When I’m at work, I feel guilty for not spending more time with my kid. When I’m with my kid, I feel bad for not doing more for work. Either way, I feel guilty.
It’s like that for moms. We feed bad, we feel guilty, we feel responsible when things don’t work out “right.” And who can blame us? Guilt trips are given by many: from our friends, grandparents, spouses, colleagues, doctors, the list goes on and on. And it starts early, are you getting an epidural? Circumcision or no? Will you let your baby cry herself to sleep? Breast or bottle? Using Time Outs? It’s enough to make your head spin.
Why should we moms add to the list? Also, do dad’s feel the same way? I know Hubby regrets not spending more time with Logan, especially since he logs 60 to 70 hours a week, but I don’t think he mentally flogs himself like I’m prone to doing.
In my sensible mind, I know Logan’s fine at daycare and loves it and I know that at work I’m busting my ass. But in my heart, well it’s not as reasonable as my mind, and that’s where the guilt comes in.
So I try to lean on my brain power to help figure out a better balance.
- Hire help. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. If you can afford it, get help. We have a cheap cleaning lady come to do the heavy duty cleaning. That way we’re spending our weekends doing fun stuff as a family instead of scrubbing toilets. There’s other help that’s out there, hiring someone to drive your kid to and from daycare can eliminate your daycare commute, freeing up more of your time.
- Be creative with your work schedule. If your employer allows, see what you can do with your schedule to make it work for your family. My bosses let me come in early and leave in the late afternoon and I often take lunch at my desk, which for some is inadvisable, but it helps me plow through my To Do list. One friend of mine works an extra hour Monday through Thursday so that she can have a short work day on Friday, allowing her to spend extra time with her daughter then.
- Change. If the guilt is too overwhelming and the flexibility is not there, look to change your situation. Easier said than done, especially in this economy, but still it’s worth a try. In the end you gotta be honest with yourself and ask, is it worth it?