’d love to see your perspective! For me, I always feel good to be able to get away from the house for some alone/mental health time at Target/BabiesRUs/grocery store, but now particularly it’s getting harder to take him to daycare because he really wants to be with my husband and I and he’s able to let us know (which is REALLY pulling up a lot of the guilt feelings).

    Best wishes and many blessings! This will be great! 🙂

  7. My sweet mommy left me from ages 4 months through about 9 months. She had little choice, really.

    She went away to train for her job. It was several states away. Her bosses told her to leave me behind if she wanted to graduate — I guess I would have been too much of a distraction for her.

    So, it was just me, my dad and occasionally my grandparents for about five months.

    My mom was broken-hearted, but she knew she had to do this to help provide for her family.

    I am so grateful for what she did. Now that I am a mom, I can’t imagine what it must have been like for her.

    Your little girl will be proud of you, no matter what (once she’s able to process those thoughts, of course :). Hang in there, mama!

  8. Can i just say i hardly ever leave comments, but i just had to! I'm working part time and my husband and i are trying to get pregnant. we know i'll have to keep working after the baby's born. I've recently been reading blogs to learn more budgeting tips & parenting tips. the thing that drew me to your blog was that you ARE a working mom. i've been feeling overwhelmed by all the blogs written by stay at home moms- as if i'd be less of a mom for working 30hrs a week. staying home is a noble thing and something i'd LOVE to do one day, but i find encouragement in the fact you work outside the home.

  9. Jessie, I’m sorry you are having a hard time! I know I would be, too; reading about how much you do in a day helps me not to take my situation for granted.

    Jessica Turner, whom you met at Malia’s, also write about pumping, working, and motherhood.

    We can only write about where we are, and we shouldn’t take someone else’s standards for our own. I know that people are blessed by your honesty and hard work.

    I think you may have found your new niche!

  10. I hear you, Jessie. You’re not alone! When I’m not working, I only dash out when Abby’s napping and feel myself not wanting to go to friends’ baby/bridal showers if it means a few hours away from my baby and husband. I have no time to myself, but most of the time I don’t want it — I just want to spend time with baby and husband. I even feel guilty sleeping in until 9 on the weekend, even though I know my body needs it. Just wanted you to know that I very much commiserate with you on this!

  11. I like the comment about not making someone else’s standards our own. I went to work when our kids were 15 months and 4 1/2 years. No choice. Our life situation changed and I did what I had to do to help provide for our family.

    Being a working mom doesn’t make you a better mom or less of a mom just as being a stay-at-home mom doesn’t make you a better mom or less of a mom. You do the best that you can, and that’s all you can do.

    All moms make mistakes; all moms miss some milestones. You just can’t dwell on them. Guilt will drag you down. Be grateful for and focus on the time you have together.

  12. You know… you have a great idea and I think you could start a .ning style site easily.
    I’m a SAHM but I freelance – don’t design on a dime and my house is a wreck! I do read a few bloggers that work… I’ll take a look at my feed list and email you a few. The other way to find them might be to look at industry blogs written by women… just an idea.

  13. I completely agree. Yours truly is a working mom, but I work from home full time. It makes it harder to juggle but a pinch easier on the guilt. The kids go to pre-school for a half day.
    And we ALL feel the guilt- even if you’re a stay at home coupon- homeschooling- decorating type. It’s just a different guilt that you aren’t perfect. None of us are. YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB!! And I will be happy to support you in whatever you do!

  14. I hear you! I work outside of the home, full time, and I also go to school (online) full time… plus blogging, writing as the Working Moms Editor at Type-A Mom and, you know, raising a family… well, I’m completely dead when I get home at six let alone 8 when my daughter wants me to play in the bath with her. I have a three years old and a five month old and I am frequently panicked/anxious about missing all the important milestones. First words, first rolling over, first steps… my mother got to see all of it, not me. It kills me. But I need to work, so here I am.

    I’d be interested for sure, in a site like that. And you are NOT alone. Never ever. 🙂

  15. I have made notes about a similiar site I was thinking about….notes for a working mom. My prayer has always been to stay home with my children and I have not yet given up on that prayer.

    I would love to brainstorm with you and help with a site to encourage and help working moms.

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